Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
A good recipe for cleaning out the pantry or reincarnating leftovers. Basic white sauce (off of a corn starch box) spiced up with garlic and lime helps dress up healthy rice, beans, and vegetables. Prep time will vary based on whether you use already cooked beans and rice or cook them for the recipe. I recommend that you get the rice started and then make the sauce while the rice is cooking. I first made this dish to stretch my budget and make the best of what was already at hand in my pantry, but I like it well enough to keep making it regardless of my budget.
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter or 1 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup nonfat milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 garlic clove, crushed (to taste, or garlic powder to taste)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice (to taste)
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- 2 cups black beans, cooked
- 1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, divided
- Lime-Garlic Sauce: In a small saucepan, Melt butter slowly over medium heat OR briefly heat oil over medium heat.
- Mix in cornstarch.
- Gradually stir in milk.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat.
- Stir in garlic and lime-juice to taste.
- (I prefer a rather strongly flavored sauce as the flavor will be diluted when mixed into the casserole).
- Casserole: Prepare rice, beans, and vegetables according to package directions, separately.
- Divide sauce evenly between rice and vegetables.
- Mix so that rice and vegetables are well-coated.
- Spread rice evenly in bottom of 11 x 7 casserole.
- Spread vegetables over rice.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheddar over vegetables.
- Spread beans over cheese.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese over beans.
- Cover and bake at 350°F until heated through and cheese is melted (15-20 minutes assuming that rice and beans are still warm).
Tried this one for dinner tonight, and the combination of ingredients made it quite nice. It was also easy to make. I didn't layer it though, we had it mixed through instead. Had to make a vegan version by not using the cheese (those who could have it added it after cooking) and using rice milk. I made double the sauce and used the extra instead of the cheese, using some of the sauce on top. Also had to use the borllotti beans I had on hand as I could not get any black beans locally (or any other beans for that matter!) I liked the lime juice with the sauce, it added a good flavour ( it has encouraged me to use limes more often!) and I added a bit of salt and pepper as well. I also added about 1/2 cup of just cooked cabbage that was sliced and cooked with a litte butter and water with 1 and 3/4 cup of the frozen veges. With the cooking time and temperature I found that the casserole was only warm, and that was with everything already warm (maybe I have a thick casserole dish?) so I increased the heat to 390 deg. F ( 200 deg. C for me!) and cooked it for a further 15 mins. Next time I will make sure I have the black beans and use fresh vegetables instead of the frozen. The only frozen vegetables I usually use are peas, corn and spinach and I could taste the difference. Next time I will also add some herbs for a bit more flavour, lemon grass would probably go well with the lime juice. Also some more garlic and lime juice as they really complimented the dish and I think a stonger flavour of these woold go very well.