Every summer my sister and her family spend the summer at home with us on the cape. I live for these moments shared with them! Days are spent on the beach, at the ponds, hanging out together, laughing, cooking and eating. Cooking a lot…did I mention she has 3 teenage sons??? They are my guinea pigs for recipes and this recipe got the thumbs up!
It’s super simple to make, feeds many mouths and is easy on the budget! Beans and brown rice make a perfect protein, so this is a complete meal on it’s own or you can serve it as a side dish. Left over grilled corn and spinach from the garden were thrown in the mix, but you can chop up any vegetables you have! Shredded carrots, zucchini, summer squash, peppers or kale would all taste great as well! The casserole shown in the photos was made with organic shredded cheddar cheese. Simply substitute with daiya cheese for a vegan version.
The original recipe is from Eat, Live, Run. The instructions say to add all ingredients to a casserole dish, cover and bake. Simple enough, right? I sautéed the onions, garlic, tomato sauce and spices for a few minutes to create a more savory flavor. This added step is completely optional! If you’re pinched for time don’t bother, it will still taste great!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 ounce can organic tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1.5 cups uncooked brown rice
- 3 cups vegetables broth
- 1 15 ounce can small red kidney beans (black beans or chickpeas would work too!)
- 2-3 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves, shredded
- 3 ears grilled corn, kernels removed or 2 cups frozen corn
- ½ cup shredded daiya cheese or organic shredded cheese
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil or spray a 9x13 cooking dish and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent and golden. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, sea salt and pepper. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl add uncooked brown rice, tomato mixture, broth, kidney beans, shredded spinach and mix until combined. Transfer to cooking dish, top with corn kernels and shredded cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 1.5-2 hours. Casserole is done when rice is tender.
- Top with fresh cilantro, serve warm and enjoy!
Helpful Hint: Planning this week’s meals? Cook a batch of brown rice to have ready ahead of time. Mix together all the ingredients (decrease the amount of broth used to 1/2 cup!) and bake until warm, around 30 minutes. This can even be a freezer friendly recipe when using cooked rice, freeze, thaw and bake! Perfect for those mid-week nights when you get home late and don’t feel like cooking!