Stuffed Pepper Casserole

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My plan was for this to actually a crockpot stuffed peppers recipe. However, I forgot to set it up each day and by Thursday evening I needed to make something for dinner with what we had on hand so this is what I came up with. It turned into a happy accident that tastes great and is done in less than an hour.

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of cooked rice, 15 oz black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 cup of corn, 15 oz diced tomatoes (drained), 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or liquid aminos), 1/2 tsp of Italian seasonings, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine.

Quarter 5 bell peppers and lay them on the bottom of a prepared 9×13 baking pan. It’s okay if they slightly overlap. Pour the rice mixture over top the bell peppers spreading out evenly. Dice 2 bell peppers and sprinkle them over top the rice mixture along with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and place the baking pan in a preheated (375) oven for about 35 minutes.

Pre-aluminum foil

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 15 oz canned black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or liquid aminos)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (divided)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 7 bell peppers

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of cooked rice with 15 oz black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 cup corn, 15 oz diced tomatoes (drained and rinsed), 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp Italian seasonings, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine.
  2. Quarter 5 bell peppers and lay them on the bottom of a prepared 9×13 pan. Pour the rice mixture over the peppers and spread evenly.
  3. Dice 2 bell peppers and sprinkle across the top of the rice mixture along with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar.
  4. Preheat oven to 375, cover the 9×13 with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

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The other day while feeding my 8 month old sweet potato with barley I managed to, unknowingly, get sweet potato all over myself. My 8 month old handles preloaded spoons well, yet some how I always end up with food on my hands and once in a while in my hair. So while he was eating sweet potato I was eating Homemade Salsa, some how he got sweet potato in my salsa. I didn’t notice until I took a bite and it was surprisingly good and inspiration for dinner was born.

Frankly while I like the taste of sweet potato, not a huge fan of the texture so I knew there would need to be a balance. The black beans in this have a great taste and texture and could be used in many other meals and the broken chip pieces help alleviate the gooey texture of the sweet potatoes.

These do take a bit of time, but it depends on how many sweet potatoes for. If you are making only for 1 person, you can just microwave the sweet potato and it could be done in as little as 15 minutes. However if you are making more than 1, I’d just go ahead with oven baking them as it’ll take just as much time.

I’m going to go ahead with assuming you are making more than one so start by preheating the oven to 375. Wash 5 sweet potatoes and rub each with a small amount of oil. Using a fork, poke holes all over the sweet potatoes. I had a helper for this part.

Then lightly wrap in aluminum foil. Place all of the sweet potatoes in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. After 45 minutes, check them by poking with a knife. If the knife slices through, they are done. Otherwise, place them back in the over for another 15 minutes before checking again.

When the sweet potatoes have about 15 minutes remaining, begin cooking your black beans. Drain and rinse a 15 oz can of black beans. Place the beans in a medium pot, add 4 oz can of diced green chilies, 1 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp turmeric, and 1/4 cup water. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drop the temperature to medium and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the beans begin to thicken.

Once the sweet potatoes and beans are done, very carefully, open the aluminum foil and transfer to a plate. Cut the sweet potato in half, place about a 1/4 cup of beans in the middle, top with a bit of mozzarella cheese, a few tablespoons of salsa, and a couple crinkled up chips. Repeat for the rest of the potatoes and enjoy!

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 4 oz diced green chilies
  • 1 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salsa
  • mozzarella
  • broken chip pieces

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Rinse and scrub each of the sweet potatoes then rub a bit of oil on each of the potatoes. Using a fork, poke holes all over the potatoes and wrap each in aluminum foil. Once preheated, place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. They should cut easily with a knife when cooked through.
  2. When there is about 15 minutes left on the potatoes begin making the black beans. Drain and rinse the black beans and transfer them to a medium pot. Add 1 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp turmeric, and 1/4 cup water.
  3. Bring the beans to a boil, then drop the temperature to medium-low. Let this simmer for about 10 minutes until the beans have thickened.
  4. Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the aluminum foil. Cut the potato in half and place about a 1/4 cup of beans in the middle. Add mozzarella, a few tablespoons of salsa, and a couple crumbled up chip pieces. Serve and enjoy!

Black Bean and TVP Tacos with Homemade Refried Beans

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Tacos are a common staple in our house. We make them in various ways depending on the time we have on hand and what kind of ingredients and produce we have available. One of my complaints is that when we just throw it together with minimal ingredients and zero measuring is that we don’t have leftovers. Who wouldn’t want leftovers of tacos for the rest of the week or for lunch?

This recipe for Black Bean and TVP tacos is filling, flavorful and makes a ton of leftovers for a small family or plenty for each person in a bigger household. It comes together really quickly. Seriously, the rice took longer than the actual taco filling. It uses a homemade version of taco seasoning (or you could use store bought) and mostly canned goods so you can always have the stuff on hand.

I’ll be honest, no matter what I did refried beans just aren’t pretty and don’t photograph well. I wish they did because the picture doesn’t do them justice. They taste better than store bought and have none of the processed or hidden ingredients (aka lard) found in store bought.

The tacos and the refried beans come together in about the same amount of time so it doesn’t matter which you start first. I’ll start with the refried beans, but feel free to skip on if you are only making the tacos.

Refried Beans: Drain and rinse a 15 oz can of pinto beans. Place the beans in small/medium pot with 1/2 cup vegetable broth, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 1 1/2 tbsp cumin.

Bring this to a boil. Once boiling drop the temperature to medium and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. If the broth evaporates before the end of the 10 minutes, add a bit more as you will need it when you blend them. After 10 minutes, place in a glass or metal bowl and use an immersion blender to blend them to your desired consistency.

They aren’t pretty, but they taste good.

Adding a note here that you can use a blender or food processor for this also. If you use an immersion blender, make sure you do not do it in your pot. It will damage the non-stick coating.

Black Bean and TVP Tacos: Dice one bell pepper, then drain and rinse a 15 oz can of black beans and a 15 oz can of hominy. Place the bell pepper, black beans, hominy, 15 oz diced tomatoes, 1 cup of TVP, 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 cayenne, and 1/2 tsp salt in an extra large skillet. Stir this all until well combined. Bring to a boil and then allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.

That’s it! You’re ready to serve. Goes wonderful with raw onion on top, fresh cherry tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, all the toppings! We served ours on corn tortillas, but they’d go great in store bought shells or flour tortillas.

I chose tomatoes and raw onion on a corn tortilla.

Black Bean and TVP Tacos with Homemade Refried Beans

Refried Bean Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin

Taco Ingredients:

  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 15 oz can hominy
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup TVP
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional: Corn tortillas, flour tortillas, taco shells, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, raw onion, sour cream

Refried Beans:

  1. Drain and rinse the pinto beans. In a small/medium pot, combine the beans, 1/2 cup vegetable broth, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, and 1 1/2 tbsp cumin.
  2. Bring to a boil, then allow this to simmer for 10 minutes. If the liquid evaporates before the end of the 10 minutes, add a bit more.
  3. After 10 minutes, place the beans and bit of liquid in a glass or metal bowl and using an immersion blender, blend to desired consistency. You can use a food processor or blender if you do not have an immersion blender.

Black Bean and TVP Tacos:

  1. Dice a medium bell pepper. Drain and rinse a 15 oz can of black beans and 15 oz can of hominy. Then combine bell pepper, black beans, hominy, 15 oz diced tomatoes, 1 cup of TVP, 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne, and 1/2 tsp salt in an extra large skillet.
  2. Bring this to a boil. Once boiling, drop the temperature and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Serve on choice of tortilla with refried beans and toppings of choice.

Spicy Black Bean Burger

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We’ve probably all had the Spicy Black Bean burgers made by MorningStar Farms. They are delish, which is exactly why I wanted to recreate them. These turned out great and are easy to adjust the spice factor depending on your preferences. While they are a bit more work than throwing a frozen burger in the microwave, the flavor, size and good ingredients are worthwhile.

First dice up 1/2 a bell pepper and 1/2 an onion. Place these in the food processor with 1/2 tsp of garlic and a 1/4 cup of corn. Pulse these a few times until they are small bits. This next part may seem unnecessary, but I really recommend it. Put the veggies into a mesh strainer and try to remove as much liquid as you can. This will help prevent the burgers from getting crumbly. You will probably be surprised how much liquid can be removed.

Place the drained and rinsed black beans in the food processor and pulse once or twice. Then combine the rest of the ingredients: the drained veggies, 1 egg, 1/2 heaping cup of bread crumbs, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 to 1/2 a tsp of cayenne pepper (depending on spice preference), and a little salt and pepper. Combine this all relatively well. It’s okay if there are still visible beans but you want it mostly blended.

Preheat your oven to 375. Using medium handfuls, create burger shaped patties and lay them on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. You know I love my silpat mats. Mine are generic and they work great. There are many different brands that sell them, including Silpat. Silicone baking sheets is more work to type than silpat. Anyways, burger patties on a baking sheet then place them in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping half way. Mine made 6 burgers, though 1 I considered “kid sized”

Precooked.

Make sure you have a good spatula to flip the burgers. They do stick a little so you want something with a good edge that won’t stick (ie. plastic/silicone, not bamboo). After the 20 minutes in the oven, they are ready to serve.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1/4 cup of corn
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne (depending on spice preference)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Dice bell pepper and onion. Place these in the food processor with 1/4 cup of corn and 1/2 tsp garlic. Pulse a few times until they are little bits. Put the veggies in a mesh strainer to remove an excess moisture.
  2. Put drained and rinsed black beans in the food processor. Pulse a few times, then add all the remaining ingredients into the food processor with the beans: the diced veggies, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (heaping), 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne, and a little salt and pepper. Combine these well. It’s fine if there are still some pieces of bean and veggie visible (see pic above for reference).
  3. Using medium handfuls, create burger shaped patties and place them on a prepared baking sheet (silpat mat or parchment paper). Place these in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.