Although I own an [embarrassingly] massive amount of cookbooks, I still get giddy with each new addition to my library. There’s just something about holding a new beautiful recipe package in my hands. The glossy pages, the mouth-watering food photos, the author’s candid life story – which often relates to mine and the clever combination of ingredients, that with magic, becomes a party in my mouth…the whole experience is divine.
So when my copy of The Oh She Glows Cookbook arrived in my mailbox yesterday, I was a happy, happy plant-eater.
If you don’t know Oh She Glows, it’s a fantastic Internet destination (aka website) for plant-y recipes. Go see for yourself! Angela, the brains, beauty and person focusing the lens behind the food, does a wonderful job making vegan recipes crave-able and accessible, and considering she taught herself everything about cooking, photography and recipe creation, I’m an inspired fan of hers.
Last night, while visiting my family at home in Connecticut, I made a bangin’ recipe from her new book that I must share with you all, PRONTO. It’s called the “Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole,” and pleased-the-crowd it did!
A little before you wanna get this delicious dinner going, you have to make some brown rice. I used a rice cooker which I think is kind of like using self-tanner – a legal, acceptable form of cheating your way to a cool result. But I could have used frozen brown rice, bought 3 cups of already steamed rice from whole foods, or done the good ol’ fashion job of cooking (I mean, babysitting) the rice on the stove in a pot. Just get 3 cups of cooked brown rice, using any method you want.
You start the recipe production process by mixing together some spices, which really brings the whole dish together, flavor-wise.
Then you chop and sauté some veggies. Simple. Straightforward. Top Chef style.
Then you mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and dump that bowl into the pan or wok to sauté as one big happy family.
(Note: a vegan cheese is supposed to join the fun at this point, but I made the recipe without it – I’m in a phase of avoiding both dairy cheese and processed fake vegan cheese. Do whatever you prefer but it was fabulous without it.)
Then you dump everything into a casserole dish, sprinkle with corn tortilla chips that you crush in your hand like a REAL woman (or man), bake for 15 minutes and then prepare to fight for seconds cause everyone will want them.
So that’s the play by play to get you emotionally prepared. Now here’s the actually recipe, as written in The Oh She Glows Cookbookby Angela Liddon.
- FOR THE TEX-MEX SPICE BLEND:
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika or ½ tsp regular paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper, plus more as needed
- 1¼ tsp fine-grain sea salt
- ½ tsp ground coriander (optional)
- FOR THE CASSEROLE:
- 1½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and diced
- fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup fresh or frozen corn
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 1 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree
- 2-3 cups chopped kale leaves or baby spinach
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups cooked wild rice blend or brown rice
- ½ cup vegan shredded cheese, such as Daiya
- 1-2 handful corn tortilla chips, crushed
- OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:
- Sliced green onions
- Corn Chips
- Cashew Cream (recipe in the book)
- Make the Tex-Mex Spice Blend: In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, and coriander (if using). Set aside.
- Make the Casserole: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a large (4 to 5 quart or liter) casserole dish.
- In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeño and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, until softened. Season with salt and black pepper, if desired.
- Stir in the Tex-Mex Spice Blend, corn, diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, kale, beans, rice and ¼ cup of the vegan shredded cheese. Sauté for a few minutes and season with more salt and black pepper, if desired.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the crushed chips over the casserole mixture along with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Uncover the casserole dish and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, until bubbly and slightly golden around the edges.
- Scoop the casserole into bowls and add your desired toppings.