Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mexican Casserole

 There was a mexican casserole photo that made the rounds on facebook a few weeks ago... chock full of fat, preservatives and sodium.  Sure - I bet it tasted really good and would probably make good comfort food, but I wanted to 'healthy it up'.  So I did just that.  I took out the chips and added in long grain brown rice, took out the cream of mushroom soup and used my own homemade dry mix, took out the envelope of taco seasoning and used my own homemade dry mix and used much less (and reduced fat) shredded cheese.  I wanted to use the ranch-style beans that the recipe called for, but they weren't available in my local grocery store, so I used pinto beans, and I actually only found them a day ago at Hugo's in Grand Forks.  Might have to re-make with them... they had jalapenos in them!  I ADORE spicy food.  My kids LOVED this stuff - the hubby, not so much.  He isn't much of a mexican casserole fan, so his opinion doesn't count.  Enough of my ranting - here's the recipe!

This is a clean eating option - because of the rice & beans it is not paleo.

'Healthified' Mexican Casserole

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 can reduced sodium pinto beans, do not drain
1/3 cup Homemade Cream Soup Mix
2 tablespoons Homemade Taco & Chili Seasoning Mix
1 cup long grain brown rice (the stuff that comes in the bag that has to cook for an hour)
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup shredded marble jack cheese (or your favorite cheese)

Brown hamburger with chopped onion in a larger skillet.  Reduce heat and add rotel, pinto beans, cream soup mix and taco seasoning.  Let simmer 5-10 minutes.  Grease a 9x13 pan and pour in hamburger mixture then add rice and water and stir gently within the pan.  Bake at 350 for a half hour, then stir, bake another half hour, then stir again.  Top with cheese and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is all melted and gooey.  Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, jalapenos, banana pepper rings, Frank's red hot sauce, taco sauce, sour cream or whatever mexican-style toppings you like!

Because of the homemade soup and taco mix it was difficult for me to create the nutrition information without a whole bunch of extra work.  I tried to average it out, but this does not include the soup mix or taco mix.  These two items would definitely increase sodium, but probably not much else.

Nutrition information from www.fatsecret.com based on 10 servings, 85% lean ground beef and low-fat marble jack cheese.
1 serving = Calories - 285, Fat - 13.15g, Cholesterol - 54mg, Sodium - 294mg, Potassium - 406mg, Carbs - 22.24g, Fiber - 3.4g, Sugars - .91g, Protein - 19.67g

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