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Healthy Recipes: South of the Border Beans and Rice

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South of the Border Beans and Rice

from the 
American Institute for Cancer Research

This wonderful colorful recipe will be a favorite no matter where you are. The brown rice is laced with bell peppers, corn, tomatoes and black beans. These add to the nutritional quality and keep the rice moist and flavorful. In fact, the black beans actually make this dish a vegetarian meal.

Rice has fed more people over a longer period of time than any crop in history. Using brown rice ensures that you get all the nutritional benefits of this ancient food. Unlike white rice, brown rice retains its outer layer of bran and its germ. This results in more fiber and nutritional value. Brown rice also has a mild nutty flavor, as opposed to the bland flavor of white rice.

The bell peppers, beans, corn and tomatoes add texture and color. A bit of cumin provides a hint of Mexican flavor. The aromatic turmeric comes from a plant that is a member of the ginger family and adds an appealing subtle yellow coloring along with its flavor. You can customize this dish by adding either mild or hot chiles to obtain the amount of zesty heat you like.

Round out this vegetarian entrée by adding your favorite green salad and fresh fruit for dessert. This rice also makes great leftovers or side dish. Simply refrigerate in a tightly covered container and reheat within the next day or two to enjoy it again.

South of the Border Beans and Rice

South of the Border Beans and Rice

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz. reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed (or use no salt added)
  • 12 oz. corn kernels, no salt added canned, or frozen, thawed
  • 1 can (4 oz.) mild green chiles, diced
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In medium pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add peppers, onion and garlic and sauté for about 4 minutes.

Stir in broth, rice, cumin and turmeric. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45-50 minute or until rice is tender (do not stir during this time). Then gently stir in beans, corn, chiles and tomatoes. Heat through and let stand 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 220 calories, 3 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 42 g carbohydrate,
7 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 70 mg sodium.


The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $96 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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