Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Brown rice and black bean casserole - three stars!

Okay the thing is, I felt so healthy making and eating this. We loved it! I am posting the recipe as was found on allrecipes and I'll put my modifications at the bottom. Definitely worth making especially because if you chop the veggies fine enough your kids won't know they are eating mushrooms, zuccini and carrots, and neither will you!

  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 cooked skinless boneless chicken breast halves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt to taste
  • ground cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  1. Mix the rice and vegetable broth in a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion until tender. Mix in the zucchini, chicken, and mushrooms. Season with cumin, salt, and ground cayenne pepper. Cook and stir until zucchini is lightly browned and chicken is heated through.
  4. In large bowl, mix the cooked rice, onion, zucchini, chicken, mushrooms, beans, chiles, carrots, and 1/2 the Swiss cheese. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Cover casserole loosely with foil, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Uncover, and continue baking 10 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.
Okay, I made this vegetarian style; which means I omitted the chicken (read: I am lazy), and added lots more veggies (I did two zuccinis, probably like three cups of sliced mushrooms). I doubled the rice (and consequently the broth), and actually I think it could have easily been tripled and still been great. I used a mexican blend of cheese. I think next time I will reduce the cheese, not because the recipe had too much cheese but because I feel like you could get away with a lot less cheese and have it still be good. I would also maybe just use plain ol' cheddar. I added a lot more thinly sliced carrots.

I had two leftover wheat tortillas and though this recipe was intended to be a casserole I served it like a burrito filling with those leftover tortillas, with a little sour cream (and salsa would be great too!). Then since we only had two tortillas we ate the rest like a casserole with a little sour cream.

What a great meal! I loved it.

Another note...be sure you realize that the brown rice has to cook for forty five minutes! I started making this dinner way too late in the evening and didn't realize it would take so long. It's not hard to make at all, just takes a long time to make the rice and also to bake in the oven.

Totally easy, healthy and inexpensive to make!!


Kristi said...

Sorry, more comments. I was going to say that Gwen normally picks onions and mushrooms out of everything but this time she didn't even realize she was eating them! It was great!

Also be sure to drain the excess liquid after you cook the zuccini, mushrooms, etc.

Also I think you could add lots more vegetables to this if you wanted to. Like tomatoes..peppers, etc.

Janell said...

I loved this! Surprisingly flavorful. Thanks for sharing! (I post on Recipe Mamas - I think I found this blog through Kayla?)