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Bean and Rice Botana







  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 small onions
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 4 ounces low-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 (15½-ounce) cans pinto beans
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced or crushed tomatoes, no salt added
  • Non-stick cooking spray
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2–3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 9-by-13-inch baking dish
  • Box grater
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium pot
  • Sharp knife
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook rice following package directions. Set aside. While rice cooks, prepare rest of dish.
  3. Peel, rinse, and dice onions. Rinse and dice bell pepper. Peel and finely chop garlic.
  4. If using avocado, peel it, remove pit, and slice. Rinse and chop fresh cilantro.
  5. Grate cheese.
  6. In a colander, rinse and drain canned beans.
  7. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until veggies are soft and just starting to brown.
  8. Add spices. Stir to toast, about 30 seconds.
  9. Add drained beans and canned tomatoes with their juices. Simmer mixture on low until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  10. Coat baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  11. Spread cooked rice on bottom of baking dish. Cover rice with bean mixture and sprinkle cheese on top.
  12. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and botana is heated through.
  13. If using, top with cilantro, avocado slices, and a dollop of yogurt.
Chef’s Notes
If using rice in more than one meal this week, cook a larger batch. Use leftovers in this recipe. Try using other toppings like lettuce, tomato, red onion, olives, jalapeño pepper, or salsa. Use black beans or other leftover beans in place of the pinto beans, if desired. Use a cheese you have on hand, like low-fat cheddar, pepper jack, or colby cheese, instead of the Monterey Jack.

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