Mexican spices and several vegetables are mixed with brown rice in this healthy, flavorful, and freezable casserole dish.
One of my favorite go-to healthy meals is this brown rice and black bean casserole. I find it to be a satisfying and hearty dish. There’s all sorts of vegetables in it, including carrots, which means my kids are gobbling up healthy stuff along with the rice they love. I don’t particularly care for the brown rice in just anything, but in this recipe it is great. My kids totally don’t even notice the difference and them crazies are picky! It’s got a great flavor with the green chiles, garlic, and cumin which means adults like it too. The best part about a casserole like this is that every bite is a different adventure depending on what goodies you get on your fork. This recipe can easily be turned vegan by omitting the cheese, which would also lower the calories (which aren’t very high to begin with!) As with most casseroles, this dish freezes very well. Just freeze after step 3 and bake for 45 minutes to an hour when ready to eat.
- 1½ cups brown rice
- 3 cups vegetable broth (can substitute chicken broth)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 small zucchinis, diced
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups canned black beans
- 4 oz diced green chiles, drained
- 3 large carrots, shredded
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
- Place the rice and broth into a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 40-50 minutes until all liquids have been absorbed by the rice. Remember that brown rice takes longer to cook than white and you should check the packaging for estimated cooking times.
- Before the rice is done, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, zucchini, and mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes until all are cooked through. Add in the cumin and minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl.
- In the large mixing bowl, combing the saute mixture, black beans, green chiles, carrots, cooked rice, and 1 cup of cheese. Stir with a spoon until everything is distributed fairly evenly. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil **(See cooking lesson below)** and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to let the cheese get slightly browned.
Did you know…when you are covering something with aluminum foil the shiny side should go in, leaving the dull, more heat absorbent side showing. This will allow it to absorb more heat rather than reflect some of it.