Avocados, cilantro, beans, rice and cheese! Can't go wrong there....and 35 minutes from start to finish makes this a great weeknight meal. Chipotle Black Bean and Cilantro Rice Bake is on constant rotation over here.
2 cups short grain brown rice
For the cilantro sauce:
1 cup cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
For the beans:
2 cans black beans
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 chipotle pepper
1 can green chiles
1 cup of fresh diced tomatoes
1 cup of diced avocado (1-2 whole avocados, cut into cubes)
2 Tablespoons cilantro
Prepare rice according to cooking directions on the rice cooker or stove-top method.
While rice is cooking, combine cilantro, olive oil, salt, chili peppers and garlic in a Ninja or other high powered blender, to create a nice green sauce.
OPTIONAL STEP: On a stovetop, add the beans, chipotle pepper and vegetable broth. Heat on simmer for 10 minutes.
Once the rice is completed, add the cilantro sauce to the rice and incorporate it until all of the rice is green. Fold the beans and diced green chiles into the green rice.
Add the rice to a casserole dish or a giant cast iron pan and top with cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
Once the cheese is hot and bubbly. Top with diced tomatoes, cubed avocados and cilantro. I didn't have sour cream but that would have been a good addition!
If you are feeling fancy, you can line the serving pan with tortilla chips.
I tried this twice--once with beans straight out of the can (drained and rinsed) and the other time with cooking it with a bit of chipotle pepper. Both were great! I just really love the chipotle pepper flavor and it doesn't take much longer to do.