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Cooking With Friends: Elizabeth Breckenridge and the Mexican Style Bean & Rice Casserole

This edition of Cooking With Friends takes us to Portland, Oregon with my friend Elizabeth Breckenridge and a recipe she shared from Forks Over Knives! Before I jump into discussing the ins and outs of the recipe, I want to tell you a bit about Elizabeth! Believe it or not we just passed our 2 year friend-aversary on Facebook and time sure has gone by fast!

When I met this lovely lady she was just getting into the idea of becoming a copywriter and she was living in California. This one likes to move around in fact as I type, she is looking at moving up to Seattle! And if you look at her profile pic I bet you can’t tell that she’s 40! (I couldn’t and still don’t believe it). Besides being a copywriter, I would say that Elizabeth is definitely a foodie. She shares a wide variety of dishes either from recipes that she’s following or her own creations! She is a vegan goddess and while I did throw some dairy in this meal, it is definitely really easy to make it vegan. In fact I will include the original recipe for those who wish to follow the vegan version. If you want to get to know Elizabeth or see some of her work check out her LinkedIn profile!

The recipe is from a cookbook, Forks Over Knives (link above) and I have to say that following the original recipe would’ve been simple and basic. I loved the addition of zucchini since it added some chunky, meatiness that created a nice texture. The original recipe doesn’t include cooking it before adding it to the oven and I believed it needed more so I cooked it along with the onions and pepper. I definitely had to add more spices and if you enjoy a good kick I would suggest following my version!

Britt’s Review: Pros: Hearty and cheap. Easy to make and if you follow my version, it is full of flavor. Cons: The original recipe lacked enough seasoning, so I had to adapt it.

Below you will find my adapted recipe first followed by a picture of the original.


1 Medium Onion

1 Medium Bell Pepper

3 Cloves Garlic

2 Medium Zucchini

1T AVO (Avocado Oil)

2C Cooked Rice

2C Frozen or Canned Corn

14oz Can Diced Tomatoes (or Rotel)

½ to 1t Cumin1 ½ to 4t Ancho Chili Powder

¼ to 1t Chipotle Powder

2 ½t Smoked Paprika

3T Cilantro

1 to 2 t Hot Sauce

2 to 2 1/2C Shredded Cheese

1/4C Sour Cream


1/2C Black Olives


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Dice onion and pepper into ¼ inch chunks. Mince garlic and cut zucchini into ½ inch chunks.
  3. In a large pan cook onion, pepper and zucchini on medium heat for 7-8 mins (until softened) with AVO. Add garlic and cook for 4 mins. Add spices ***start with the minimum***.
  4. ADD: rice, beans, corn, tomatoes (drained) and 1 ½-1 ¾ C cheese (reserve the rest for the top), black olives (chopped into ¼ inch pieces or slice) and sour cream. Stir to combine. Taste the spice levels and add more according to your tastes.
  5. Place everything in a casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  6. Bake 10-20 mins or until bubbly and golden

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