The perfect pairing – beans and rice
Beans and rice, when eaten together, are a winning combination. Together they form a complete high fiber vegetarian protein. Their complementary amino acid contents provide your body with all the essential amino acids.
Beans are loaded with nutrition and taste, and only green vegetables come close as a healthful food source. Beans provide lots of healthy fiber – about 15 grams per cup.
It’s that dietary fiber that helps you feel full after your meal, promotes digestive regularity and helps control your blood sugar.
Beans also boost your intake of iron. Just a half-cup of cooked black beans adds at least 3-5 milligrams of iron to your meal – about half of the recommended daily intake for women over age 50 and men, and 19 percent of the daily recommended intake for women under 50, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Beans are only 2-3 percent fat, which means they raise your leptin levels and reduce appetite, while causing your metabolism to work harder and faster.
Beans are loaded with B vitamins, calcium, potassium and folate.
Beans are cheap. There is no bigger bargain, unless you buy them dried.
When it comes to beans, there are a myriad choices. Try them all and decide which ones you prefer.
Beans can be prepared in stews and casseroles, baked, served in salads, soups, dips, chili, breads and desserts. This Caribbean Rice Salad is chock full of vegetables as well as rice and beans. It can be kept in the refrigerator for several days.
Caribbean Rice Salad
(Serves 8 as side dish)
3 cups wild rice, cooked (1 cup will yield 3 cups cooked)
2 ears corn, cooked and kernels removed
1-15 oz. can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 organic red bell pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
juice of 2 limes
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for several hours. Can be made the night before.