Yesterday I thought we were out of pre-made vegan lunches after I sent one portion of roasted vegetable pasta with Garrett to work and planned to eat the other portion, so I ran to the store to grab the stuff I would need to make a Mexican-style bean and rice casserole. Like a lot of these recipes, it was pretty labor intensive, because you have to make the faux cheese sauce first. Thankfully I realized I could use the casserole dish to hold the chopped vegetables before adding them to the pan, saving me some cleanup work.
One advantage with recipes like this is that it's not dangerous to taste the mix because there's no raw meat. As long as you remember to do it. I forgot, and I'm honestly not sure if the chili powder is used is the one called for in the recipe. My friend Paul brought corn cobs and chili powder to our July 4th party, and there was a lot of chili powder left over, so I used it. I would have added more if I'd tasted it. Which is to say the casserole came out a little bland. Not a huge problem, as I'm eating it with hot sauce and pickled red onions right now. I also wish I'd baked it longer, as it might have thickened up even more.
If I make it again, I'll make some changes. Garrett probably picked out all the peppers, for one thing. I'm not sure what I'll replace the chopped red pepper with when I try again. It might be smartest just to be inspired by whatever's in the store. I'd also like to try a different faux cheese sauce. snatchbeast recommends this one highly, and it just sounds way better. Potato and carrot instead of onion and pepper? It just makes more sense. In fact, I think I'll try making it soon just to try it, no casserole needed.
And finally, I wish I had a batch of faux sour cream onhand. Everything Mexican is better with sour cream.
It turns out there are several smoky sweet potato burgers waiting in the freezer, which I found when I was putting away three portions of the casserole away. The situation wasn't as urgent as I thought. Still need to choose something else to make a batch of this week. Something that freezes and reheats well, specifically. I'm happy to report the roasted vegetable pasta does. That one's a do-over.