Mexican-Spiced Beef and Rice Casserole
This delicious casserole is inspired by a famous Tex-Mex pie of chili, beans, cheese and corn chips all piled on a layer of lime rice. I used my Young Living Lime Vitality Essential oil to give the rice an extra Kick of flavor!!
PREP TIME: 15 Minutes
COOK TIME: 30-40 Minutes
1 1/8 lbs Ground Beef
3 corn tortillas
1 cup Jasmine Rice
1 1/2 cups Pinto Beans
3 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese
3 cloves Garlic
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Mexican Spice Blend
1-2 drops of Young Living Lime Vitality Essential Oil
1. Preheat the oven to 475F, wash and dry the produce, quarter the lime, peel and mince the garlic, cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions & thinly slice on an angle separating the white bottoms from the green tops, drain and rinse the pinto beans, grate the cheese, stack the tortillas and then cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
2. Cook the rice.
In a medium pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and 2 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 12 to 14 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the juice of 2 lime wedges as well as 1 to 2 drops of Lime Vitality Essential Oil. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook the beef & beans.
While the rice cooks, in a large non-stick pan, heat 1 Tsp of olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the ground beef, garlic, and white bottoms of the scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3-5 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Add the tomato paste, beans and spice blend. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes or until the tomato paste is dark red and fragrant.
Add 1/4 cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes or until the water has cooked off.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the juice of the remaining lime wedges. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Assemble & bake the casserole.
Transfer the cooked rice to a baking dish; spread into an even layer. Evenly top with the cooked beef and beans, then the cheese. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven.
Let stand for at least 2 minutes before serving.
5. Toast the tortilla strips.
While the casserole bakes, place the tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 1/2 Tsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Arrange in a single, even layer. Toast in oven 7 to 9 minutes or until browned and crispy. Remove from the oven.
6. Serve your dish.
When cool enough to handle, garnish the baked casserole with the toasted tortilla strips and green tops of the scallions.