Cheesy Black Beans & Rice and a Cornbread review, gluten free, vegan

Cooking for the kids again!  This week I received zucchini, carrots, yellow summer squash, jalapeno, onion, red potatoes, eggs, fruit and a new organic cornbread mix in my Space Girl Organics boxes.
I decided to roast a chicken, boil the red potatoes and make a big cheesy beans and rice casserole with lots of veggies in it.
I also made them lots of carrot sticks, a fruit salad with apples, pears, kiwi berries, pomegranate seeds and baked cornbread.
We're cornbread fans at my house, but I need gluten free and non gmo, so we don't get to indulge as much as we used to. It was exciting when Space Girl Organics included this new organic cornbread mix in their donation for me to cook with.


I made the cornbread in my large cast iron skillet, that I heat in the oven with a little organic butter, before I pour in the batter.  I also added two tablespoons of organic cane sugar and an extra egg to the mix. It turned out great. The crust was crisp and the cornbread had a nice rise.  I would definitely make it again.

Makes one 9x13 casserole and one 8x8 casserole. Lightly grease pans with olive oil.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups organic brown rice, cooked  (makes 4 cups cooked)
  • 4 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth (vegan)
  • 1 lb black beans, soaked, drained and cooked to tender
  • 3 thick slices nitrate free bacon, cooked, crumbled  (remove for vegan and use 2 TBL of olive oil)
  • 2 organic summer squash, cubed
  • 3 medium organic zucchini, cubed
  • 4 organic carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk organic celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup organic onion, diced
  • 1 clove organic garlic, minced
  • fresh organic jalapeno or chili peppers, seeded, to taste  (I used one tiny slice of jalepeno)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup homemade chicken or vegetable broth, (vegan) as needed
  • 6 ounces organic pepper jack cheese, shredded  (or vegan alternative)
  • 2 cups organic sharp cheddar cheese, shredded  (or vegan alternative)
Instructions:

The day before I wash, sort and soak my black beans overnight.
The next day, drain the soaking water and put beans in a large pot with enough fresh water to cover. Simmer until tender.
While the beans are cooking, I cook my rice in the rice maker or you can cook it in a large covered pan on the stove.  Add 2 cups brown rice and 4 cups broth to your pan and cook rice until tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

  1. In a large fry pan, brown the bacon.  Remove from the pan, reserving the grease in the pan.  
  2. Saute all of the vegetables on medium in the bacon grease.  Add cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until just tender.
  3. Remove the veggies from the pan and add the additional 1 cup of broth to the fry pan and scrape up all of the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  4. In a large bowl or pot, combine the cooked rice, beans, bacon, veggies, broth and scrapings from the pan, and the pepper jack cheese.  Stir to combine.  Season to taste again.
  5. Divide the mixture between prepared casserole dishes and top with cheddar cheese.  Loosely cover each casserole with foil.
  6. Bake 30 minutes covered.  Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more.  

Please be advised related products are random and not always gluten-free!