Mexican Brown Rice, Beef, and Veggie Casserole

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Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there! I have to brag for a moment because I’m certain I have one of the best Dads out there. I have learned so much from my dad that its hard to know where to start. He is 87% responsible for my work ethic; he has taught me that hard work, perseverance, and dedication lead to great opportunities and success. He has been a constant motivating presence and always encourages me to go after my, sometimes lofty, goals. Both he and my mom were my first role model in marriage and helped me strive for a partnership, a friendship, and someone who will stand behind me through thick and thin. (Happy to report: check, check, and check!) As a kid my dad came home from what I’m sure was a long and stressful day at work and would throw the softball, go on a bike ride, or take us to Dairy Queen. I have many happy memories and hope to make many more. Hats off to you Dad, I love you.

I would also like to make a special shout out to my husband for being the best doggy daddy around. Lola appreciates all your cuddles, walks, and poo patrol duties. We talked about it this morning.

I made this casserole on Friday evening and it would be a great addition to a Father’s Day celebration paired with a nice cold beer. Mexican food and celebrations go hand in hand, don’t they?

Ingredients:

Note: Check labels to make sure your taco seasoning and corn chips are gluten free if avoiding gluten!

  • 1 lb. grass fed ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken, or leave it out for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 tbsp. taco seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 c. corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. prepared brown rice (I used pre-cooked rice which you can easily find in the grocery store)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. prepared salsa
  • 1 c. Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1/4 c. chives or green onions, diced
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for serving
  • Corn tortilla chips, for serving

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Warm a deep pan over medium heat and add ground beef.

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Break up the beef with a wooden spoon as it browns. Drain excess fat, as needed. Add onions, season with salt/pepper, and cook 5-8 minutes, until translucent.

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Add the zucchini and taco seasoning; cook approximately 5 minutes, until tender.

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Add the corn, garlic, and brown rice and give the mixture a big stir. The pan will really start to fill up at this point.

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Stir in the drained and rinsed black beans until well incorporated.

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Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream and salsa. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

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Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling at the edges.

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Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes. My mouth is watering already…

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Sprinkle with chives and serve with slices of avocado.

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The casserole is creamy and delicious on its own, but I especially enjoyed scooping it up with blue corn tortilla chips. I love the texture difference between the creamy casserole and the crunch of the chip. This casserole tastes even better the next day after the flavors marry! Enjoy! :)

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