Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Favorite: Cheesy Beef Bake

Today Caleb is 8 months old, so it's no surprise I'm reminiscing about those early weeks after we brought him home from the hospital. During her visit to meet her new grandson, my mother-in-law threw this dish together from my (woefully) understocked pantry. Since then, it's become a household favorite. It's also a good opportunity for everyone to see that despite my high ideals, I still use some convenience foods!

Cheesy Beef Bake

1lb(ish) ground beef
1 green bell pepper
½ of a medium/large red onion
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 ½ cups of shred cheddar
1 ½ cups of brown rice
2 cups of water

Dice pepper and onion
Brown beef in skillet until halfway cooked, drain.
add pepper and onion until beef is fully browned, set aside
In a seperate bowl mix water, rice, soup, and cheese
Add beef/veggie mixture and stir
pour into 13x9 pan and bake at 375 for 45 mins
remove from oven, sprinkle bread crumbs over the top
bake an additional 10 minutes

There are two swaps that would make this a much healthier dish. If you are feeling adventurous you could try making your own cream of mushroom soup. Basic recipe here and/or for a less time consuming substitute you could make your own bread crumbs. Recipe here.

I haven't tried either yet, but I'm really excited about the bread crumb recipe- finally a use for the butt-end of the bread!

I love this recipe because it takes no time to throw together, it really stretches a pound of meat and it sneaks a decent number of veggies in there. If presentation is important to you, I wouldn't recommend serving this to company since it kind of comes out looking tan colored and uninteresting, but it's a great comfort-food dish.

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