Thursday, January 28, 2010

'I Can't Believe It Tastes Good' Casserole

photo by windattack on flickr

Every time I make this and think about how healthy it is, I can't believe my kids devour it, even asking for seconds (well, two out of three do and that's pretty good in this household). In fact, it was the kids who named this dish, hence the title above. Even my meat-loving husband said...drumroll please...

"It's Good."

I believe the key to this casserole's success is the green chiles which are not spicy (found in the grocer's mexican section - ole!).

So as you go down the ingredients list and think 'There is no way my family will like this!', think again. You may surprise them - and yourself! If I had to compare the taste to anything, I would say it tastes like Nachos. So tell them it's Nacho Casserole - maybe that'll get them to the table.

Nacho Casserole
(a.k.a. 'I Can't Believe It Tastes Good', a.k.a. Brown Rice Casserole

1/3 cup brown rice
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced and cubed
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

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.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large casserole dish.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until tender. Mix in the zucchini and mushrooms. Season with cumin and salt. Cook and stir until zucchini is lightly browned.

In large bowl, mix the cooked rice, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, beans, chiles, carrots and 1/2 the cheddar cheese.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover casserole loosely with foil and bake 30 minutes in preheated oven. Uncover, and continue baking 10 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

note: the picture shows casserole garnished with guacamole and tomatoes but I suggest going 'in the buff' to keep it real (less calories)

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