The first time I ever encountered “Tex-Mex” cuisine was on a cycling trip that brought me to El Paso, Texas. It was a version of spaghetti that I will never forget – both for flavour and heat. This recipe recreates that special fusion of Texas pow and Mexico’s bright flavours together in a warm, filling dish.
Ingredients to serve 4 to 6+
• 1 1/2 cups of prepared short-grain brown rice
• 1 teaspoon of olive oil
• 1 lb lean free-range ground beef
• 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced finely
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon dried cumin
• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 to 2 finely cut organic chipotle peppers* for extra heat (optional if you have kids eating this)
• Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
• ½ cup pitted green olives finely cut.
• 1 15 oz can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 15 oz can of organic tomato sauce
• 3-4 tbsp fresh cilantro roughly chopped.
• 1.5 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (substitute half with mozzarella for lower fat)
• Low-fat Organic Sour cream (to top)
• Spray olive oil
*these are much softer than the regular dried ones.
Serve with World’s Best Guacamole
Equipment: pot to cook rice, large skillet, 9×12 glass casserole dish, colander, sharp knife, cutting board, bowls, aluminum foil.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare rice per instructions. While the rice is cooking heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the ground beef, making sure to break it up into crumbles. Cook the beef for 3-4 minutes then add the diced onion and all of the seasonings. Stir until well combined and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the beef is cooked through and the onion is tender. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for an additional 60 seconds. Add the cooked rice, drained and rinsed black beans, tomato sauce and a bit of cilantro (reserving some for garnishing) to the beef and onion mixture. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, taste and re-season if needed.
Spray the baking dish and pour the rice mixture into the dish, spreading it evenly then top with shredded cheese.
Cover the baking dish with non-stick aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes then remove the tin foil. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Top with a dollop of sour cream and the remaining chopped cilantro. Add a side of the world’s best guacamole and eat up!