Fiesta Casserole

Gluten-free/nut free!

I am posting this recipe on Healthy Kids Ideas Exchange following a large gathering we had for my daughter’s birthday (party) this past weekend.   This recipe is so easy to make, and so easy to serve, thanks to the rice cooker and slow cooker.  Having the dish warm in the slow cooker meant that the kids could eat when they felt like it (and it was difficult to pull them away from the birthday party fun, so we enjoyed a lot of flexibility around when dinner time would be), and having some warm leftovers available for when parents arrived meant that we ended up having a lovely impromptu dinner gathering for all ages!  At popular request, here is the recipe and instructions:

Cook the rice in a rice cooker* ahead of time.  I used about 2.5 cups (dry) brown rice and added twice the amount of water to cook it in the rice cooker.  It expands a lot when you cook it.  I did this while we were outside getting the ice skating rink ready for the party.
(*see purchasing information at end of recipe, below)

Once the rice is done cooking (the switch will automatically “pop” up to the “warm” setting, combine in a large slow cooker:
-The cooked brown rice
-2 16 oz jars of salsa
-4 cans (15 oz) of beans- we used various types to make it colorful:  kidney, pinto, and black
-2 16oz containers of cottage cheese
-Juice of 1-2 limes, or add lime or lemon juice from a jar
-2 teaspoons chili powder
-2 teaspoons cumin
-One bunch of washed, rinsed and chopped fresh cilantro
(Also on your shopping list should be several bags of shredded cheese—you’ll add this after it has been in the slow cooker for a bit).

 

Here is how it looked in the slow cooker, before we added the shredded cheese to melt on top:


This makes a lot of food!  You can always adjust the recipe to make a smaller amount, if you are not feeding a crowd.  Or make the entire amount and freeze some for re-heating later!

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