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Vegetable and Beef Skillet Meal

Warm and comforting meal with beef and veggies over warm rice and topped with cheese.
Cooking for a Crowd

Cooking for a Crowd

Use these recipe sheets to prepare for larger groups:

Kid friendly
Casserole dish with melted cheese coating a rice and vegetable mix.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Makes: 8 cups
Nutrition Facts: View label

Ingredients

½ pound lean ground beef (15% fat)
¾ cup chopped onion
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (about 2 medium fresh tomatoes)
1 ½ cups vegetables (try any mix of fresh, frozen or canned, such as zucchini, bell pepper, broccoli, corn, cauliflower)
1 ¾ cups water
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded cheese

Directions

  1. Wash hands with soap and water
  2. Rinse or scrub fresh vegetables under running water before preparing.
  3. Cook beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat (350 degrees F in an electric skillet) until no longer pink. Drain fat (see Notes).
  4. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add rice, tomatoes, vegetables, water, and spices. Stir and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low (250 degrees F in an electric skillet). Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed.
  7. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese and cover for 1 to 2 minutes to allow cheese to melt. Serve warm.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes

  • Try brown rice and simmer for 20 more minutes.
  • Try ground turkey or 1 ½ cups of cooked beans (a 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed) in place of beef.
  • For extra flavor, in step 3 add ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 4 cloves of minced garlic.
  • No oregano? Try chopped cilantro.
  • Pour fat from cooked meat into a metal container. Let it cool, then dispose of it in a garbage can.

Comments

I want to share a couple tips for this recipe that I have used in classes with families.  Many people do not understand the length of time that it takes to cook brown rice, but will often receive it through a food pantry or their WIC benefits.  With this recipe, I go over how to cook brown rice on it's own with the amount of water directed on the rice package.  Then we make this recipe, omit the water and add in the cooked brown rice with the vegetables to simmer and soak up the vegetable liquids.  We also talk about other ways they could use brown rice if they prepare a larger portion a one time. 

During the summer we replace the canned, diced tomatoes with fresh.  Participants like to add a little garlic powder to this recipe as we prepare it together.

This recipe is very well received by adults and children when we make it during class.  We usually do a version with meat and a vegetarian version with one can of drained beans; many actually prefer the vegetarian option.  We have tried a variety of vegetables in this dish including fresh, canned and frozen and had good success with all.  Brown rice is delicious in this recipe, but be aware that simmer time increases to about 50 minutes and extra water is needed.

My husband claims this is one of his fav Food Hero meals yet, and he wants to make it next!  I made a veggie version without the beef.  I used 1 cup of beans in place of the beef.  And I did spray the skillet with cooking spray for step 2 (which is where I started cooking the recipe) however, I did have some sticking on the skillet when it was done so next time I will try adding more water as step 4 suggests to better avoid sticking.  GREAT tasting, and everyone went for seconds.  We topped with low fat sour cream and hot sauce and the following would also work/taste great: shredded raw cabbage and/or avacado.  We didn't need a side dish.  This recipe had it all...

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