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Tex-Mex Pilaf

Chop up more veggies than you need for this recipe.  While your dinner is cooking, mix the extra veggies and leftover beans with some fresh salad greens for your lunch tomorrow.  In the morning, add your favorite salad dressing, grab a piece of fruit, and a whole grain roll – packing a lunch couldn’t be easier!

Serves: 1.5 cups


1 cup uncooked instant brown rice

1 tsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

6 ounces whole fresh button mushrooms, quartered

1 medium carrot, cut into matchstick-size pieces (about ¾ cup)

½ tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup snipped fresh cilantro

4 ounces reduced fat Colby and Monterey Jack cheese crumbles, or 2 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella and 2 ounces shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese


  1. Prepare the rice using the package directions, omitting the salt and margarine.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom.  Cook the onion, mushrooms, carrots, cumin, and red pepper flakes for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to lightly brown, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in the beans, chiles, cilantro, and salt.  Cook for 1 minute, or until the beans are heated through, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the rice and cheese crumbles.