Note: This tasty recipe was contributed by eZine reader Cheryl Lee.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
4 cups bouillon, or water + 1 teaspoon salt
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the garlic and the chopped onions, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix in the bell pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, and cinnamon and cook for a few minutes more. Add the brown rice and bouillon (or water + salt). Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Stir in the tomatoes, corn, black beans, and pine nuts, black pepper and lime juice. When the mixture is heated through, spoon onto plates and top with the sliced red onion and cilantro, and garnish with lime wedges.

6-8 servings

Variations: Try other whole grains such as barley, wild rice or quinoa in place of the brown rice.
Cheryl used 2 teaspoons annatto or achiote powder in her recipe, but I left it out since I didn’t have any on hand for my test. Include it when you add the other spices if you wish; it gives a lovely golden color to the grains.