Thursday, July 2, 2009

Meatless Meal - Black Beans and Rice

Due to the higher environmental cost of raising meat compared to vegetables, I'm trying for one meatless main meal a week. If I find enough of them that we really like, it could expand to multiple meals in a week. Last week I tried a Macaroni and Cheese recipe that was ok, but lacking in flavour. This week I grabbed another recipe from the book Frozen Assets Lite & Easy, Black Beans and Rice. The dish took maybe 15 minutes to prepare, and just over an hour to cook. We had friends over for dinner that night, and I'll definitely be making this recipe again. Everyone enjoyed it! A few things I'd change in the preparation...stir the rice and beans about three quarters of the way through the cooking time, otherwise you end up with hard rice on the top layer. One of my friends also suggested crushed tortilla chips on top as a garnish, I'll definitely try that next time. I also doubled or tripled the cheese topping - I didn't measure but just grated until the top was well covered.

I'm rating it at four stars out of five. In fact, I'm going to make it again next week for the freezer to use up the rest of the tomato juice. I'll probably make two 8x8 pans instead of a 9x13 so that it's in meal sizes that better suit my family.

Black Beans and Rice

30 oz. black beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
20 oz. frozen corn kernels
2 cups long grain rice, uncooked
32 oz. salsa
3 cups tomato juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the shredded cheese.
Pour into a 13x9 inch casserole dish; bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.
Remove from oven. Cool, wrap with foil, label and freeze. Thaw when ready to cook (only if cooking for the freezer)
Sprinkle with shredded cheese and cook at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the beans and rice are heated through.


  1. We try to go meatless several times a week at our really helps out with the budget, and forces me to be more creative with my cooking. I post a weekly recipe feature called Frugal Meatless Meals--I thought you might be interested if you're on the lookout for vegetarian recipes!

  2. Thanks Cate, I'll definitely be checking it out!

  3. I heard something on the radio about how much water it takes to raise cows and other meat animals versus how much it takes to grow fruit and vegetables. It was amazingly high. This person was interested in reducing her water footprint on this earth. Wish I remembered more about the source, but I tuned in part way through the program. Thought you would find it interesting. She is going to three meatless meals a week (lunch or dinner), and it reduced her water footprint by 6%!