No, I’ve not given up my blog, nor have I disappeared…I have, however, been dealing with life: my beloved is still recovering from a compression fracture in his T12 vertebrae, which means I also do many of the tasks he normally does, such as mowing our rather large yard; until this past Monday, I was caring for our aging calico, Ally, whose health was in decline, sadly, we put her to rest this past Monday, the 21st; under my beloved’s direction, I’ve been fitting in what tasks I can, when I can, to help us inch forward however slowly on Operation Laundry Room; and oh, yeah, being self-employed, hubby and I have been working on keeping our business up and running.
As I said, life.
Anyway, with all this activity, I’ve been searching about for easy but different meals, which is part of what inspired me to try my own take on a recipe on the back of a Hunt’s can of fire roasted tomatoes with garlic for their Zucchini, Black Bean, and Rice Skillet.
Product packaging and product websites can often provide inspiration for new ideas. After all, these companies are familiar with their products and want to encourage you to find a variety of ways to enjoy them. The recipe on the back of the Hunt’s can of tomatoes inspired me to give it a try for one of our weekly meatless meals, and boy, am I glad I did!
Me being me, I used the recipe as a springboard to make it more to mine and hubby’s liking. Toward this end, I some diced onion. As Wikipedia tells us:
Most onion cultivars are about 89% water, 4% sugar, 1% protein, 2% fibre and 0.1% fat. They contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid and numerous other nutrientsin small amounts. They are low in fats and in sodium, and with an energy value of 166kJ (40 kcal) per 100 g (3.5 oz) serving, they can contribute their flavour to savoury dishes without raising caloric content appreciably.
Onions contain chemical compounds such as phenolics and flavonoids that basic research shows to have potential anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol,anticancer and antioxidant properties.[medical citation needed] These include quercetinand its glycosides quercetin 3,4′-diglucoside and quercetin-4′-glucoside. There are considerable differences between different varieties in potential antioxidant content. Shallots have the highest level, six times the amount found in Vidalia onions, the variety with the smallest amount.
I also subbed out the instant rice for a reduced amount of brown rice, and included a splash of Worcestershire sauce (vegetarians, you could leave this out). I also used a non-stick skillet and added in a bit more cheese (part of it reduced fat) to help increase the calcium and also make it a bit more one-dish meal hearty, yet, still ligh. Using brown rice meant the dish had to cook longer, and zucchini typically doesn’t take too long to cook, so I just added it in about 20 to 25 minutes before the rice would be done.
You can use other kinds of rice, of course, but I liked the depth of flavor that the nutty richness of brown rice added to this dish. You could also vary this with different seasonings and/or a few different vegetable combinations, such as adding in mushrooms or spinach.
So the next time you want something a bit different, but still relatively quick, easy,healthy, and yummy for supper or lunch, give Zucchini, Black Bean, and Rice Skillet a try — you can do it! 😉
Zucchini, Black Bean, and Rice Skillet (Serves 4 as a main dish)
- 1 can (14 – 15 ounces) tomatoes, UNDRAINED (suggested fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic)
- 1/2 large or 1 small onion, diced (use white, yellow, or red)
- 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (use green, red, yellow, or orange — I used green because it’s more affordable)
- 1 can (14 – 15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed (I used reduce sodium beans)
- Minced garlic to taste
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce (Vegetarians, leave out)
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup brown rice (or use another kind of rice)
- Splash or spray of olive or canola oil
- Approximately 1 3/4 cup water
- 3 to 4 ounces shredded cheese (I used a mix of reduced fat cheddar and Monterrey Jack)
- In a non-stick skillet, heat a splash or spray of olive or canola oil. Sauté onion and bell pepper until it begins to soften. (Cooking the vegetables part of the time with the lid on will help steam the vegetables a bit, also.) Add in additional minced garlic, if desired, and sauté for another minute or so. Add in uncooked rice and sauté for another minute or two in skillet.
- Pour in undrained tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans, water, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes. Stir in sliced zucchini about 20 to 25 minutes before cooking time is done.
- Remove lid and stir. If too liquid, simmer, uncovered, until desired thickness is reached. Top with grated cheese. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.
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