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Black Beans and Brown Rice with a Mild Salsa
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Makes 2 lunch-sized servings, approx 400-450 calories each. Cook rice as directed on package. If no directions, rinse rice thoroughly, place in small pan with water and salt (optional). Heat on high until boiling, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 40 minutes. Turn heat off, let rice sit for 5 minutes, remove cover and fluff with a fork. Empty black beans into microwaveable bowl. Stir in spices (start with the smaller amounts, then increase to taste). Bring beans to simmer in microwave. While rice cooks, let sit to blend flavors. Wash and chop tomatoes, mince onion. Wash cilantro, strip leaves off, tear/crush the leaves and add them to the tomato and onion. Mix. While rice cooks, let sit to blend flavors. Grate cheese. (At this point, everything may be placed in the refrigerator for later reheating, if desired.) Divide rice in half, and spread each half onto a medium-sized plate. Divide beans in half, and spread each half over the rice. If rice and beans are cold (e.g., were in the 'fridge), heat in microwave before adding cheese. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over each plate, return plate to microwave briefly (15-20 seconds) to melt the cheese. Top with salsa immediately before eating.
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