Southwestern Rice & Bean Casserole

After Anna got diagnosed with her numerous food allergies, I felt crippled in the kitchen.  The list of what I could not feed her was long, but what could I feed her?  As I scoured through my recipes, there were not very many that I could continue to make.  I had to find some new recipes ASAP, so off to the local library I went.  An hour later, I walked out, arms full, with about 30 cookbooks for food allergies, gluten free, egg free or vegan diets.  I spent several days reading through them, hunting for some new recipes for my family.

As you know, when you go gluten free, there are all kinds of strange sounding ingredients I had never heard of before like xanthan gum, tapioca starch, garbanzo bean flour.  I felt like a stranger in a new land.  The ingredients sounded strange and the recipes sounded really “earthy,”not ones my family would eat.  It was difficult to find a recipe that was similar to anything I had made before and it became really discouraging.  Where were some normal sounding recipes, things my Mom or Grandma would have made?  We tried many new foods during that time and I became determined to figure out how to make our favorite old recipes safely for Anna.  There are only a couple recipes out of that stack of cookbooks that have become a family favorite and I am happy to share one of them with you.

1 # ground beef
1 1/2 c onion, finely chopped
3/4 c green & red pepper, finely chopped
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 1/2 c brown rice
3 c boiling water
1 can green chilies, chopped
1 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 t salt
2 lg garlic cloves, minced

1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown meat with onions and peppers.  Add chili powder and cook for 1 minute.  Add rice, cook 3 minutes.  Stir in boiling water, chilies, beans and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in garlic.
2.  Cover and bake 45 min.
3.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese.  Bake uncovered for 10-15 more minutes or until the cheese melts.

Optional toppings ideas:  Trader Joes Corn Salsa, sour cream and olives.

Serve with taquitos, chips and salsa.

Shared on Gluten Free Wednesdays.


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