Over the summer while we were on vacation at the beach, we made a recipe from Eat Live Run for Rice and Bean Casserole with Guacamole.
This recipe stood out for a few reasons. The ingredients were cheap and easy to transport (nothing has to be refrigerated). It looked easy to adapt, easy to prepare, and easy to clean up. I was nervous to try a new recipe while traveling, but it turned out to be an excellent meal.
We followed the basic casserole directions (omitting the cumin and the garlic powder because we didn’t have any on hand). We added a few fresh veggies to the casserole for texture and flavor. I minced four cloves of garlic, diced a whole onion, and sliced two cups of baby bell peppers. I sautéed the garlic, onion, and peppers in olive oil until they were softened and began to caramelize and we added these to the casserole before baking. When the casserole was done, we sprinkled cheddar cheese on top and popped it back into the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
For the guacamole, I omitted the jalapeño and cumin because we didn’t have any on hand. Instead, I added a clove of minced garlic, a few minced baby bell peppers, and some chili powder. I also chopped tomatoes to serve alongside the casserole.
The best part of the casserole was that Artie prepared the casserole while I made the peppers and the guacamole. Then, the casserole baked for 90 minutes while we went to the beach to watch the sunset and dinner was ready when we got back to the house.
My family gave the casserole rave reviews. They did serve it alongside grilled brats and burgers (because, let’s face it, my brothers have a hard time imagining a meal that doesn’t include meat) but they liked it nonetheless.
We’ve made this casserole several times since vacation – probably at least twice a month. We really like it because we can pop it in the oven and then clean the house or work on other projects while dinner is cooking. If you are looking for an easy, affordable meal that pleases a crowd, I would recommend giving this casserole a try.