Western Casserole

February 8, 2014
Western Casserole - A hearty, healthy and delicious meal that's easy to prepare. It's a perfect freezer meal or for busy weeknights

“For the past few months, I've felt like a wooly bear.”

Cozy Winter

Photo Credit: LovistaPhoto.com

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“It has to be this winter.  With the crazy amounts of cold and snow, I've had such a hard time finding motivation beyond being home with my husband, my favorite jammies, and comfort food.”

I smiled across the table at my friend as we sat in a quiet booth at our favorite Cafe, enjoying our monthly lunch date

“Please, I'm right there with you”  My gaze oscillating between the mac and cheese, then the burger.  A pang of guilt diverted my eye to the salads.

Alas

Western Casserole - A hearty, healthy and delicious meal that's easy to prepare. It's a perfect freezer meal or for busy weeknights

Little did she know, that sitting in our fridge waiting to be warmed for dinner was one of my favorite casseroles, and it certainly wasn't the first time I'd made if over the past few months

This isn't a fancy recipe, just a simple dish that reminds me of my mom.  She's made it for as long as I can remember.  Not just for our family, but it's come to potlucks, office Christmas parties, or when she's been called upon to share a freezer meal for others

It's one of the first dishes I learned to cook reliably after starting a family of my own.  It was easy to make, done in less than an hour,  didn't cost a lot, I couldn't mess it up with my beginner kitchen skills.

Western Casserole - A hearty, healthy and delicious meal that's easy to prepare. It's a perfect freezer meal or for busy weeknights

I even remember searching out a brown glass dish similar to the one she used, to add that same sense of home

One can easily modify to suit your family.  Following her lead, we've taken to ground lamb, although beef is the classic meat of choice.

Any kind of bean works well, along with a variety of veggies.  If heat is your thing, by all means, go spicy with your chili powder or add some red pepper flakes.

My favorite way to enjoy it is with a side salad and a piece of crusty bread.

However you choose to make it yours, it's all good

Enjoy!

xoxo

ps:  Thank you, my friend, for the gentle nudge toward the omelet of the day and a small salad.  It was perfect and comforting, just like the company

pps:  For those who follow The Veggies, you may recognize this recipe as one from the archives.  It's one of those recipes that deserves to be shared again and again.  I made it this week and thought some updated pictures were in order.

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Western Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ lb ground beef
  • 1 green or red pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder mild to spicy, depending on your heat tolerance
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • sliced black olives (optional, for topping)
  • shredded cheese, for topping

Instructions

  • Cook rice according to directions
  • Saute onions, celery, pepper, mushrooms, chili powder, and garlic until the vegetables are being to get soft
  • Add ground beef and cook until browned
  • Combine the mix along with the tomatoes, beans, and rice in a baking dish.
  • Top with cheese and olives
  • Cook 30-40 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly brown on the top
Serves: 8
Nutrition + Show
Rating:
Calories 370
Total Fat 12.7g
Saturated Fat 5g
Carbohydrates 34.6g
Fiber 7.9g
Sugars 4.7g
Protein 27.5g
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