Fast Dinner: Beans & Rice

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December 8, 2014 by multiracialsky


I am all about real food. But I also have to just get my family fed what feels like about a thousand times every week. I have gotten better about giving myself a break about making a fully homemade dinner every night. Being a foster family has required a lot from all of us (and hockey season doesn’t help!), and some nights dinner needs to be fast, still healthy, not crazy expensive, and something my kids will all eat.

I’m sure I’m not alone in the end of the day rush, with my partner walking in the door, foster kids arriving home from visits, chamber orchestra and hockey practices, playdates, homework, and chores. I have a handful of non-homemade stand-by dinner menus. They are all ready to serve in less than 30 minutes. I utilize frozen, canned, and boxed foods that are still as basic as possible (no added salt or sugar, no added ‘flavors’ or preservatives). In this recipe: peppers and onions that are already chopped up, fast rice (instead of 45 minutes rice), plain canned beans, spices in a packet.

I have been feeding 5-7 children (plus 2 adults) for dinner every night for the past 10 months. That count includes 3 tweens, who seem to have bottomless stomachs some nights: 3 servings of dinner, a bowl of granola with soy milk, then a banana. Beans and Rice is a current go-to favorite at our house; everyone likes it. It’s easy to tweak according to what you have in the way back of your pantry or freezer. Sometimes I serve it with tortillas or salad. Sometimes it’s just a one-dish dinner. The way I made it this weekend, the cost was $7.00 TOTAL. This fed 7 people (with two servings of leftovers that disappeared before the weekend was over).


Beans & Rice Dinner Recipe


2 16 oz. cans of Black Beans, no salt added ($1-$2/each)

1 bag of frozen Peppers and Onions ($1.50-$2)

1 packet ‘Taco’ spices ($1-$1.50)

4-6 cups rice, prepared (I used instant brown rice this time, about $2)



1. Start cooking rice according to package directions.

2. Sauté peppers and onions until defrosted.

3. Add Beans (with liquid) and Spice pack. Continue sautéing for 5-10 minutes.

4. Mix Rice with finished beans in large bowl.

5. Serve and enjoy.


TIME: Less than 20 minutes start to finish.

COST: About $1/person for dinner.



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