a balanced plate with room for dessert

California Rice and Beans

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My favorite part of traveling for work is getting to eat at different restaurants. My first business trip meal was at Mona Lisa’s in Eau Claire. I had their gnocchi with sausage and peppers, and it was phenomenal. The downside to all this eating out is… well, it’s a lot of eating out. I got home and just needed an easy, home cooked meal. I saw this recipe in the most recent issue of Food Network Magazine and knew it would be perfect after being on the road.

I’m still trying to find a balance between my new work life, working out, and cooking. Before, I was able to run before work. I opted to work 7 – 3:30 at this new job, so running before work just isn’t going to happen! I’m a morning person, but waking up at 5:15 is as early as I can manage. Running before work would mean getting up an hour or more earlier than 5:15, depending on my distance. Nope, no thanks!  So, now I’m running after work and racing the clock to get dinner on the table at a decent time. Simple dishes are good right now since I don’t have a fully stocked pantry like I’m used to and I’m limited with my cooking tools as well.

California Rice & Beans |

California Rice and Beans
adapted from Food Network Magazine, September 2013

1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 – 15 ounce can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
5 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3 green onions, sliced

  1. In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, bell peppers, squash, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Place vegetables into pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place beans in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir in lemon juice and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place hot rice on 4 plates and top with vegetables and mashed beans. Top beans with sliced almonds and green onions. Serve immediately.

Author: Jenni

Dietitian by day and Midwest food blogger by night. Lover of whiskey, running, and all things food.

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