There are boat loads of rice & bean salad recipes out there. Here is one I enjoy (love the toasted almonds and cilantro). It can be served when the rice is still warm, or at room temperature, or chilled – all very good.
RICE & BEAN SALAD
1/2 cup to 1 cup slivered almonds
2 TBS olive, canola, or vegetable oil – divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup rice
1 can cranberry or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tomato, chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup pimento stuffed olives, sliced
2 TBS red wine vinegar
2 TBS (or more) cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place almonds on cookie sheet. Bake about ten minutes or until lightly toasted. In sauce pan, saute chopped onion in one TBS oil until softened. Add rice and water, bring to boil and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Add all ingredients together in a bowl, including second TBS of oil. Toss to combine and enjoy.
The recipe for the chicken can be found here: balsamic chicken breasts.