Mexican Rice and Beans Bake with Avocado Crema

Mexican Rice and Beans Bake

Rice and beans. Such a humble dish with many nutritional benefits. This dish is high in fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C…plus it tastes incredible! My husband would be a happy man if I made Mexican-inspired food everyday. He thinks salsa should be its own food group! But, who can blame him, right? I love skillet suppers because everything gets put into one pan. Delicious ingredients. High nutrient profile. Happy family. Less clean up. Less dishes. A winner recipe in my book!

Mexican Rice and Beans Bake 3

Mexican Rice and Beans Bake 2

1/2 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup red, orange, yellow peppers, chopped
3/4 cup short grain brown rice
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans or black beans, drained
1 (7 oz.) can El Pato tomato sauce
1 (7 oz.) can Herdez salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup Daiya shredded pepper jack “cheese”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat and add onions and peppers; cook for 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir in rice, beans, tomato sauce, salsa, corn, and cilantro. Heat water to boiling and stir into rice/bean mixture; Stir in 1/2 cup grated cheese. Cover with lid. Bake for 70 to 80 minutes or until tender. Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted. Serve with Avocado Crema, and tortilla chips.

Avocado Crema
1 medium avocado, pitted and skin removed
1/2 cup almond milk
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro or 1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
pinch of sea salt and black pepper

To make the avocado crema, add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and pourable. Add more almond milk if necessary to get the crema to the right consistency.

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