Black Beans and Rice

I made this healthy dish for my boyfriend lunches.  And he loves it.

Black Beans and Rice
From Taste of Home Guilt Free Cooking cookbook.

12 servings (One serving = 1 cup bean mixture with 1/2 cup rice)

  • 1 lb dried black beans, rinsed
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup fully cooked lean ham, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin (I used only 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I omitted it)
  • 1 bay leaf (I forgot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (I used it cause I like the taste it gives) (optional)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used reduced sodium and fat)
  • 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I omitted it)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (I omitted it)
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers, chopped
  1. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 to 4 hours or until softened (I waited 4 hours). Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
  2. Return beans 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 an drice to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Just before serving, discard bay leaf from bean mixture; add vinegar and oil (I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way, but I had a lot of liquid and didn’t see why I would add vinegar and oil.) Serve over rice. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 tablespoon red pepper and 1 teaspoon jalapenos.
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