Family Recipe: Bean, Rice, & Cheese Bowls

You may have noticed that BRC Bowls is a regular item on our weekly meal plan posts.

Beans and Rice are pantry staples in our home. You can do a lot with both, but the BRC bowl is a quick, easy, and healthy meal that everyone in our home can agree on. If I’ve got more time, I can add roasted veggies too.

We use vegetarian, fat-free refried beans because a lot of commercially made refried beans contain lard, and since I’ve got a small vegetarian in the house, I gotta keep meals vegetarian as often as possible.

It’s also a great recipe to make extra servings of and store in the fridge for lunches throughout the week.

Here is the basic recipe:

Bean, Rice, & Cheese Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 large can refried beans– approx. 28 ounces (or make your own from scratch), heated per package directions. Sometimes we use Ranch-style Beans instead.
  • Rice (I usually make 2 cups rice with 4 cups veggie broth so we have lots of leftovers)- The variety of rice is up to you, but we love jasmine or basmati rice. Did you know that you can freeze cooked rice in portions?
  • Cheese- your choice of variety. I really like the Mexican blend, which generally consists of a blend of Monterey Jack Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Queso Quesadilla, And Asadero Cheese.
  • Roasted vegetables (optional, but I recommend). I like to roast onions, garlic, bell peppers, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots. Cut them up into bite-size pieces, toss in avocado oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the oven on a baking sheet for 30-ish minutes at 450 degrees. You can also add 2 T. of fresh lime juice for some zest.

Directions

Once all ingredients are cooked, assemble individual bowls as follows (from the bottom up):

  1. Rice
  2. Roasted veggies
  3. Beans
  4. Cheese

You can do it in whatever amount each person wants. Kids don’t like cheese? Skip it. Watching your carbs? Go easy on the rice.

As I said before I make a few extra servings in leftover containers and stash them into the fridge for lunches later in the week. The girl kiddo loves rice with butter for lunch, so I always make extra rice for her.

Recipe: Not Your Average Taco Salad

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My Taco Salad is a little different than most, there is no big, greasy, deep-fried shell. Instead, I use tortilla chips as a garnish. This was one of the first recipes I concocted after we committed healthy eating about 10 years ago. It’s very filling and has tons of veggies.

There are all kinds of changes and modifications that can be made to accommodate any dietary concerns.

Not Your Average Taco Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground meat of your choice (Beef, chicken, turkey, or pork, or a mixture)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed (or you can use 1.5 cups of frozen corn)
  • 1/4 cup water (or however much the packet tells you to use)
  • 2 cups Tortilla chips (I like these flax seed Tortilla chips)
  • 2 cups (per person) Salad greens of your choice

With the following ingredients, use as much as you’d like, I prep 1/2 cup-1 cup per person:

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped bell peppers (I usually use one red, one yellow, and one orange pepper for color/variety)
  • Shredded carrots
  • Cucumber slices
  • Avocado slices or guacamole, whichever you prefer
  • Shredded or crumbled cheese
  • Black Olive Slices
  • Jalapeno peppers Slices
  • Sour Cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Salsa of your choice

Directions:

  1. Brown meat, set aside.
  2. Using any residual fat in the pan, and adding olive oil, cook onions until clear and soft.
  3. Add meat back to pan, mix in taco seasoning and water. Cook as directed on the taco seasoning packet.
  4. Add in both cans of beans and corn, cook until heated throughout.
  5. To plate, on a dinner plate or a big bowl- arrange 2 cups greens, top with 1/4-1/2 cup meat/bean mixture, top with other veggies and 1/2 cup chips and cheese and a dollop of sour cream/sour cream.
  6. If you NEED dressing, mix a little sour cream or plain Greek Yogurt with salsa or hot sauce and top your salad.

For a vegetarian taco salad- use soy/veggie crumbles instead of meat.

Family Recipe: Easy Chicken Parm Meatloaf!

046I found a cache of yummy, frugal family recipes, so I’ll be posting them over the next few weeks.

Most of these were formulated by my relatives to feed a hungry, hard-working family with kids. Everyone in my family is frugal, so these recipes won’t contain any expensive or strange ingredients in small quantities- There is nothing worse than trying a new recipe only to find you only need 2 Tablespoons of an ingredient that you’ve never used before, or worse yet, only comes in a HUGE container/package.

I will try to include the sides that we’ve traditionally served with the main dish to round out the meal.

Chicken Parm Meatloaf (serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use Italian seasoned)
  • 1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh white mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 t. Salt and pepper (each)
  • 1/2 c. Your favorite red pasta sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a loaf pan
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except for pasta sauce.  Mix well until all ingredients are well combined and mixture resembles a meaty paste (about 3-5 minutes of mixing)
  4. Pour into a greased loaf pan, shape into a tidy loaf.
  5. Pour pasta sauce over the top of the loaf.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until meat is cooked through. If you are using a meat thermometer, it should read 165 Degrees. I use this one.

I serve this dish with a green salad and Riced Caulifower with Italian Cheese.