Monday, July 13, 2009

Rice & Black Bean Casserole

I made this the other night, and it was a big hit! My husband (the picky one), really enjoyed it a lot. It's really healthy for you (especially if you use brown rice), and has a lot of flavor. I got it off of and modified it a bit. I put a little bit too much cayenne pepper in it for my boy's tastes, so I added some sour cream to theirs, and they ate it up after that. Next time I think I will only put a few sprinkles in it. Seriously, this casserole was completely demolished. I do not know what happened to my picture of the ingredients. I know I set them up for a picture, and I think I got distracted and totally forgot to take the picture. Guess that's what happens when you have 3 young children. :-) I will be making this again, and I will post the picture then. The original name said, "Brown rice & black bean casserole," but since I used white rice, I omitted the brown part. Mine came out more soupy than the picture on the website, so I wonder if using the brown rice made it sop up more of the liquid. Oh yes, I also made this in the morning, put it in the fridge and was able to go to a baby shower, visit a friend who just had a baby, and come home and pop it in the oven. I love when you can do that with a recipe!

-1/3 cup rice (white or brown, I used white because I had it on hand)
-1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
-1/3 cup diced onion (or 1/2 - 1 Tbsp dried minced onion)
-1 medium zucchini, diced
-1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or cubed (I boiled mine, but you could use leftover chicken too if you have it or you could sautee it with your onion if you like)
-1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional), I didn't use these since I don't care for mushrooms
-1/2 tsp cumin
-salt to taste
-ground cayenne pepper to taste (seriously, unless you like hot, only put in a couple of shakes)
-15oz can black beans, drained
-1 can diced tomatoes & green chillies, drained (see very bottom for update on 7/31/09)
-1/3 cup shredded carrots
-2 cups cheddar or swiss cheese (I used cheddar), divided (use a reduced fat cheese for even more heart healthy)Directions
-Mix the rice and broth in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and let simmer 20 minutes for white rice and 45 mintues for brown rice. In the meantime, cook your chicken. You can boil it for about 30 minutes or sautee it with your onion and mushrooms.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. The recipe called for you to sautee your chicken, zucchini, mushrooms, & onion in 1 Tbsp olive oil, but I totally omitted this step, not seeing the point to it since you will bake it in the oven.
-In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, cooked chicken, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, tomatoes & green chillies, and 1 cup of your cheese. Pour into a 2 liter casserole dish, and top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
-Bake covered for 30 minutes, remove cover, and continue baking 10 more minutes.

As you can tell from the ingredients, I did change the recipe some (white instead of brown rice, no mushrooms, dried minced onion, chicken instead of vegetable broth, & cheddar instead of swiss cheese). The recipe did call for a 4oz can diced green chillies instead of the diced tomatoes & chillies, but I changed it based upon some of the reviews people said about the recipe on the website I found it. My husband and children love black olives, so they added some to theirs. And like I said, I added sour cream to the boys to make it not so spicy, but next time I won't put in as much cayenne pepper, and I'm sure it will be fine without the sour cream.

7/31/09: So, I made this again, and this time I used brown rice, green chilies (instead of the tomatoes and green chilies), and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper. It was even better! It wasn't soupy this time, and I enjoyed it a lot more! I love how healthy it is for you and how yummy too! :-) I took new pictures too.

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