Meatless Monday: Mexican-Style Brown Rice Casserole
For those of you who may be seeing this from your RSS feed reader, I encourage you to click through to the actual blog post and see what changes I was working on this past weekend. Certainly, I am no where near done… eventually I might have a little nicer header and some content in the side bar – including listings of your blogs! But I’m going to go ahead and put it up as it is for now because I am really excited about the new look. For the past two years, I had the same pink and blue theme that I started with because I just couldn’t find anything else that was really me. Well, this is it! My blog page finally reflects the actual kitchen I’m cooking in – red and slightly retro.
I am also excited to show off a couple neat little buttons up at the top of the page. Just a simple click will take you to my RSS feed, facebook or twitter page. I also added a search bar and contact form. And finally, at the bottom of each post is the option for you to share the link on a number of different social networking sites. If you feel so inclined to pass along something I said or save a recipe for another time, those buttons should help with that. Hopefully you guys will find the site easier to navigate as well as a bit prettier :D Since I am still tweeking things and trying to figure this whole web design thing out, please let me know if you have any problems or find any errors.
Now that I’ve given you a tour of all the bells and whistles that are currently available, let’s move on to the important stuff. Food.
This Mexican-Style Brown Rice Casserole was recommended to me by a friend quite a while ago, and I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me this long to actually make it. After reading her review along with a few other friends who have made it, I had really high expectations. The problem with having really high expectations is that sometimes things don’t live up to them which is what happened here. The concept is great, and I’ll definitely try this again with a few modifications. First of all, the spinach. I hate squeezing the water out of thawed spinach. And then it’s really hard to evenly distribute the spinach over the casserole because the leaves all want to stick together meaning some bites will be full of spinach and some bites will have no spinach. Personally, I didn’t mind it that much, though I am never a fan of frozen spinach. Ryan, on the other hand, hated it because of the spinach which was a little on the chewy side. So next time I make this – yes, there will be a next time – I will use fresh spinach. I skimped a little on the salsa this time (not on purpose) and would definitely be sure to use the full amount plus even more cumin next time so that the rice gets a good flavor boost.
I have to tell you, this received EXCELLENT reviews from people I trust and lots of random Weight Watchers site users, so don’t let me sorta lackluster review stop you from trying this one.
Now, did anyone notice the lovely dish in which I served this casserole? It was a gift’s from Ryan’s mom and is absolutely the cutest serving dish I have! She knows me so well – red polka dots :D
Mexican-Style Brown Rice Casserole
4 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup salsa (should be 1 1/4 cup!)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
15 ounce can of refried beans
10 ounce bag frozen sweet corn, thawed
4 ounce can diced jalapenos, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water removed
3 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 2-quart rectangular, round or oval baking dish with cooking spray
In a large bowl, combine rice, salsa and cumin. Spoon 2 cups of rice mixture into prepared baking dish and spread out to evenly cover bottom of dish.
In another large bowl, combine refried beans, corn, peppers and chili power. Using a rubber spatula, scrape bean mixture on top of rice layer and smooth out top.
Squeeze out any excess water from spinach and then spread on top of bean layer; sprinkle with half of cheese. Top with remaining rice mixture and smooth out top; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Place casserole on a large rimmed baking sheet to catch any spillage. Bake until heated through and cheese is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.
Source: Weight Watchers