So, the other night, I turned to the Curly-Haired Chick and said something like, “I think I want to do a juice fast for the next several days until we leave on our road trip.”
To which she responded, “I’ll do it too…but let’s eat more than just juice and let’s do it for more than a few days…okay BFD?” (As you can see, the Curly-Haired Chick is always trying to one-up me.)
This sparked a return to a long-standing conversation we’ve had about shifting to a plant-based, whole food diet. Some time back, after watching the film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, we were inspired to include fresh, raw juice (see here and here). More recently, we watched Forks Over Knives and thought a lot about going vegan.
All of this preamble is just to set the stage for today’s recipe: Mexican-Style Bean and Rice
Casserole Dinner. (The Curly-Haired Chick detests the word “casserole” so I’m gonna say “dinner” from now on, but you’ll know what I mean.)
We found it in the Forks Over Knives app and thought it looked like a great bit of plant-based tastiness, and we were correct! It’s completely vegan and oil-free, and does a very nice job of filling you up. One of the coolest parts of the recipe is the No-Cheese Sauce which does a pretty bang-up job of mimicking a gooey dairy-based sauce. The one ingredient that keeps the Mexican-Style Bean and Rice Dinner from being strictly gluten-free is the nutritional yeast in the sauce. You could leave it out if gluten is an issue for you.
We’ve got a couple of days until our road trip, and the Curly-Haired Chick and I have decided to drink lots of juice and be as vegan and gluten-free as possible. The plan is to keep it that way until our family vacation in early May…or until I can’t take it any longer and sneak out of the house on a hunger-fueled DQ Blizzard run.
Don’t tell the Curly-Haired Chick I said that…okay?
- Mexican-Style Bean and Rice Dinner:
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted in a dry skillet and ground
- 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 (15-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- One recipe [i]No-Cheese Sauce[/i]
- Chopped cilantro and sliced lime for garnish
- No-Cheese Sauce:
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons cashews, toasted
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- Salt to taste
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place diced onion and bell pepper in a large saucepan or deep skillet. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes until the onion starts to brown. To cut down on fat, I add a little water as needed to keep the vegetables from sticking.
- Add the garlic and cook a couple more minutes.
- Add in the salt, cumin, and chile powder and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
- Add the cooked rice, zucchini, black beans, corn, and [i]No-Cheese Sauce[/i] (see directions below) and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve garnished with the cilantro and lime.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender in the order given and puree until smooth and creamy.
- Add up to ½ cup of water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.