I served this dish last night at my weekly Tuesday night dinner party and it won everyone over! Similar to a burrito in a bowl, this casserole is the perfect mix of flavor and comfort. It never ceases to amaze me how a meal with a few simple ingredients like rice, beans, and vegetables can turn out so incredible. While this casserole is good on it’s own, I find it’s even better with a generous amount of toppings like diced avocado, salsa, corn chips, green onion, and Cashew Cream, so go wild.
I will be including this recipe in my future cookbook, Jetset Junkie, veganized cuisine from around the globe. It will be under the American section because I feel like the world has a terrible idea about our food, it ain’t all burgers around here! This dish clearly has a Mexican influence but that is part of being American, our latin neighbors have influenced us in many ways regarding flavor. The Tex-Mex taste is unique in that we use spices like cumin, smoked paprika, and coriander that isn’t typical to traditional Mexican fare.
Serves 6 – Prep Time: 30 mins – Cook Time: 20 mins (plus rice cooking time)
gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free, dairy-free
For the Tex-Mex Spice Blend:
1 tablespoon (15 mL) chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (5 mL) smoked sweet paprika, or 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) regular paprika
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) cayenne pepper, plus more if needed
1 1/4 teaspoons (6 mL) fine-grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground coriander (optional)
For the casserole:
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen corn
1 (14-ounce/396-g) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce or tomato puree
2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL) chopped kale leaves or baby spinach
1 (15-ounce/425-g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups (750 mL) cooked wild rice blend
1/2 cup (125 mL) vegan shredded cheese, such as Daiya
1 to 2 handfuls corn tortilla chips, crushed
Sliced green onions – Salsa – Avocado – Corn Chips – Cashew Cream
Make the Tex-Mex Spice Blend. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, and coriander (if using). Set aside.
Make the Casserole: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Oil a large (4- to 5-qt/4- to 5-L) casserole dish.
In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Addthe onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeño and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, until softened. Season with salt and black pepper.
Stir in the Tex-Mex Spice Blend, corn, diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, kale, beans, rice, and 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the vegan shredded cheese. Sauté for a few minutes and season with more salt and black pepper, if desired.
Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with the crushed chips over the casserole mixture along with the remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) cheese. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Uncover the casserole dish and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, until bubbly and lightly golden around the edges.
Scoop the casserole into bowls and add your desired toppings.
TIP: I suggest cooking the rice ahead of time to make this recipe come together much faster.