Rice and beans will always be a $5 Dinner. Unless, of course, you go all sorts of crazy and add in expensive spices like saffron or cardamom (2 of the more expensive spices).
Rice is crazy cheapâ€¦especially if you buy in bulk. And beans might be even cheaper when you buy dried beans and cook them yourself. (They are really easy to cookâ€¦if you havenâ€™t tried it, you should. Instructions for cooking dried beans.)
If you really need to make drastic cuts to your grocery budget, then I suggest having at least 2 rice and bean style meals per week. They can cost as little as $2 for a meal for 4 people. So you can see what an impact these kinds of meals can have in reducing your grocery spending.
And rice and beans meals donâ€™t have to be boring and bland! You can jazz them up with all sorts of fun flavorsâ€¦
Fiesta Beans and Rice
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cups cooked red beans
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh cilantro; as garnish (optional)
- Tortillas; as side
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add the brown rice and return to boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook the brown rice for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tender.
- Once the brown rice is cooked, stir in the cooked red beans, chopped red pepper, chopped green pepper, tomato sauce, lime juice and ground cumin.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If necessary, turn heat to low, cover and keep warm until serving time.
- Warm tortillas.
- Serve Fiesta Beans and Ricewith warm tortillas as side. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.