Zucchini Black Bean Skillet

There are so many great things about this dish, not the least of which is the fact that you can have it on the table in like 20 minutes (even faster if you already have your rice cooked). And yet a word of warning... do not leave out any ingredients. You might think that you don't like green pepper, but you MUST have the green pepper. There is an alchemy that is created here between these ingredients that is truly more than the sum of its parts. Oh, and if your diced tomatoes don't seem to have much juice, you can add a little chicken broth to the mix if you like.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I use brown jasmine rice)

1-1/2 cups quartered lengthwise, sliced zucchini (baby zucchini are wonderful here)

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (I add a little more)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I add a little more)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/3 cup chicken stock (optional)

1 can black beans, drained, rinsed

1 can (14.5 oz each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup grated Cheddar, and/or jack or any good melting cheese(I add a little more)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, garlic, crushed red pepper and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans and undrained tomatoes. (adding a little chicken broth here is optional -see headnote)

Increase the heat to medium high and add the cooked rice. Stir well. Cover; remove from heat and let stand 7 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with cheese, replace the lid until the cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy.