Featured Pasta and Rice Recipes — 21 February 2015

Soul Food That’s Good for Your Heart, Too!

 By: Jodie Shield, RDN

February is Black History Month. And to help everyone get in the mood, I wanted to share my favorite soul food recipe – Red Beans and Rice. While it may be considered soul food, in reality, it’s not always good for the heart. (February is American Heart Month, too.) So, I have discovered how to lighten it up by using a small amount of heart-healthy olive oil, instead of lard. I also love to use lots of fresh sweet onion, green bell pepper, and garlic. The brown rice and kidney beans boost the fiber. If you use canned kidney beans, make sure you thoroughly rinse them in cold water. This will reduce the sodium content by 40 percent. If you want more heat, splash on a generous amount of hot sauce. African American cooking has provided us with so many mouthwatering dishes: Fried chicken, black-eyed peas, greens, and corn bread to name a few. Check out my FREE app Healthy Homemade Meals (iTunes and Google Play) for lightened up versions of these traditional southern favorites.

Red Beans and Rice

4 servings

Prep time = 15 minutes

Cook time = 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup instant brown or white rice
  • 2 (15 ounce each) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • hot sauce (optional)


  1. Heat oil in large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add green pepper and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until everything is soft but not brown.
  2. Add garlic, cumin, and oregano to pan. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Slowly add broth and rice to the pan. Stir well, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Toss in beans and stir; cook for 5 minutes and serve. Add a dash of hot sauce for more heat.

Nutritional Information per Serving (1 cup): 150 calories, 7 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fat, 0 milligrams saturate fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 6.5 grams fiber, 500 milligrams sodium


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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

(3) Readers Comments

  1. Useful information. Lucky me I found your site accidentally, and I am shocked
    why this accident did not took place in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

    • Jodie

      Thanks! Let me know if you have any topics you would like covered. Always looking for ideas.

  2. Pingback: Eating Healthy Recipes Red Beans « Recipes for Health

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