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Black Beans 'n' Rice Recipe

"A co-worker who was born in Cuba helped me perfect the recipe for this hearty dish," reports Helen Simms of Lyons, Michigan. "Now it's one of our family's favorites. It's also a great way to use up leftover holiday ham."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + standing Cook: 1-1/2 hours YIELD:12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup diced fully cooked lean ham
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pepper
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers

Directions

  • 1. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
  • 2. Return to the pan. Add 7 cups water, ham, garlic, pepper, cumin, salt, bay leaf and liquid smoke if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
  • 3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring broth and rice to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • 4. Just before serving, discard bay leaf from bean mixture; add vinegar and oil. Serve over rice. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 tablespoon red pepper and 1 teaspoon jalapenos. Yield: 12 servings.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutritional Facts

One serving (1 cup bean mixture with 1/2 cup rice) equals 324 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 12 mg cholesterol, 843 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 17 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 meat, 1 vegetable.