Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Not-So-Julian-Casablancas Black-Bean Casserole

So you know how there's foods that perhaps don't send you barrelling into an alternate universe of a explosive orgasms and million-dollar lotto-wins and a veganized America and endless Julian-Casablancas-involved orgies, but do offer up a solid, simple, relatively healthy meal that (I suspect) even kids would dig? Well, this is one of those recipes.

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine came up to me and said, I made this really good black-bean casserole last week for me and my boyfriend, and it calls for sausage, but you totally couldn't taste the sausage at all anyways, so I think you could probably easily veganize it. And the next week she brought it in for me.

I know not from whence it came, but I *DO* know that the photocopy has it listed in a chapter called "Family-Approved Meat Dishes" which for some reason makes me feel a bit blorfy. But yes, the damn thing is so basic, so easy, and requires so few ingredients that it was a cinch to veganize.

Next time around, I'm gonna try adding this little thing called "spices" that the meat-filled cookbook apparently has never heard of, but rest assured--the fake-sausage adds enough muscle in the way of flavor that you won't be lacking even if you DON'T add anything extra.

It makes an assload too, which is nice if you have a big family. Or if you can use it for dinners all week. Or if you like to fill your bathtub up with strange casseroles and lay around in them.

  • One tube of Gimme Lean (Fake) Sausage

  • Two 14.5-oz. cans of Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
    (you can alternately use plain and spice them up some with--what who where--spices, or you can use them ones with the basil and oregano in them, which I think is what I accidentally ended up using myself)

  • 2 c. cooked brown rice (or white rice)

  • Two 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 medium green pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 c. shredded vegan cheddar cheez

  • Vegan sour cream (optional)


In a large skillet, cook the sausage until brown and a bit crispier (this is important because mine was not-so-crisp and it sogged up in the oven quite a bit). Stir in the tomatoes, cooked rice, black beans, and sweet pepper. Mix, and spoon into a large baking dish (around 3-quarts or so).

Bake, covered, in a 350-degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheez. Place the casserole dish uncovered in the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheez has begun to bubble and melt.

Let stand five minutes before serving. Top with vegan sour cream, if you so choose.

Makes 8 servings.

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