Mexican Rice Casserole
I love Mexican food, so even after eating lots of it last week in honor of Cinco de Mayo, my cravings were not satisfied. This casserole is very filling with lots of rice, beef, tomatoes and cheese. I was pretty happy with it as is, but then I put a dollop of Wholly Guacamole on top and that really brought it up a notch. Personally, I think guacamole has that effect on most dishes. If you’re looking for a hearty meal with Mexican flair for only 7 P+, this one’s for you.
***For some unknown reason the original post for this recipe was messing up my category labels (appetizers, casseroles, desserts, etc) so I had to take it down and re-post it. I'm simply mentioning this to avoid any confusion of the "didn't she already post this?" or "hey, it's not the week after Cinco de Mayo!" variety. This concludes the Emily Bites special bulletin.***
Mexican Rice Casserole
Source: adapted from For the Love of Cooking
1 1/2 c uncooked brown rice (not instant)
1 t extra virgin olive oil
1 lb 95% lean ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t paprika
1 t chili powder
1 t dried cumin
1 t garlic powder
1 t dried oregano
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3-4 T fresh cilantro, chopped (divided)
1 c reduced fat 2% shredded cheddar cheese
2 medium tomatoes, sliced thickly
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to the instructions on the package.
2. In a large sauté pan, bring the olive oil to medium heat. Add the ground beef and brown while breaking it up. After 3-4 minutes of browning, add the onion and all of the seasonings. Stir until combined and then continue to cook until the beef is browned and the onions are cooked. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the cooked rice, black beans, tomato sauce and add 2-3 T of the cilantro and stir until thoroughly combined.
3. Lightly mist a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and pour the rice mixture in, spreading it evenly. Spread the tomato slices evenly across the top and follow with the cheese.
4. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the dish with it, spray side down. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 5-7 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
Yields 9 servings. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 7 per serving