This is my husband’s favorite meal.
Yep. If you were to ask him what his favorite dish is that I make, this would be the one. Which is so ironic because he’s a biiiiiig meat eater. He loves a great steak, slow cooked short ribs, or a double double animal style – no tomato.
Yet this simple, vegetarian meal seems to satisfy even the manliest of men. It still hits that comfort feeling you’re looking for, just with healthier ingredients!
Packed with brown rice, spinach, beans, and peppers, this recipe is full of flavor and tasty surprises. My favorite layer? The bean/pepper mush. I let this cook down until it becomes super soft and almost mush like. Yes, that’s a technical term.
This recipe was originally created by one of my closest friends Sara. Back in the day before kids, carpools, and minivans, Sara and her husband lived in the building directly behind us in Santa Monica. She and I would spend an entire Saturday afternoon planning a menu, shopping at the farmer’s market, and cooking dinner for our husbands. Then we would stay up all night, stuff our faces, drink bottles of wine, play Balderdash and laugh until practically peeing our pants. Then sleep in as late as we wanted on Sunday. Oh, those were the days.
Anyways, Sara came up with the GENIUS idea for this mexican lasagna, which I’ve slightly tweaked, and I think have perfected. People. Go. CRAZY for this recipe. I don’t know what it is. But it’s a crowd pleaser.
This was one of the main dishes I served at the Dinating at Home dinner a couple weeks ago. And it’s a great dish to serve for Cinco de Mayo! Do it.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, plus 1 cup (for the bean mixture)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can 15 oz pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5-6 whole wheat or corn tortillas, cut in quarters
- 2 1/2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- Garnish with sliced avocado cilantro, salsa, and sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Start cooking rice according to package using the broth as the liquid.
- In large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion, and red pepper in olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper and cook about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add both cans of beans, garlic powder, onion powder, and about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of stock. Stir over medium heat and reduce until thick and beans are mushy. Add more stock as necessary (about 20 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Start to layer in baking dish. Lay tortillas just enough to cover the bottom, 1 cup of cheese, half of the rice, all the spinach, all the bean mixture, other half of rice, another layer of tortillas, then topped with remaining cheese.
- Bake about 20-30 min until cheese is bubbly and crispy.
- After baking, garnish with sliced avocado and chopped cilantro. Serve with, salsa, sourcream, and maybe a splash of lime.
And let me know what you think.