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Cha-Cha Casserole

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

It’s like a party in your mouth! Woo-hoo!

Serve with a big salad and a cold, light beer! The myriad of flavors bouncing off your taste buds will make you get up and do the cha-cha!!!! Seriously!

This dish may be even better for leftovers the following day…you tell me!

Serves 5

Bowl Ingredients: 1 large yam, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes 4 tsp grape seed oil, divided 1 ½ tsp cumin ¼ tsp oregano ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp black pepper 1 large ripe plantain, peeled, and sliced into ½-inch pieces 1 (15 oz) can of low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained 2 cups cooked brown rice (or any whole grain you like, i.e. quinoa, farro, etc.)

Salsa Ingredients: ½ c diced plum tomato ½ bunch cilantro, chopped ½ c white onion, diced ½ lime, juiced

Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees. 2. Prepare salsa, mix well, and refrigerate to let flavors marry. 3. On a foil-lined baking sheet, put yam pieces in a pile and drizzle with grape seed oil and sprinkle with spices. Toss with your hands until well-mixed and spread out for baking. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10 minutes, until soft. 4. In the meantime, rinse, drain, and heat black beans in fresh water on the stovetop. 5. Heat 2 tsp grape seed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Spread around with a paper towel and remove excess. Once hot, cook plantains for ~2 minutes per side, until golden brown. 6. In a medium-sized casserole dish, layer brown rice, drained black beans, roasted yams, and plantains. Top with the lime salsa and voila! Dig in while it’s nice and hot!

Nutrition Facts: Calories 360, Fat 5 gm, Sodium 220mg, Carbs 75gm, Fiber 9gm, Protein 8gm

Tips: 1. Buy frozen, organic brown rice that you can microwave to save yourself some time. 2. You can make the salsa and roasted yams a day ahead…just before serving, mix the salsa and put on the counter to become room temp and reheat the yams in the microwave (~ 1.5 minutes). 3. Set timer for 2 minutes while cooking the plantains – seriously!!! I can’t tell you how many times I have (slightly) burned them…you don’t want to burn them. Really! 4. You may want to flavor your casserole with salt & pepper. I would recommend you taste first and sprinkle lightly, if needed.

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