Add to that- budget friendly, and healthy, and free of packaged and preserved foods, and the options narrow down quite a bit.
But, I’ve decided this one is a keeper for my recipe books. My inspiration came from an old casserole recipe that I used to enjoy as a child.
Not only is this new and improved version really tasty, it’s also “cleaner”, using all real food- nothing processed or packaged. Budget-friendly ingredients like Ground Beef, Brown Rice, and chicken broth are key players, so it’s easy on the wallet, too.
Fresh basil adds the perfect little compliment to the creamy rice and beef- it really gives this dish a special flavor. And who doesn’t like bubbly, gooey cheese to top it all off? As a bonus, this reheats really well for great leftovers, too.
Serve up with 1 or 2 veggies as side dishes. Enjoy!
- 1 recipe of Baked Brown Rice (recipe also shown, below)
- 1 to 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced very fine
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper
- 1-2 Tbs. basil (dried or fresh- add more or less, to taste)
- 1/3 cup white flour
- 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
Prepare the rice according to the recipe and bake
Brown ground beef in a little bit of olive oil
Half-way through, add the onion and garlic.
When the beef is browned through, drain off the grease. Cover and set aside.
Wipe out the pan and add the 1/4 cup butter. Heat should be on medium high. When melted, add the chopped basil, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and allow to cook for about a minute.
Next, add the flour and stir until combined. Pour in the chicken broth and whisk until the rue (flour/butter mixture) has broken up and dissolved into the liquid.
When the broth has thickened up and heated through, pour in the ground beef. Add the rice. Make sure everything is well coated with the “sauce”. Sprinkle all of the grated cheese over the top.
Allow all of this to heat completely through until bubbly- stirring frequently so it does not burn on the bottom.
Baked Brown Rice:
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups boiling water
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 1 tsp. salt (optional)
Lightly grease an 8in. baking dish
Pour rice into the dish
Slice the butter into 4 or 5 pieces and place on top of the rice
As soon as your water is boiling, carefully pour over the rice.
Give it a little stir. Cover tightly with foil
Bake at 375 for 1 hour.