Fiesta Brown Rice Salad

20 Aug

Top o’ the morning to ya! It’s Monday again. Doesn’t Monday always seem to come so quickly? I think so. The start of a new week means thinking about prepping meals for the hubs and me to take on the go to and from work. Breakfast and dinner always run smoothly in our house (hooray!), but lunch is always a big ol’ pain in the butt! In the morning, I’m good with a quick smoothie, some oatmeal, or a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana. And, dinner is always some combination of veggies from our fridge with whatever sounds good. But, lunch, oh lunch. What to eat? I don’t like to eat anything too warm, heavy, and comforting because I just want to sleep. But, I do need something substantial enough to carry me through to dinner without constantly snacking to satisfy my hunger. If you’re like Mr. Military Man, you’re thinking, “Why doesn’t this girl just eat a sandwich for lunch?!”. Well, folks, I am not a sandwich girl. Never have been really. I’m not sure why. I don’t really remember eating a lot of them growing up, so perhaps that’s part of it. Secondly, I don’t eat meat on the regular which eliminates the go-to sandwich fillings. And, constantly keeping an array of fresh veggies and spreads on hand to make a filling veggie sandwich isn’t always realistic given time and budget restraints. All of that said, lunch is just a weird middle ground of eating. But, luckily, with make ahead “salad” type dishes, I’ve sort of solved my “what the heck to have for lunch” dilemma. Here’s one of my current favs. I’m a sucker for Mexican seasonings (LOVE ME SOME CUMIN!) and black beans, so the base is just perfect. I hope you try this and enjoy some for lunch too! Plus, unless I’m overlooking something, this dish is totally Vegan too. Woot!!!

Fiesta Brown Rice Salad

2 cups cooked brown rice (okay if you have it in your fridge from a couple of days ago when you cooked it…)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 cup frozen corn (Canned corn will also work – just be sure to drain and rinse. And, buy ORGANIC corn. If you aren’t sure why, look up genetically modified corn and spend your afternoon reading. I trust you will then understand.)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp taco seasoning (buy the stuff withOUT MSG!)

1 lime

Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add diced onions. Stir onions occasionally until soft and transparent. Add red pepper, corn, and black beans. Stir occasionally until red pepper and corn are cooked (soft, perhaps slightly browned) and all is combined (about 5-10 minutes). Lastly, add taco seasoning and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, combine rice (cold or room temp is fine here) with onion, red pepper, corn, black bean, tomato mixture. Stir to combine. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and stir again. Note: If you prefer things a bit heavier on the seasoning, go ahead and add another Tbsp of taco seasoning at this point so that the rice is more heavily coated. šŸ™‚

Place in refrigerator and scoop out to enjoy for lunch throughout the week.

Because I am not always good at slowing down completely at lunch time, I typically eat this on its own, straight out of the fridge (cold). But, you could most definitely throw this on top of a bed of Ā lettuce and drizzle with a limeĀ vinaigretteĀ for a festive green salad, or heat it up for a more comforting meal feel. Oh! And, to make this more kid friendly, you could stir in some chunked or shredded cheddar cheese – about 1 cup. Cheese is always a winner with the younger crowd!

In other news, Mr. Military Man and I decided we should work on a puzzle yesterday. Like a 1,000 piece, Thomas Kinkade, puzzle. Doh! 1,000 pieces is a lot, and my attention span is short. It’s currently taking up my entire dining room table (which double as my office currently), and probably will be until we move. I really suck at puzzles. I’ve been blaming poor lighting for my lack of puzzle skill. So far, the Mr is buying it! šŸ˜‰

Have a magnificent Monday. It’s the start of a BRAND. NEW. WEEK! What possibility!!!

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