Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tex-Mex Vegetarian Casserole and Sour Cream Corn Muffins

I haven't cooked in awhile. In a loooong while.  My family sent me home with tons of yummy, frozen leftovers, and I've been traveling (read: food is paid for!).  Wednesday, I just got in the mood to cook something, but didn't know what.  And then I remembered that I'd eaten a SmartOnes Southwest-style Rice & Beans dinner in a rush a few days ago.  It was OK, but really, $2 (on sale) for an itty bitty meal full of sodium, and chemicals?  No, thanks.

So, I came up with this recipe. And it was delicious.  Add some corn muffins and you have a perfectly yummy, perfectly healthy (ok, the casserole is healthy!) dinner.  The coolest part about this dish is that you can add basically whatever you want. Bell Peppers, chicken, ground beef, mushrooms, whatever. You can also make this from scratch, add frozen veggies, or canned beans. It's up to you!

Tex-Mex Vegetarian Casserole

vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped into little pieces
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
1 cup rice
4 cups black beans (roughly 2 cans.  I make mine from scratch in the slow-cooker; also, I really like beans, so if you're wary, maybe add 2 cups, and stir, and judge whether you want more)
1 can diced tomatoes + 1ish can of water (you can use any kind of broth here, also)
1/2 bag frozen corn
3/4-1 jar of salsa verde
sour cream (I just kind of threw in what I had leftover, probably about 1/2  a small carton)
8oz of grated, extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1.5 T cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
dash of paprika (I sort of sprinkled some in b/c I like paprika...maybe 1/2 tsp?)
salt and pepper to taste

To make:
Heat some oil in the bottom of a pot.
Add onions and let cook until translucent.
Add zucchini and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Add garlic and jalapeno, and spices and let cook for a few minutes (note, this is a personal preference thing; I like softer veggies, so I let them cook longer).
Add tomatoes, water, and rice (note: if it doesn't seem like there will be enough liquid to cook the rice, add more water).
Bring to a boil and let rice cook for about 30 minutes or until done (at this point you won't have much water left).
Add beans and corn (if using canned beans, drain first!)
Stir in sour cream and salsa verde to taste and preference (if you like it soupy, add more salsa. If not, add less).
Pour into a casserole dish and top with cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for around 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Turn on the broiler for 10 minutes and let cheese become bubbly brown.
Let cool before you enjoy!

Sour Cream Corn Muffins

I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten's. I've made her muffins before, with great success, but didn't have the whole milk or eggs.  The adapted muffins turned out more moist and had more flavor, although, next time I might add some chopped corn or green chiles to the mix.

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup medium cornmeal
1 T baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup skim milk
1/4 lb unsalted, melted butter
1/4 cup less fat sour cream

To make:
Mix all ingredients together (you're supposed to mix the dry ingredients and the wet ones separately, but let's face it, I'm lazy!).
Spoon into muffin tin (I get about 9 muffins out of this recipe.  The original one is only supposed to make 12 but it makes 18, so I halved everything).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out done.
Let cool for a bit before you tear into these. They are HARD to resist.


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