Using Your Stash


Whether it’s using that rice that’s hiding in the back of the cupboard, the bag of garden-fresh tomatoes in the freezer or the carefully canned dilly green beans, now is the time to use the produce you put up for winter or bought extra at the beginning of quarantine.

I have a large bag of dried black beans on top of the fridge, and bags of summer corn cut off the cob and heirloom tomatoes in the freezer that I need to cook. My dinner plans usually stem from the game of “what can I make from what I have without going to a store?” Although what happens in my kitchen in no way resembles an episode of “Chopped,” I give myself bonus points if I can figure out how to prepare something and dirty the fewest dishes possible.

While this dish is great for Meatless Monday, it can include a pound of ground beef or seared chicken thighs, as well.

Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Pot


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed OR 1 cup of dried beans soaked overnight & cooked
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice OR 4 whole frozen tomatoes, thawed
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro


  • In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until veggies are tender and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, corn and black beans and cook until the corn and beans are heated through, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in 1 1/2 cups water, the diced tomatoes and their juice, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, rice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the cheese until melted. Taste for seasoning and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.



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