With the upcoming birth of our first baby, not only am I always tired and needing meals that are easy to make (or to instruct Eric to make!), but I’m also trying to make big batches of recipes that freeze well. This way we’ll be sure to have plenty of healthy food on hand when we’re in zombie mode from a newborn schedule.
I came up with this recipe in October when we were trying to use up the rest of last year’s cow before we picked up this year’s shares (see How We Buy Beef). I had a big batch of leftover rice and was reminded of a dish my dad used to make when we were kids. He always called it “dogfood”, a name we loved but my mother hated. I don’t really remember what was in it except beef and rice with a lot of other stuff dumped in the pot.
I decided to go back to the roots of my birth (I was born and lived in Texas for three months or so!) and went with Tex Mex flavors. I’m sure there are lots of variations of this recipe, and all sorts of names for it (Tex Mex, Mexican Dirty Rice, Spanish Rice with Beef) but I call mine Beef Mexi Rice and absolutely love that it’s chock full of healthy vegetables, beans and brown rice. It’s the perfect one pot meal that’s so easy my husband has made it several times!
If your food budget is really tight, or you’re vegetarian, you can always skip the beef for a really amazing rice and beans recipe. This makes 8 servings for Eric and I, and the nutrition info is based on 8 servings. If you’re feeding big eaters (like) teenage boys, I’d say this is enough for 6 people.
I’m currently stocking up on soups, stews and casseroles in our freezer. Any other great freezer meal suggestions?
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 TBS coconut oil
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup taco seasoning
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (or can of corn, drained)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or can of black beans, drained)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3-5 TBS Tapatio hot sauce
- 3 teaspoons - to taste coarse salt (I used about 3 teaspoons, you may want less if your taco seasoning is very salty)
- Put the chopped onion, garlic and coconut oil in a large pot or wok. Cook on high for three minutes, stirring constantly. Add chopped bell pepper and continue stirring another three to five minutes until everything has begun to soften.
- Add the ground beef and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Continue to cook on high, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned.
- Mix in the rice, corn, tomatoes and beans. Add lime juice, hot sauce and salt to taste.
- Continue stirring and cooking until everything is hot and steaming. Serve with lime wedges.
Approximate cost/serving: The cost of our cow went up a bit this year, so it’s around $4 a pound, still cheap for organic grass fed beef though! The total cost of this dish was about $6.50. I cook my own dried black beans and freeze them in 1 cup portions. I also freeze my own corn when it’s in season. I buy diced tomatoes w/green chiles when they’re on sale or in bulk. For 8 servings, this is just under 85 cents a serving.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: By leaving out the beef you can easily make this a vegan recipe. For gluten free, make sure to use gluten free taco seasoning.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1536mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 22g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.