‘Bean’ looking for a good meatless recipe?

Before our next paper hits the stands, many of you will be starting your observance of Lent.

I grew up in a Protestant tradition that didn’t observe Lent, but later on, when I went to Bethel College, I had several classmates who practiced it and encouraged me to do it with them.

I decided to abstain from sweets for the duration, which was not an easy task for me, as you can imagine if you read this column on a regular basis. I really appreciated the focus on self-reflection; it was a good experience.

After marrying into a Catholic family, I noticed that observing meatless Fridays can sometimes mean needing to get a little creative with meals, especially if you’re not a big fan of fish.

But whether you’re observing Lent, a practicing vegetarian or just want to try a yummy recipe that happens to be meatless, I have a great, easy recipe for you to try. (It should also be incredibly easy to keep gluten free as well.)

This comes from the blog “Veganosity,” by Linda Meyer. You can find the original at https://www.veganosity.com/veggie-loaded-black-beans-and-rice/. I changed a few items but kept the main idea pretty much the same.

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Veggie Loaded

Black Beans and Rice

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)

1 diced pepper (any color)

15 ounces black beans

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

2 cups water

1 cup dry rice

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups fresh spinach

Directions

Heat the oil in a pan with a lid over medium heat. Saute the peppers until they’re soft.

While the peppers are cooking, drain and rinse the black beans. Place them in a pot and cover them with water. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and let the beans cook for about 20 minutes (Keep an eye on them in case they run out of water. You don’t want them to burn.).

When the peppers are done, dump in the 2 cups of water and dry rice. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low and put the lid on the pan. Let the rice cook, undisturbed, for about 20 minutes.

Once the rice is cooked to your liking, add the black beans with a slotted spoon to avoid adding a bunch of liquid, add salt and pepper to taste and stir. Add in the spinach and put the lid back on the pan for about five minutes to wilt it slightly.

Stir and serve by itself, with tortillas or with tortilla chips.

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We also added sliced avocado to this when we ate it, and it was a really nice addition. And, if you’re not interested in skipping meat for a meal, it would go really well as a side or topping for a Mexican dish like tacos.

This is a good recipe to have around for any time you need a quick meal, Lent or not, but it’s also a nice change of pace if you’re feeling like you’re getting in a Friday rut.

Have a blessed Lenten season.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.