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LOW-FAT COOKING/DONNA DEANE

Soy Mucho Delicioso

April 15, 1998|DONNA DEANE | Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

Soy chorizo is the key low-fat ingredient in this rice and bean casserole. It has less than one-third the fat grams of regular pork chorizo and about half the calories, and tastes very much like the real stuff (the kind we used even had a similar texture).

There are several brands of soy chorizo available. It can be found at health food stores and some supermarkets in the refrigerated section with other soy products.

Spoon a dollop of nonfat sour cream over the top of the piping hot casserole, and you'll feel like you're indulging yourself.

BAKED RICE AND PINTO BEAN CASSEROLE (VEGETARIAN)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup minced onion

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup rice

2 cups vegetable broth or water

2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained

2 cups canned enchilada sauce

1 (16-ounce) carton nonfat cottage cheese

2 tablespoons chopped canned green chiles

1/2 (12-ounce) package soy chorizo, crumbled

1 cup nonfat shredded Jack cheese

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped green onion

Nonfat sour cream, optional

Saute garlic and onion in saucepan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in rice and cook, stirring, until rice begins to brown lightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. Stir in beans.

Spoon 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into 2-quart casserole. Spoon half of rice in even layer over enchilada sauce. Pour another 1/2 cup enchilada sauce over rice, then spread cottage cheese over top. Sprinkle with chiles, soy chorizo and 1/2 cup Jack cheese. Spoon remaining rice mixture over cheese and pour remaining 1 cup enchilada sauce over top.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees until hot through, about 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Jack cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts and browns slightly, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions and serve with sour cream.

8 servings. Each serving without sour cream:

314 calories; 1,230 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 27 grams protein; 3.63 grams fiber.

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