Brown Rice and Black Beans


At a friend’s house this past weekend I noticed a magnesium powder with the word “calm” in the title. I thought, “Yeah, I can always use a little calm.” So when I went home, I read up on the mineral to see how I could get more of it into my diet.

First of all, it’s easy to have a magnesium deficiency. Women over 40 in particular are urged to take calcium supplements, but a too-high dosage without the balance of magnesium can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, causing a variety of problems from twitching to trouble sleeping. Magnesium serves many important functions, including regulating the body’s temperature, keeping up energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Serotonin, which regulates the body’s nervous system, is dependent on the body’s getting a proper amount of magnesium, and a lack of it can lead to any number of problems.

Good sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts (especially almonds), beans, leafy greens, and fish. Here’s an easy and delicious way get more magnesium into your life. One serving provides 92.60 milligrams of magnesium, which is approximately 25% of the recommended daily allowance for men and 33% RDA for women.

Brown Rice and Black Beans
Serves 4

1 ½  cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chopped tomatoes
½  teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
ground black pepper

In a 10" no-stick skillet over medium-high heat, combine the beans, rice, tomatoes, cumin and garlic. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the beans are hot. Add the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.


About Lisa Ferber

Prolific multidisciplinary satirist, blogger and journalist, Lisa’s nonfiction has appeared in Crain's New York Business, Hypervocal and The New Inquiry. She wrote and stars in the feature film The Sisters Plotz (coming 2014 and based on her hit web series), and her artwork has shown at National Arts Club, Mayson Gallery and Governors Island Art Fair. Find out more about her at