I knew when I made this casserole that I was going to have trouble getting my brother to eat it. Particularly because it contains onions, mushrooms, beans, and tomatoes. And because it’s considered a casserole. I don’t know, but the word “casserole” just makes food sound bland to me.
Don’t ask why. It just does.
So anyway, as my brother entered the room, I saw him wrinkle his nose and look at the food in disgust. Luckily, I thought of the perfect counter-response before he could even open his mouth; I told him that the meal was just the insides of a burrito that I was too lazy to wrap in a tortilla. I didn’t really lie to him cause I’m pretty sure it’s true (I’ve never had a burrito before). Fortunately, my brother never had one either and just went with it. I think the word “burrito” just sounds more manly and fun. Way more manly and fun than “casserole” anyway.
The lesson here? If you have a picky eater, try to change their perception of the food. In this case it worked and my brother went back for thirds!
Bean and Rice Casserole (Or Burrito-Filling)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 portobello mushrooms, de-stemmed, sliced, and cubed
1 14oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup organic frozen corn
1 tbsp dried cilantro
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 cup arborio rice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cheese (I used 365’s Organic Fiesta Blend)
Heat olive oil in a pot. Add in onions and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes. Add in mushrooms, beans, tomatoes (with juice), corn, cilantro, parsley, cumin, and chili powder. Stir, cooking for 5 minutes. With a spoon, press mixture against the sides of the pot, making a well in the center. Pour rice into well and add chicken broth until rice is just covered, about 1 cup. Lower heat to a simmer. (Note: it’s ok if some juices or food fall into the well). As the rice absorbs the broth, keep adding more until the broth just covers the rice. Do this for 35 minutes while preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Afterwards, mix all the contents of the pot together. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper. (If the rice is not entirely done, don’t panic- it’ll continue to cook in the oven). Spray a large baking dish with cooking oil. Transfer the rice into the dish (I used a ladle to do this) and top mixture with cheese. Bake for 12 minutes. Serve with a ladle. Alternatively, spoon onto a tortilla and eat as a burrito.