Limes & Lycopene Pantry Challenge

Here's my contribution to Kathryn Elliot's Pantry Challenge Mark 2: a vegan rice-and-beans entree using a bare minimum of ingredients. Kathryn allowed a total of 15 ingredients but I decided I wanted to make mine suitable for various diet restrictions so that I could share it with patients/clients.

The basic ingredients:

The ingredients I selected from Kathryn's list of 15 allowed items: #1 Olive oil, #2 Tinned tomatoes, #3 Tinned legumes, #5 Frozen vegetables, #7 Rice, #13 Fresh onions (not shown in photo), #14 One dried herb mix (Italian blend -- basil, oregano, thyme).

Black Bean-Brown Rice-Sweet Pepper Skillet Dinner

A quick-to-make, simple, tasty vegan lunch or dinner.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil {or just enough to coat a non-stick pan}
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen sweet red, yellow, orange and green pepper slices {I used a mixture called "Fajita Blend"}
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil-oregano-thyme blend {I used Edible Gardens Tuscan Kitchen}
  • 1 (398 mL/14 fluid ounces) diced tomatoes, drained {I used a no added salt variety. The drained juice made a nice pre-dinner drink}
  • 1 (540 mL/19 fluid ounces) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  1. In a nonstick skillet coated with olive oil, sauté the onion, sweet peppers, and herb blend until vegetables are tender.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings. 
  4. Add beans and rice; heat through.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish; enjoy.

Suitable for the following diets: vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, egg-free. Nutritional analysis: to follow within the next 48 hrs. {See addendum, below.}

I confess I have made this recipe only once -- this evening, just in time for the November 30th Challenge deadline -- but I definitely will be making it again. I would like to fine-tune the seasonings and perhaps try a different Edible Garden spice blend (Spanish Paprika, Mexican Chili Powder,cumin, cayenne and peppers).  I think I would also add more pepper strips for colour as much as flavour and nutrition. 

My conclusion: A good foundation recipe upon which to build some variations depending on what else is in your pantry.

Thank you, Kathryn, for creating this challenge.

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Addendum (02 December):

Nutritional analysis --

  • Recipe yield: 6 servings. Serving size: about 1 cup (250 mL).
  • Per serving: 207 kcal, 8.3 grams protein (16% of calories), 3.5 grams fat (15% of calories), 37 grams CHO (69% of calories), 6.5 grams fibre, 31 g vitamin C, 106 grams folate, 2.6 grams iron, 140 mg (or less) sodium.
  • Nutrient data is from the 2005 Canada Nutrient File, Health Canada. Dietitians of Canada EATracker tool used to calculate values.

Canada's Food Guide comparison --

  • 1-1/4 servings of vegetables and fruits, 1 serving of grain products, 1 serving of meat alternatives