Saute the Bell Pepper, Onion, and if desired some jalapenos in a large pot (6 qt). Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer until rice is done and the stew is warmed through.
This is a great stew to keep warm on the stove for those hectic evenings when the whole family is not around at the same time, just add more water as needed. Leftovers are as delicious as the original meal and the flavor is hearty and comforting. This is a definite repeat for our family.
I am sure you can use a slow cooker and dry beans, just add more water to compensate.
I will be re-making this meal with dry ingredients in the future and will post the amounts.