Rice and Beans Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

I have vacillated for quite some time about sharing a rice and beans recipe with you guys, because, it seems like such a boring staple food.

But, it really doesn’t have to be, and what better day to share a super simple dinner that tastes like it’s much more complicated than April Fools’ Day? Hopefully you’ll make it through the day unscathed and un-fooled.

We eat some sort of rice and beans about once a week around these parts. It’s cheap, fast, and tastes good! And, when you don’t have a kitchen (no, we still don’t have a real one – as it turns out, it’ll be the last room done in the remodel), it’s easy because it just takes one pot if you pre-plan.

I usually just throw a bunch of things together when I make rice and beans – the possibilities are endless – but this particular combination is one of our favorites. It comes together very quickly, especially if you already have rice made. I like to make up a big batch of rice every couple of months and freeze it so we always have some on hand. When you want to use the frozen rice, just take it out of the freezer two days ahead of time to thaw. Easy-breezy. Photographer's Helper

You never really know what’s going on behind the scenes of a blogger’s photos, and, true to form, I had a little help with the photo shoot for this recipe. Someone in our house has discovered the tall cabinet in our family room…and how to get on top of it! This picture is a little deceiving, as she’s not a giant cat – about 12 pounds and very normal in height. I simply placed this portion on a small plate instead of a dinner plate for the pictures! An actual portion is about 3X this much, so, it’s a very filling dinner.

Jazzed Up Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans | Test Kitchen Tuesday

Print this recipe!

Makes: 2 very large portions or 3 more moderate portions


  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4-5 inch portion of a leek, diced
  • 1 can or 1.5 cups of pinto beans, with canning sauce
  • 1.5 cups cooked brown rice (or preferred rice)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced fresh, frozen, or canned pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic corn kernels (corn is a highly GMO crop – get organic if you can)
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • Salt to taste


  • Prepare rice in advance
  • In a medium saucepan, add oil, bell pepper, garlic, and leek, and saute until soft and fragrant
  • Add remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat until warm, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes

Nutritional Breakdown:

(Using canned beans with salt – sodium will be much lower if you use no salt added beans)

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