Being close to the Mexican border as I write this post….we are surrounded by Mexican restaurants. The problem with most Mexican restaurants is the menus are loaded with bad oils, lots of cheese and mystery cream sauces that I do not want to eat as I would be compromising my healthy diet. But being near all of these Mexican places makes me want to experience the bean and chile flavors.
I have found a great recipe which satisfies my desire for that south of the border taste using healthy, vegan and gluten free ingredients.
MEXICAN BLACK BEAN AND RICE CASSEROLE
- 1 large onion peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 tbsp. cashews, lightly toasted in a dry pan
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- salt to taste
Saute the onions and bell peppers in a little water in a pan until soft. Then place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. You can add up to 1/2 cup of water if needed to achieve smooth consistency.
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. cumin seeds toasted in a dry pan and then ground
- 2 tsp ancho chile powder or Mexican seasoning
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups organic corn kernels
- chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place onion and red pepper in large saucepan with 1 or 2 tbsp. water and sauté until onion starts to brown. Stir often so veggies don’t stick to pan. If you prefer, you could use a tbsp. of olive oil for sautéing. Add garlic and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the cumin and chile powder and stir well to blend. Remove from heat. Add the cooked rice, zucchini, black beans and corn and the sauce. Mix well.
Spoon into a casserole dish and bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the fresh chopped cilantro overtop and serve casserole warm.
It is yummy, comforting, healthy and satisfies my need for Mexican food.
Make a nice green salad as a side dish. Serve this nutritious meal with some fresh salsa and organic non-gmo corn chips and you will be as happy as I am eating Mexican without all of the added fats and mystery ingredients in restaurants.