Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mexican Brown Rice Casserole

How is your weekend going?  We officially started spring break at 3:30 p.m. yesterday.  Yes!  One week of total freedom and pure enjoyment of lovely spring weather.  Last week was such a roller coaster with things to get done at work, that I realized I forgot to make a weekly menu post.  So sorry!  I did not realize that these posts have really come in handy for people.  My sister recently shared this with me after attending a wedding for a couple in our old hometown, Creston, Iowa.  So, many, many thanks to everyone who reads my little blog.  It means so much to me to help make your lives easier and share my recipes and tips with you.  That is my whole purpose for this blog.  I just want to share and make your lives healthier and tastier in the kitchen:)

With that being said, onto the Mexican Brown Rice Casserole.  This is a recipe I use when I need something I can make ahead, is truly healthy, but doesn't leave out flavor or bulk.  Layered with wonderful Mexican flavors you will not feel rushed when preparing this meal or left hungry.  Plus, there is plenty left-over to enjoy for another meal or lunch throughout the week!

Mexican Brown Rice Casserole
(adapted from Weight Watchers)

Non-stick cooking spray
4 cups cooked brown rice
2 15 ounce cans fat-free refried beans
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies (such as Rotel)
2 cans diced green chilies
1/2 tablespoon cumin cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup thawed frozen corn
10 ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed and  drained
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a large lasagna pan with cooking spray.  Spread and lightly press the brown rice onto the bottom of the pan.

In a large bowl, combine the refried beans, tomatoes, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.  Using a rubber spatula, spread the bean mixture on top of the rice and smooth out the top.  Next, sprinkle the corn on top of the beans.

Squeeze any excess watter from the spinach and sprinkle on top of the corn layer.  Top with the shredded cheese.  Bake the casserole until heated through and the cheese is bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Cut into 6 large servings.  You can garnish the dish with salsa and fat-free sour cream.  So easy and tasty!

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