Use the CrockPot to cook this vegetarian Spicy Brown Rice and Black Bean Cheesy Bowl and keep the kitchen cool. And this tasty meatless meal is also gluten-free and South Beach Diet friendly!
When you live where it's hot in the summer, using the slow cooker to cook amazing food without heating up the house is one of the best tricks I know. In fact, on my slow cooker site I feature Slow Cooker Summer Dinners each year, and this Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Rice and Black Bean Bowl would make a perfect summer dinner cooked in the CrockPot. It took me a couple of tries to get this recipe just right, and for the final version I had the wild idea of cutting up some cubes of string cheese and stirring them into the rice and beans mixture for the last 30 minutes of cooking time, so this is a spicy brown rice and black bean cheesy bowl. Everyone likes cheesy don't they? I tested several versions of this out on my niece Kara and her family, and they gave the thumbs up to the version with cheese, but it's definitely optional if you prefer it without the cheese.
I used two cans of diced green chiles in the brown rice and black bean mixture and it was a bit spicy, so if you're making this for kids you might want to cut that down to one can. Of course, this is my Meatless Monday recipe for this week, and I love these kinds of Southwestern flavors in a Meatless dish. (To find more meatless recipes use the label Meatless Monday or take a look at Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index or my Meatless Monday Pinterest board. I also share Meatless Monday ideas from other blogs each week for Meatless Monday at BlogHer.com.)
Chop up a small onion and put it into a slow cooker that you've sprayed with non-stick spray, along with the minced garlic. (I used my Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker, but it could have been slightly smaller.)
Rinse 2 cans black beans and drain well in a colander. (Or you can use 3 cups cooked black beans. I love cooking dried beans in the slow cooker and then freezing to use in things like this.) Add the beans to the slow cooker.
Add two cans diced green chiles with the juice (or maybe just one can if you're cooking for kids.) These are Anaheim chiles, don't use jalapenos unless you really want it hot!
Add 1 cup uncooked Uncle Ben's Brown Rice, 1 can vegetable broth, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, and 1 packet Goya Sazon (optional, but good.)
Let it cook on high for 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the rice is mostly done and it looks like this. (If you have an older model slow cooker or use a different type of brown rice, your cooking time may be longer.)
Then cut up six string cheese sticks into small rounds (or use 6 oz. cheese and cut into small cubes.) I liked using the string cheese because it was low in fat and easy to cut up.
Stir the string cheese pieces gently into the rice and beans mixture and cook 20-30 minutes more on high.
Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Rice and Black Bean Cheesy Bowl
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe inspired by Slow Cooker Mexican Rice at Six Sisters' Stuff.)
I used my Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cans black beans (15 oz. each), rinsed well and drained (or use 3 cups cooked black beans)
1 cup uncooked brown rice (I use Uncle Ben's Brown Rice)
1 or 2 cans diced Anaheim green chiles, 4 oz. each (This was just slightly spicy but you might only want one can if you're making for kids)
1 can vegetable broth (14 oz.)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 small packet Goya Sazon (optional, but it adds a lot of flavor)
6 pieces Mozzarella string cheese (or use 6 oz. low-fat cheese and cut into small cubes; cheese is optional)
1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1 cup, more or less to taste)
For serving: salsa, diced avocado, low-fat sour cream
Spray the inside of a 3-4 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray. Chop up the onion. If using canned beans, rinse in a colander placed in the sink (until no more foam appears) and let the beans drain.
Put diced onion, minced garlic, black beans, rice, vegetable broth, diced green chiles, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, and Sazon (if using) into the slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour 45 minutes. (If you have an older model slow cooker or use a different type of brown rice, your cooking time may be longer.)
Cut 6 sticks Mozzarella string cheese into slices (or cut 6 oz. cheese into cubes if not using string cheese.) Gently stir the cheese into the rice and bean mixture and cook 20-30 minutes more, or until the rice is done and the cheese is melting. Chop up desired amount of green onions. Turn off heat, stir in the green onions, and serve hot with salsa, diced avocado, and low-fat sour cream to add at the table.
South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This recipe would be suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. (Remember that dried beans are a limited food, so if you're actively trying to lose weight on Phase 2, use portion control.)
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Beans in the Slow Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker Beans and Legumes Photo Index Page ~ Slow Cooker from Scratch
Slow Cooker Vegan Brown Rice Mexican Bowl with Black Beans, Bell Peppers, and Poblano-Avocado Salsa ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Black Bean and Brown Rice Burrito ~ The Perfect Pantry
CrockPot Beans and Rice ~ A Year of Slow Cooking
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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