Nope, we didn’t fall into the ocean ya’ll or run away to a deserted island with perfect swell. Nor did we grow gills and swim off. The crazy surf family is still here on the south-east coast but we are definitely into what I call, ” Full on busy mode”, with school for both monkeys now back in session . Which makes me glad that we have decided to scale back on some of our extracurricular activities this fall. As it is we will have plenty to keep us busy with homework, piano, surfing & who knows what else. There is always something fun and interesting presenting itself for us to try.

I realize that our family is not the only one adapting to back to school schedules so I thought that I would share with you all an easy, quick & healthy meal that I came up with on the fly tonight. Trust me this one isn’t rocket science at all. My family looooves beans and rice. Let me stress that again, they are totally hooked on beans and rice, to the point that we eat them two or three times a week. As we were running late this evening I was thinking to my self, how can I make our favorite dish quicker than usual. As luck would have it I had recently purchased some new rice pouches that were of course on sale. You know how it works, you don’t usually try a new product unless it’s on sale.

Do ya’ll remember those taco pouches made with Frito snack bags? Where you would add the taco mix right into the bag and how much fun your kids enjoyed eating straight from the bag? These Uncle Ben’s rice pouches had me thinking along those lines, but healthier. There are so many flavor choices that we each could have our own individual meal.

How many times have you heard around the table…”But I wanted Italian, no I wanted hamburgers, why can’t we have chicken tonight?”Β  Those are the nights that your mother’s voice seems to crawl out of your throat with “This is not a restaurant and you will eat what is set in front of you.” I know that ya’ll remember those days. These little pouches solve that problem as well as being nifty when you are in a time crunch. Not to mention they work well for a picky monkey or two. So here is what we did tonight.

Bean & Rice Pouches- 4 servings (15-20 min)

2 cans of beans-your choice

4 pouches of Ready Rice-your choice

1 bell pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

2-3 okra, sliced

1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms.

2 tablespoons olive oil

3-6 tablespoons soy sauce (depending on your personal taste)

salt and pepper to taste

All you have to do is squish the pouch a bit in order to loosen the rice. As you can see it’s even easy enough for M2, who likes to help me out in the kitchen.

Tear the pouch open across the top, partially. Tip: make sure that you have the rice below the tear line or it will spill out… as my darlin’ surfer discovered. The monkeys and I cracked up over that one this evening πŸ™‚

Then just pop it into the microwave for 90 seconds. Easy peasy!Β  Repeat the process with each of your family members individual flavor choices.

While the rice pouches are cooling chop the vegetables.

And saute the vegetables in 1 tablespoon of olive oil & 3-6 tablespoons of soy sauce. If need be, add 1 teaspoon of water to keep them moist. I have separate sauce pans for our veggies since my surfer is not a fan of either mushrooms or okra.

Warm your beans in a sauce pan over medium heat while you saute the vegetables. When the beans are done, rinse them with warm water. Set up a serving station for your family with the vegetables and beans in separate bowls.

MmmMmm…beans baby,beans!

Monkey Two decidedΒ  he would demonstrate the process for you all. He chose original flavored rice…

He added the pinto-northern bean mix to his rice.

And stirred. All done πŸ™‚

Sometimes he will add soy sauce. That would be his all time favorite dish to eat on the planet but my monkeys will not mix veggies into their food but that’s okay, they enjoyed munching on some raw.

You’ve gotta love easy, quick, healthy as well as a breeze to clean up. Rinse and recycle, supper along with clean up is done in a snap.

Now if you don’t feel like eating out of a pouch don’t, I didn’t. I had pinto-northern beans with mushrooms and okra, layered over a mix of original rice and brown rice in a lovely bowl with a glass of white wine.

Talk about TICKLED, everyone was happy in my house this evening with their own individual “custom” meal.

Have fun playing in the kitchen with this one. It is definitely an idea that you can play around with and make into your own.

I’m off to look at some of our summer photos. Maybe I’ll do a summer re-cap for ya’ll. Have a great evening.

Xoxo,

Tickled Red

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