Wednesday, March 5, 2014


My husband loves casseroles and Mexican food and anything covered in cheese, probably even cheese covered in cheese. His favorite dish growing up his Mom called "Oklahoma casserole". My mother in law told me how to make it early in our marriage and it was a staple in our home for over 20 years. My boys loved it as well. Since we eat less processed food these days, I had to find a way to keep an old family favorite, but make it a little healthier.

2 pounds ground beef 
1 can Spanish rice
1 can Ranch Style beans
Shredded cheddar cheese
FYI - I usually added a can of Rotel tomatoes

Brown the ground beef, add the rice & beans & mix well. Pour into casserole dish. Top with cheese and bake in 350 degree oven about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is hot and bubbly. 

2 pounds lean ground beef
onion, diced

1 cup brown rice
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 or 2 wedges of Laughing Cow garlic & herb cheese
1 can Ranch Style beans
Garlic, minced or garlic salt
Chili powder

Place ground beef and onion in skillet (if it's too lean add a little coconut oil to the skillet) and cook until meat is brown and onions are tender. I season my ground beef with garlic salt or add minced garlic and salt, just whatever I have on hand. 

SPANISH RICE - While beef is cooking, cook rice according to directions. When rice is done, add tomatoes (juice & all), Laughing Cow cheese and mix together thoroughly. Then add garlic salt (or just salt and pepper, whatever your taste buds prefer), cumin and chili powder to taste. I don't measure much. I just put a few dashes of cumin and chili powder then mix it all together and taste. If it taste like it needs more, I add a little more. But be careful a little bit of cumin goes a long way. You could also add cilantro if your family likes it. We do not like cilantro.

NOTE: Adjust it to your taste. You don't have to add the Laughing Cow cheese to the rice if you don't want to. And I know that it is more processed than all natural cheese, but I love it and I love the flavor that it gives to the rice. My family LOVES garlic, but maybe your family doesn't. You can also add more beans or more tomatoes, just whatever you want.

Add spanish rice and beans to the skillet and mix together with the beef. Pour it all in a 13 x 9 casserole dish, cover with shredded cheese (our favorite is cheddar and monterey jack) and bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is hot and bubbly.

Grant likes this casserole with "hoe cakes" or "griddle cakes". My Dad loved "hoe cakes" as well. My Dad fried them in about 2 inches of vegetable oil so they were very greasy. Then he buttered them! LOL. I don't use vegetable oil anymore and we really don't like greasy food so I just spray my pancake griddle with coconut oil spray. For "hoe cakes", I use the recipe on the back of the Quaker yellow cornmeal box, but I make these changes:

1 use more cornmeal and less flour (I ALWAYS use ORGANIC UNBLEACHED flour). On the box - I use the measurement for flour for the cornmeal and the cornmeal measurement for the flour. And instead of vegetable oil, I use coconut oil. I just melt the coconut oil in a glass measuring cup in the microwave about 15-20 seconds. I also use organic raw honey instead of the refined white sugar.

Get your griddle hot, spray with cooking spray (I prefer coconut oil spray - it is a LOT healthier) and cook them like you would pancakes.

I know that these are not the healthiest dishes, but we do live in the South and these types of dishes are what Southern people like to eat. We don't eat this very often anymore. I used to make it at least every 2 weeks, now I only make it a couple of times a year. But at least it has a little more nutrition in it than the original version. I hope you try it. If you do, let me know what you think.

Blessings to you & yours,

No comments:

Post a Comment