tex-mex beans and peas over rice

So, I'm in a produce-eating competition at work. The idea isn't necessarily to replace your meats and carbs with produce (although I'm finding that something has to give!), but rather to incorporate a variety of colorful, fresh foods into the diet. The competition runs for eight weeks, so don't be surprised if you see more veggie-, bean- and fruit-based dishes in the next month or two!

This also means that I'm upping the ante on my already robust fresh produce intake. I'm averaging 10-12 different kinds of produce each day, which has been surprisingly easy. It just means that I have to be diligent about snacking, really. Most of the time, I get distracted by things I need to do, and I forget to eat my afternoon apple or carrots. Now, I'm making myself get up to eat. I also have discovered a yummy spinach smoothie recipe that blends the greens with yogurt, honey, cinnamon or peanut butter, a little orange juice and ice cubes. Filling and super healthy for breakfast.

So, this is a recipe that I made for lunch one Sunday. It brought in tomatoes (red and yellow), black-eyed peas and black beans for a powerhouse meal. You could also add spinach if you have it, but I had used all of mine in my morning smoothie. :)
Tex-Mex Beans and Peas over Rice
  • 1 cup white or brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh salsa, plus more for topping
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce cans black-eyed peas (undrained)
  • 1 14-ounce black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
  • Sour cream, avocado, tomato wedges and lime, for serving (optional)
Cook the rice as the label directs. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the salsa and cumin and cook, stirring, until the salsa is soft, about five minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, plus the liquid from one of the cans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are creamy and tender, about 12 minutes. Add some black pepper to taste.

Fluff the rice with a fork and divide among bowls. Add the spinach and cilantro to the black-eyed pea mixture and stir until wilted, about one minute; spoon evenly over the rice. Top each serving with a few avocado slices, some cheese and more salsa. Serve with desired toppings.

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