Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

I started the holiday season with the goal of still losing some weight during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. I didn’t want to give up all hope that I could lose weight over the 5-6 weeks, and I also recognize that I’m likelier to maintain my loss if I have the goal of losing as opposed to maintaining. I find it easier to overeat and make unwise choices with the latter goal. It’s a slippery slope.

If I was going to make this goal, I needed to keep up my exercise and to be extremely wise about what I made to eat on the days I had no holiday or other social activity planned. That meant, I needed to make more vegetarian, fish or turkey-based dishes. I’ve been expanding my collection of tasty options in those categories, and here is one of my favorites.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

½ cup uncooked white rice (I often use brown and up it to 1 cup uncooked.)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

5 plum tomatoes, diced, or 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (often use balsamic)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (often skip or use a few red pepper flakes)

2 15.5 ounce cans black beans

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


1. Cook the rice according to package directions.

2. Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onion, red and green bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, cumin, coriander, oregano, and pepper sauce; cook 2 minutes. Add the beans, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with the pepper and serve with the rice.

Makes 4 servings. 7 points each.

Per serving: 372 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 372 mg sod, 68 g carb, 4 g fib, 16 g prot, 141 mg calc

While this recipe can help you lose weight over the holidays, do make sure you take some time to enjoy the festivities. I’m really not going to beat myself up if I maintain or even gain some weight when I’m in Connecticut for Christmas. I doubt I’ll even count points. I’m going to enjoy spending time with my family during a festive time. I hope you do the same.

Happy Holidays!


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