Are you in a hurry but still want good nutrition? Here is a fast, easy, one-dish meal that packs a lot of protein power. You can prepare bake cubed squash or beets ahead of time and freeze in small bags or bowls so it is quickly available. The beans and rice make a perfect protein while the squash/beets, avocado, and salsa add additional nutrients and healthier fat.
- 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup of basmati brown rice
- 3 cups of water
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash, baked (or baked cubed beets)
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1-2 cups mild salsa
- ¼ tsp salt
Peel and seed squash, dice into half-inch cubes and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil. Spray squash lightly with olive oil. (You can also use 1 bag of seeded, peeled, and cubed squash, tossed lightly in olive oil and heated in the oven until hot, or use the microwave.
Bake squash in oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. (Note: If you want to bake beets, wash and wrap each in a square of foil that has been sprayed with olive oil. After baking, remove skin when cooled enough to handle and cube.)
Place 3 cups of water in a saucepan, add basmati brown rice and ¼ tsp salt. Bring to a boil, turn heat down, and let cook slowly until fluffy and soft. Stir periodically. If you’re in a big hurry, you can use 1 pouch of precooked brown rice (available at Trader Joe's).
Slice avocado and set aside.
Heat black beans in a saucepan with 2-3 Tbsp water.
Set out ramekins on the counter for 4-6 people.
Place ½ cup hot black beans at one end.
Place ½-¾ cup cooked rice in the middle.
Place ½ cup baked squash (or beets) at the other end.
Pour ¼ cup mild salsa across the three ingredients.
Place several slices of avocado on top.
Set a filled ramekin at each place.