About a year ago, we decided to try going meatless for one meal every 1-2 weeks. We mostly made this decision to see how much money it would save us, but also realized we don't need meat EVERY night (hey, I grew up on a farm, so it's hard for me) and it would help us break out of our norm and try some new things. I have a few great recipes that have become part of our regular rotation and I'm going to share them over the next few Mondays!
I know a few of you who are mostly or, impressively, full-force vegetarian (Mrs. B., I think you're awesome!) and I'd love to hear some of your ideas, too. Meatless to me usually includes eggs or cheese as a substitute protein, so perhaps these recipes can't be classified "vegetarian," but they are meat-free! A nice change for the tummy and the wallet! The following recipe is my mom's, and can easily be made with ground beef, turkey or shredded chicken if you desire meat in your dish.
Rice & Black Bean Bake
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies (undrained)
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 jar (8 ounces) picante sauce
- 2 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 small can sliced ripe olives, drained (optional)
- Corn or tortilla chips (or sturdy flour tortillas)
In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Stir in the rice, sour cream, and 1 cup of cheese. Transfer to a greased 13-in x 9-in x2-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and black olives. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with corn or tortilla chips or make burritos with sturdy flour tortillas. It looks a little runny, but after it bakes, it sets up so that you can easily spoon it out of the dish.
Enjoy! And if you have a winner meat-free recipe, I'd love to try it!