Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mexicali Casserole

We've been in a dinner rut lately and have eaten out a lot. This is taking a toll not only on my wallet but on my waistline as well so I thought I'd try some new recipes to try and get things back under control. I have a couple of Taste of Home cookbooks that are more "health" oriented than some. They come with all recipes NI'd out so really, if you wanted to, you could cook only from them and count calories and be able to control your weight. I also like the fact that if you are doing Weight Watchers you are able to point out your recipes with ease. Sometimes that's the biggest challenge for me, figuring out what kind of damage I'm doing to my daily calorie bank with a homemade dinner.

We aren't huge casserole lovers at our house but sometimes it's nice to be able to just put it in the oven and walk away for a while. This was pretty darned tasty and is just as good warmed up for lunch the next day. The only thing I would do differently next time is add more rice. Both of my kids wanted a bigger rice to meat ratio but were pleased overall with the taste. You could definitely spice things up with Tabasco or a diced jalapeno but it was good as written too. I will admit that I didn't measure the cheese so the pictured dish probably has more cheese than the nutritional information suggests...in the interest of full disclosure and all.

Mexicali Casserole
Adapted from Taste of Home
6 large servings

1 lb lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 cup water
2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/3 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese

In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook the ground beef, onions, and green pepper over medium heat untilo meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer; drain. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, water, rice and olives.

Transfer to a 13x9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 375 for 1 hour or until rice is tender. Uncover; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Cal 348; Fat 10g.; Carb 41g.; Fiber 9g.; Protein 24 g.;

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