Tomato, Bean & Cheese Dinner

ENatker_Tomato-Bean-Cheese Dinner_Complete

by Elena Natker RD

I’m a dietitian. I love to cook, I love to eat…but let’s be honest – I’m not super creative in the kitchen. I have swaths of tried and true recipes, but for this Tomato Madness contest, I wanted to share with you one of the few dinnertime concoctions I made up on my own. This super-easy and healthy dish got me through college, the post-college living-on-my-own years…and even though I’m a married mom of two young children, I still make this for myself for lunch or on nights when the hubby is traveling and the kids want mac & cheese.

What I love about this dish is that it incorporates nearly all of the MyPlate food groups (minus the fruit), uses items you likely already have in your pantry, and takes less than 10 minutes. It’s also terrific when I have leftover rice from a previous meal or take-out (day-old rice is better than fresh for this recipe. Or, you can omit the rice altogether!)
You start with this:
 Leftover brown rice
 Can of black beans
 Can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
 Shredded Mexican cheese
 Can strainer

Drain and rinse a heaping strainer-full of black beans;
Drain and rinse nearly all the tomatoes
Put rice, beans and tomatoes in a microwave-safe bowl.
Cover with a paper towel
Heat on high for 2-3 minutes.
Stir, then add Mexican cheese.
Heat on high for another 1-2 minutes.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Dinner is served!

ElanaNatkerElana is a nationally recognized food and nutrition communications expert and spokesperson with nearly two decades of experience working in communications. Her first job was as an on-camera spokesperson, which then led to a rewarding career in public relations, working for major agencies in Chicago, Denver
and Washington, D.C. Along the way Elana earned her master’s degree and became a registered dietitian, which allowed Elana to specialize in nutrition communications. Elana is an expert in communications strategy, writing, relationship-building, and contract negotiation, specializing in the areas of food, nutrition, health and wellness.
Among her accomplishments is being named one of six “Local Nutrition Bloggers to Follow” by Washingtonian magazine within six months of launching her blog. She has also been quoted in the Washington Post, Washingtonian Mom, WebMD and other major media outlets.