Yesterday was a bit cooler of a day and it got me so excited, Autumn is coming, yay yay! It’s my favorite time of year! I can’t wait to do more cooking inside and stop relying on the grill and cold dishes. I wanted to make some sort of casserole or bake with ingredients I had on hand, and it of course had to be cleanse-friendly, so I came up with this recipe on the fly. It is a wordy name, but it is a super simple dish to prepare. It is quite hearty and really can be pretty versatile, as well. I would have added bell peppers if I had any on hand, but since I have an abundance of banana peppers from our garden, I thought that little kick of spice would be nice. You could also add carrots if you had them on hand. I had black rice in the pantry that I thought would make this dish even tastier, so instead of just brown rice, I decided to add a bit of the black rice in. The flavor from the it is unlike any other rice I have had, a bit sweet and nutty. Certainly if you don’t have any on hand, just brown rice would do or you could add in wild rice.
This would also make a great side dish or if you like your meat with dinner, you could to bake it with chicken breasts. For you cheese lovers, topping the casserole with a bit of shredded cheese right at the end to get a little melty top would be delicious, too. Since I am avoiding dairy right now on this cleanse, I was of course thinking about the cheese on top, the whole time I was making this, however when it came out and I took that first bite, I realized quickly, it didn’t need it at all. I put a dollop of guacamole on the side and it was perfect.
I was concerned about how this dish would photograph as the color from the beans and black rice took over and made it a bit muddy. After making this, I think that a yellow or orange bell pepper would have added a bit more of a pop of color. What do you think – does it look tasty?
Brown & Black Rice Casserole with Black Beans & Garden Vegetables
serves 4 as a main course, 6-8 as a side dish
1 cup uncooked organic brown rice
1/2 cup uncooked black rice
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 banana peppers, chopped, seeds and ribs removed
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1-2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
small bunch of cilantro, freshly chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon organic olive oil
Preheat oven to 375º
Rinse the brown and black rice; our into a 2 quart casserole dish. To the rice add the next 7 ingredients. Stir in cumin, chili powder, salt, fresh cilantro (reserve some for serving) and olive oil, mix well. Pour water over the mixture and cover.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes; check at this point to see if more water needs to be added. Bake another 30-45 minutes more, or until rice is cooked (cooking time with vary greatly based on the types of rice used). Stir well before serving and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, top with fresh cilantro.