Hearty Healthy Rice and Beans

By Ingrid A. and Eileen S. from Germantown Elementary School- Premier School, Annapolis, Maryland.


This recipe can be either under Grains or Legumes category.

Heart Healthy Beans and Rice - It is beans and rice perfection with taste of smoked ham. This wonderful warm meal as a main dish or side dish is not just hearty and healthy, it is also very tasty and filling. 

This meal will especially warm hearts of our hispanic population, which in our school is more than 40% of students.

We served over 50 students and during our tasting event several students asked for seconds even thirds and many explained that this is exactly the taste they have been missing- taste  similar to what their grandmothers used to cook in El Salvador, or Mexico.

During our tasting event some school staff came looking for the source of home cooked meal smell. They were happy to taste and most liked our recipe very much.

This colorful meal should be part of school menu.  Our very helpful school cafeteria staff explained that this meal is tasty and simple to make, they would gladly serve it once recipe gets approved. 

Before you serve this meal the first time make sure students know that this is made of beans, rice and tasty ham - this is Hearty Healthy Rice and Beans meal! With just a little excitement and explanation students a more prone to try new things.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cup

From Fat10.36%
From Saturated Fat1.06%
From Sugar6.33%


Ingredient 6 servings 50 servings
Brown Rice1/2 lb3 1/2
Black Beans (canned (GOYA or dry soaked overnight)3 cups24 1/2 cups
Peppers (red, green, yellow)1 1/4 each10 1/2 each
Onions1 each7 each
Pork Ham Hock or Turkey Ham1/2 lb3 1/2 lb
Brown Sugar1 1/4 tbsp10 1/2 tbsp
Cumin1/2 tbsp3 tbsp
Salt1/3 tbsp2 1/2 tbsp
water1-2 cup4-6 cups


Recipe was put together by chef, parent volunteers, school nutrition specialist and three students. Food was cooked in Germantown Elementary kitchen.

Soak Black Beans overnight or use canned beans (Goya).

Cut peppers and onions into small pieces or use frozen already cut up peppers and onions.

Add all produce, spices and water together, mix well.

Pour into pan and place in oven or steamer.

Cook on med. high for about 4 -5 hours, mix several times and add water if needed for moisture.

When using Ham Hock pick out all pieces before serving students. When using turkey ham, cut into smaller bite size pieces.

Serve with a smile!