4cupscooked brown ricepre-cooked or made from 1 1/2 dry rice
1Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1yellow bell pepperchopped
6oz. spinachcoarsely chopped (unless using baby spinach)
2cupsfire-roasted salsa (look for brands with no added sugar)
4veggie burgersthawed and crumbled or chopped, or use 1 lb. pre-cooked ground chicken, turkey, or beef
1 1/2cupsshredded Cheddar or Monterey jack cheeseor a combination of the two
1cuplow fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (or use any variety)for serving (optional)
Cook the rice now, if starting with dry.
Heat a large heavy skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil, and when it is hot, add the bell peppers and onions. Sauté them, stirring occasionally, for 6 – 8 minutes until they are tender and starting to brown.
Stir in the spinach, cover and steam it for about 2 minutes until it is wilted. Remove it from the heat.
Meanwhile, spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spread the rice evenly in the bottom of the dish. Top it evenly with the sautéed vegetables, 1 cup of salsa, the crumbled veggie burgers, the remaining salsa, and the cheese.
Cover it with foil (sprayed with cooking oil to prevent the cheese from sticking) and bake it for 30 minutes, uncovering it after 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.
Cool the casserole for 10 minutes, if time allows, and cut it into squares to serve it, topped with sour cream, if desired. Or cover it tightly and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months (can be frozen whole or cut up in pieces and frozen that way, so that you can thaw only as much as desired).
Slow Cooker Directions
Place 1 cup of dry rice, 2 cups of water or broth, and all the other ingredients except the sour cream in the slow cooker. (If you wish, you may reserve 1/2 cup of cheese to use as a topping.) Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours (adding the reserved cheese 15 - 30 minutes before serving).
(Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the bell pepper, onion, and spinach, cook the rice if necessary, thaw and crumble or chop the veggie burgers or cook the ground meat and refrigerate, shred the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the dish.Scramble Flavor Booster: Serve it with hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco.Tip: If you plan to freeze a casserole, completely cool it first, uncovered, to avoid condensation.Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 318, Total Fat: 11g, 17%; Saturated Fat: 5g, 24.5%; Cholesterol: 22mg, 7.5%; Sodium: 718mg, 30%; Total Carbohydrate: 39g, 13%; Dietary Fiber: 6g, 23%; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 16gLike this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!