Vegetarian Chile Relleno Casserole

Ingredients

3 cups COOKED brown rice, use Uncle Ben's "quick" brown rice to save time
2- 10 oz. cans Ortega (or other) brand whole chiles
10 oz or more jack cheese
2 whole eggs, beaten until frothy and light
3/4 cup white flour w/ salt and pepper
1 -- 32-oz can tomato sauce
1 -- 10 oz. can whole garbanzo beans
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tsp. garlic powder
Either: 1 tsp. ground cumin, or 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
salt to taste

Directions

1. Generously grease a 9 X 13" casserole dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Separate canned Ortega chiles and lay out on a cutting board. Make a slit up one side of each chili for insertion of cheese.

3. From jack cheese block, cut a 1/2" slice of cheese in the right size to fit inside each chile. Slip cheese slices inside of chiles.

4. Beat eggs and put flour mix on a plate. Layer 1/2 of the cooked rice in the casserole dish.

5. Dip each cheese-stuffed chile first in the beaten egg, then in the flour and lay in rows on top of the rice. Use all of the chiles.

6. In a food processor or blender, whirl the tomato sauce, garbanzo beans, green onions, and spices for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Spread 1/2 of this sauce over the chiles.

7. Top with the remaining half of the brown rice, then with the rest of the tomato sauce. If any jack cheese remains, sprinkle it on top of the casserole.

8. Cover (don't use tin foil) and bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. Put a large bowl of sour cream alongside to garnish.



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