It kind of seems like yesterday, so I’m not really sure where 4 months of time have gone, and I wish I could just make time pause for a year or two while I enjoy this fleeting, achingly beautiful newborn stage.
One of the best things about having this cute little munchkin, besides the sweetest baby snuggles and the wonder of watching a baby sleep so.very.well was the amazing amount of delicious food we received in the weeks after he was born. It was exactly what I needed to jolt me out of my cooking rut and get some new recipes into the rotation. Having the meals ready to go into the oven also helped me to appreciate the value of meal prep earlier in the day so I’m not spending the time right before dinner in the kitchen.
This taco rice was inspired by one such meal we received from a friend. Every member of the family loved it, and we had enough to freeze half for another night, when it was just as well-received and proved its worth as a freeze-and-thaw meal. It’s been on our meal plan regularly since, and I recently found a 5-grain blend that combines rice, oats, wheat berries, spelt and barley that works great in place of rice and is packed with nutritional benefits like iron and fibre.
It may not sound as exciting as it actually is. ;)
Would you eat this as a side dish, wrap it in a burrito, or put it on your salad? I love taco salad, but have never figured out a way to have it for dinner that the kids can eat. This taco rice has solved all my problems. We eat it as salad, but for the two-year-old, it’s perfectly hearty enough to eat on its own with a side of peppers, tomatoes and tortilla chips. So basically he can eat everything but the lettuce, and love it. AND the taco seasoning and texture of the rice/grains means I can hide mushrooms, peppers, onions and all kinds of goodies in here without a single complaint. It can be vegetarian, or you can use ground beef. Is there anything else you could ask for in a meal?
Needless to say, we eat this a lot.
- 2¾ - 3 cups cooked rice (or other grain - see post for options)
- ½ lb lean ground beef
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ cup salsa
- ½ cup water
- 1 pkg (30g) reduced sodium taco seasoning
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- SALAD TOPPINGS:
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped lettuce
- sour cream
- grated cheese
- tortilla chips
- Prepare rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, fry ground beef with onion, mushrooms and pepper until no pink remains in meat. Drain grease, then add salsa, water and taco seasoning and stir well.
- Stir cooked rice into meal mixture and transfer to lightly greased 9x9-inch baking dish. Top with grated cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes to melt cheese.
- Serve with toppings of your choice.