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Monday, July 2, 2012

Crunchy Taco Casserole

We inhaled this taco casserole. Topped with tons of shredded lettuce, fresh salsa and a dollop of sour cream, with the crunchy crust on the bottom, it was like eating a super fresh taco salad. It is by far the best taco casserole I have made. From start to finish it took about 45 minutes to make - and well worth it!

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups plus 4 to 5 tablespoons water, divided
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)  You can also use turkey or chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1/4 cup water
1 envelope low sodium taco seasoning
2 eggs, lightly beaten  (I use egg beaters)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

In a small saucepan, cook rice according to package.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in enough remaining water to form a soft dough. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. (Don't worry if there are holes) Bake at 400° for 13-15 minutes or until very lightly browned.

For filling, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper, black beans and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add water, taco seasoning and cooked rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in eggs. Spread over crust and top with cheese.

Bake uncovered for 15-17 minutes or until filling is set and cheese is bubbly. Cut into squares. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

recipe adapted from

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