My favorite food staple: Beans & Rice!Health Benefits:
This combo makes a good vegetarian protein source because beans, when combined with rice, makes complete protein meal. A complete protein meal means that it contains all of the nine essential amino acids (i.e. the building blocks of protein). The problem with most vegetarian protein sources is that they are incomplete (meaning they lack some amino acids), and one amino acid is missing, the body can't synthesize full protein chains. Naturally complete sources of protein include animal products (meat, dairy, fish, eggs) and soy. Incomplete proteins (which are prominent in a vegetarian/vegan diet) include all grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Nevertheless, when two incomplete protein sources are combined, such as beans and rice, a complete protein meal is formed!
Other Practical Benefits:
Super cheap. Easy to make. Non-perishable. Flexible. Plain so it can be seasoned any way you like it. Can make a big batch on the weekend and have on hand for a week's worth of dinners. Can make a big batch and freeze too. A great staple to have on hand!
Cook up some rice. Cook up some beans (alternatively, drain and rise a BPA-free can of beans). Combine said rice and beans. Serve with a mountain of veggies and a sauce/seasoning/spice of choice (see below for some ideas). Voila: dinner is done!
Some ways to dress-up your beans and rice include smoothering in curry sauce; using as a base for a bunch of stir-fried veggies; adding soy sauce/tamari/miso, sesame oil, and some greens for a macrobiotic-friendly meal; or top with salsa, chili powder, and guacamole to add some Mexican-flare (pictured below!).
|Beans & Rice, topped with salsa, guac, cumin/chili powder, and some greens.|