Steps to a Delicious Meal With Simple Ingredients

Good Morning!

While we’re on the topic of how I prep for the week, today Ali is stepping in to share an easy recipe for busy weeks. I love how it can be modified to fit your needs. Take it away, Ali!

Hi everyone! Katie is sweet enough to let me share my favorite easy recipe with you. My name’s Ali and I blog over at Homey Improvements with my husband about our DIY projects, home advice and we are just now starting a recipe section! Hope you enjoy my recipe and connect with me on Google+ or Twitter!

spoonful of goodness

Steps to a Delicious Meal With Simple Ingredients
It’s amazing how some of the simplest ingredients can create the most delicious meals. Too often in life, we think we need to be constantly busy impressing others with the best of the best. I have learned that the “good stuff” is usually found in the simplest of things—like this recipe. It was one of those weeks that I was too busy to go grocery shopping, but instead of eating out, I decided to just mix what I had in the house—black beans, avocado and salsa. These simple ingredients turned out to be the best meal I’ve had in a while! Try it yourself:

3 cups Brown Rice
2 Minced Garlic Cloves
Chopped Half Onion
1 can Black Beans, rinsed
Half-cup Salsa
Half-cup Frozen Corn
2 tsp Mexican Seasoning
1 Ripe Avocado


beans and seasoning
The first step is to get the brown rice started in a pot: bring the water to a boil and then simmer until rice is tender. In a different sauté pan, lightly brown 2 minced garlic cloves and the chopped half onion—wait until the onions are semi-translucent. Next, add the one can of black beans (be sure to thoroughly rinse the black beans first so that they stop bubbling in the water). Your next step is to add in the half-cup of salsa. Feel free to use any variation of salsa that you prefer. My personal preference is Spikes Medium chunky salsa, found at Weis. Next, add in the half-cup of frozen corn, any brand or variation that you prefer.

salsa and ripe avocado

With all of these ingredients added, mix them together and heat on medium. As you stir, you can add in any spices that you desire. I have found that 2 tsp of Mexican seasoning recipe is the perfect amount to add a little kick! I also usually add a little dash of cayenne to my husband’s plate as he likes a lot of spice.

While that heats and the rice finishes cooking, grab your avocado. For this recipe, it is best to choose a ripe avocado for the most flavor and freshness. In general, look for the skin to be very dark green to black with a bumpy feel, showing no signs of soft or flat areas. As a secret tip, you can discreetly remove the stem of the fruit; if you see brown then the avocado is not ripe. Yellow-green is the color to look for!

Once you have your perfectly ripe avocado, it is time to slice. The easiest way to slice an avocado is to hold it tightly with one hand and slice slowly down the center lengthwise around the center seed (starting at the narrow end). Then place the avocado in one palm and gently twist and rotate the two halves apart. Remove the seed with a spoon, slice into halves and gently peel the skin off.

finished meal

With all of your ingredients prepared, simply spread the cooked rice on a plate and pour the bean mixture overtop; garnish with the avocado slices. Your meal is ready!

Modifications and Remakes
One of the greatest parts to this recipe is its versatility. You can use it as a main dish or side dish and you can add slight modifications to make it different so you don’t get tired of the same thing. And did I mention it’s healthy! :)

As a modification of this delicious recipe, I sometimes whip out my ceramic casserole dish and create a piping hot and tasty casserole recipe. Simply place the rice in the casserole pan, top with the bean mixture and sprinkle cheese on top. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees and come away with another simple and delicious meal in a few steps!

chicken with seasoning

Do you want more protein? As your making the beans and rice, add a pound of ground chicken to another pan and brown. Instead of putting the taco seasoning in the beans I usually just add it to the chicken instead. Then you can eat it all mixed up or layer the beans, rice, chicken, cheese and avocado in a burrito. Viola!

10 Easy Things To Do On Sunday That Will Make Your Work Week Easier

Good Morning!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret- I am really neurotic. In case you haven’t noticed from my dozens of meal plan posts, constant goal setting and my love of list posts, but I am. Blame in on being raised by two type A parents, my strict skating schedule for most of my life or whatever else, but there’s no use in skirting around it. I am who I am and I’m totally cool with that.

Yesterday after posting my new Weekly Refresh post I got to thinking about all the little things I do on Sunday that make my work week much easier. These habits all started when I was commuting, but since I’ve gone back to work I’ve reverted to my old ways. Regardless of how time crunched your week may be, I hope these tips help make your life easier like they do for me!

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Welcome to my first Weekly Refresh! I’m starting this new series as a way for me to hold myself accountable to my goals, stay focused and get organized for the upcoming week. So here we go…

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Not being at work will give you time to relax-so enjoy it! As a graduate of the class of Hard Financial Times, I’ve experienced being laid off three times in the six years since graduation. I’m currently coming out of my third lay off and this time around I was able to take a more […]

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