Monday, March 4, 2013

Skillet Beef & Rice Casserole

Another of my so-called pantry creations, this dish is proof that you can improvise on dinner and still make something fabulous.  The trick is to not be too crazy.  Stick with combinations that you know work well together, and when in doubt, look online for help with cooking methods, timing, etc.  This dish was thrown together on one of the days Annalyn was sick and none of us wanted to leave the house.  The result was so surprisingly delicious that even my Peanut devoured it (after not eating much all day due to her sore throat).  Michael & I actually fought over the leftovers (and eventually decided to be fair and split them).  I love it because it's easy to make with simple ingredients - no chopping required! (For the record, I actually really enjoy chopping things.  I have pretty knives and big cutting boards, but not always all the time in the world to do so.  Therefore, I appreciate the occasional no-chop meal.  I think you'd be crazy not to!)

Skillet Beef & Rice Casserole

- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 1/2 c. chunky salsa
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 c. water
- 1 1/2 T. taco seasoning (see this post for recipe)
- 2 c. brown rice (can substitute white rice, just decrease the cook time)
- 1 c. shredded cheese


1.  In a large soup pot (I started with a skillet, but later realized it wasn't big enough), brown the hamburger over medium high heat.  Drain and return to pot.

2.  Add the minced garlic and salsa, reduce heat, and cook for 2 minutes.

3.  Add tomatoes (no need to drain), black beans, water and taco seasoning. 

at this point I realized it would never all fit in this skillet...

4.  Bring to a boil, then add rice, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes until rice absorbs the liquid.  (if using white rice, only need to simmer for about 15 minutes.)

like magic, the pot got bigger!

brown rice takes considerably longer to cook than white rice

5.  Spread shredded cheese over the top of the dish, then return lid to the pot to allow cheese to melt.  Serve immediately.  Also makes good leftovers! ;)

Peanut got excited when she saw the cheese,
but she also really liked this dish.
She was starting to feel better and decided to
eat two dinners that night!

she even ate the pieces that fell into her bib pocket

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