Christmas special Mexican Brown Rice casserole recipe

Highly nutritious food made in one saucepan

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3 cups brown rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb extra lean ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, diced
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
3 large garlic cloves, grated 
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp paprika powder
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp hot sauce
1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes 
1 (14-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water (or chicken stock) 
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for the top
½-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Optional toppings:
Tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, Greek yogurt, etc.

How you make it:

1. Cook the brown rice according to package directions, being careful NOT to over cook until mushy. 
Meanwhile: In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil and add in the meat, onions and peppers.

2. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onions start to become translucent, stirring often, about 5-8 minutes. 
Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.

3. Season the meat with the salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and chili powders and cook for 2 minutes to develop flavor. Stir in the hot sauce, if using.

4. Dump in the tomatoes, beans and liquid and stir to mix well.

5. Cook for about 10-12 minutes to meld the flavors and to heat the beans. Taste and adjust flavors, if necessary. 
Meanwhile: preheat the oven to 350F.

6. When the oven is hot, dump the cooked rice and chopped cilantro into the meat mixture and mix thoroughly. 
Pour into a large casserole dish and top with cheese.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese and casserole is bubbling. Serve with more chopped cilantro on top and your favorite toppings.

By Blake

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