Cooking extra of the basics, like rice and beans, can yield you super-quick delicious meals!

Of course, you could make this from scratch - using even an instant rice and canned beans ...

I’m not sure how to tell you how much I enjoy this dish.  I guess the main thing I can think of is that when I do indulge and go out for Mexican food - I never get the “rice” that they serve alongside most Mexican dishes.  I just don’t like it.  But then again, I’m not a big fan of garden variety red and green bell peppers, unless they are roasted.  This rice dish - I love and will eat it anytime of the day!

So ... here’s how I do this from my frozen leftovers:

I start by heating enough water just to cover the bottom of a saucepan.  Since I make this literally with frozen rice and beans - it needs a little moisture to get going. 

In the saucepan, I add about a teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder.  Use powdered tomato bouillon if you want  it to be vegetarian.

Then to the saucepan, I add my frozen beans.  How many you want to add is up to you!  You could use red kidney beans or pinto beans too.

And if you have frozen corn on hand - or leftover corn, that would be a nice addition as well.  I prefer just to top it with a little freeze-dried corn kernels for added crunch.

And if you want to make this a one-dish meal - add in cooked ground beef or cooked shredded chicken!

Each week I finely dice up onions and shallots to have on hand.  These happen to be shallots, but any onion of choice could work ...

And then I took some help from a store-bought jarred salsa.  You could also use a store-bought Sofrito.

And because I’m addicted to flavor, I add in some chili powder.  This time I happened to use a chili powder blend - so if you have some of those little packets of powdered Chili Starter, that would work too.  And if you don’t like spice - don’t add it ... that’s what cooking for yourself, family, friends, etc., is all about - you’re in control and you can make it your way -- make it so good that you’ll crave your own food!

Ok ... back on track here ... so to my saucepan - I add in the diced shallots - about a Tablespoon. 

Then I add in about 2 Tablespoons of the salsa.

Then I add in a few big pinches of chili powder.

And I bring it up to a boil and stir everything together.

Then just to make it a little extra creamy, I add just a splash of heavy cream.  You could use a splash of milk or half & half too.  Or you can skip it ... or ... add a little cheese or just some extra water, tomato juice or beer!

Simmer that a little bit to combine the flavors and get a nice creamy sauce.  Taste it to see if you need more “heat” and if by chance, you over-spiced it a little bit - the cream or milk will help to mellow everything out.

Then all you have to do is add your rice.

I just break off a couple hunks of frozen rice and add it to the saucepan.  Stir it all around to heat the rice through.

If it is too dry - add more water, chicken broth, milk, etc.  If it’s too moist (which it could be if you are using freshly made rice) - allow it to simmer on low for a few more minutes.  Just be sure to stir and watch it so the rice doesn’t burn to the bottom or overcook to mush.

Then plate it up and top with cheese, chives and freeze-dried crunchy corn kernels (if you have on hand)!