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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.


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

Reader Comments (6)

What a lovely meal Elaine. I'm intrigued by the frozen pepper mix. Over here some of the frozen vegetable mixes include strips of pepper, but you can't get a dedicated pepper blend. How lovely and useful, with the red and yellow ones mixed in.

Thank you for taking part in the Pantry Challenge. I've had a handful of dishes this time, which are all very different from each other. And it's lovely to see what everyone has come up with. I'll be posting the round-up tomorrow.

November 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkathryn

Yes, I really like this frozen vegetable mixture. For my fellow Canadian readers, the Fajita Mix is Western Family brand.

December 1, 2008 | Registered CommenterElaine

Hi Elaine, many apologies for the long time, no visit. How fantastic to see a recipe from you and such a useful one too (love Kathryn's pantry challenge idea!).

We can get sliced peppers in the freezer section in the UK but somehow I have always overlooked them before. You've inspired me to check them out :-)

December 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersophie

Hi Sophie, lovely to hear from. Yes, I really enjoyed Kathryn's pantry challenge -- this is my first but certainly not my last time joining in. It's like going to a cookie exchange where you come home with interesting varieties you've never tried before.

I hope you share your breakfast-on-a-train recipe on your blog. It sounds so delicious.

December 2, 2008 | Registered CommenterElaine

Great colours and flavours. The limitations of the Challenge List at first seem really constrictive, but I've loved seeing what others have come up with.

Might just try freezing som peppers myself this summer.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

Thank you, Lucy. I was really impressed with your creative Pantry Challenge contribution. It's a pasta topper I'm going to make.

December 3, 2008 | Registered CommenterElaine

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