If you’re shy about cooking brown rice, it’s time to reconsider. This staple has a unique, hearty texture and deep, nutty flavor--a perfect complement to the beans and veggies in today's Caribbean Casserole.
Whole grains like brown rice are extremely beneficial, says the American Heart Association. They offer dietary fiber, which is important to an “overall healthy diet” that can help improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Brown rice is packed with B vitamins, which play a role in metabolism. Among them is folic acid, which helps the body in the formation of red blood cells. Deficiencies in folic acid and the B12 and B6 vitamins are especially common among adults, and low levels can negatively affect stress, memory and depression.
Because it’s fiber-rich, brown rice gives a feeling of fullness, which can assist weight control. Additionally, its high fiber content and potent antioxidants make it a staple in diets that can help prevent cancer.
Fortunately, there are many ways to incorporate brown rice and its many benefits into your diet. For example, today’s Caribbean Casserole is savory, satisfying and loaded with nutrients that can keep you satisfied for hours.
Calories: 185, Fat: 1g (Saturated Fat: 0g), Sodium: 297 mg
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ½ green bell pepper, rinsed and diced
- 1 Tbsp., canola oil
- 1 can, stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
- 1 can, low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed (15.5 oz,)
- 1 tsp., dried oregano
- ½ tsp., garlic powder
- 1.5 cups, instant brown rice, uncooked
- Saute onion and green pepper in canola oil, in a large pan, until tender. Do not brown.
- Add tomatoes and beans (including liquid from both), as well as oregano and garlic powder. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in rice and cover. Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe courtesy of the National Institutes of Health's Delicious Healthy Dinners.