Ham n Rice Dinner

1 cup uncooked brown rice*
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) Cajun style stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion
3/4 cup sweet bell pepper, red or green
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked ham
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans
1/2 cup black olives, halved
1/2-1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 pound large raw shrimp (51-60 per pound)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine rice, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, and undrained stewed tomatoes; bring to a boil, stir rice once, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 50 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand 10 minutes.

While rice is cooking, peel and chop onion, seed and chop bell pepper, cube ham, drain kidney beans, slice olives in half, and peel shrimp.

Melt butter in heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add chopped onion, garlic, and green pepper. Sauté over medium heat until onions are tender. If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons chicken broth to keep from burning. Add ham, reduce heat to low, cook 5 minutes; add 2-3 tablespoons chicken broth, as needed for moisture. Add drained kidney beans and cooked rice. Stir in Cajun seasoning and olives. Place peeled shrimp on top, cover and continue to cook on simmer 5 minutes or until shrimp are completely cooked (all pink). Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese. Serves 6

*NOTES: I prefer the short grain brown rice, but over varieties may be substituted. Nutrition analysis is for short grain brown rice. Use a reduced sodium chicken broth and/or ham to lower sodium content of recipe.

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