Rice is always a good, low-price item to keep on hand in your kitchen. It is a great base for many meals and a simple side dish. Really, you can make anything with rice, it has a very neutral flavor that you can transform into anything. It is best to use a small amount of something with a strong flavor, or the rice can turn out plain. In this case, I used lemon and chicken flavoring, which is always a good combination. Brown rice is an excellent source of natural fiber, and is also good for people who suffer from diabetes. I made it last night as a side dish to go with El Gastronomo’s smoked salmon burgers, which were delicious.

The Ingredients: 2 cups brown rice, 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup vegetable broth, 2 bell peppers, 3 carrots, 1 cup canned red beans, 1/4 cup diced yellow onion, 1 leek, 1/2 cup lemon juice (1 1/2 lemons), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Dice the bell peppers, carrots, and the leek. Saute the carrots, onion(s) and peppers in a medium skillet for fifteen minutes over medium high heat. Set aside. Add chicken broth and vegetable broth to a large pot. If you do not have chicken broth, make instant broth from a ratio of one chicken bouillon to one cup of boiling water. If you do not have vegetable broth, use vegetable bouillon and the same ratio. When the broth(s) comes to a boil, add the salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and rice. Reduce to medium heat, and put the lid partway on the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes or until all but a little bit of the liquid is absorbed. Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and add the red beans and sauteed vegetables, stir to combine.

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