Spanish Inspired Ground Beef & Rice Salad

Today my friends L&S came over for a quick lunch visit!

It was so nice to have them visiting us, albeit brief, L had trapeze lessons to get to by 5p for her show in a week, so it was understood! πŸ™‚

Since S is gluten free, I had to think of something easy to make, that was light enough for lunch and didn’t consist of sandwiches!

In came the idea for rice and beef! I like rice for a few reasons…but mostly because it is light and airy and easy to ignore on the stove.

You can’t really go wrong with rice.

I think rice is almost as good as potatoes, almost.

Here is what I came up with, using stuff I had on hand…or should I say in the pantry/fridge already. πŸ™‚

Spanish Inspired Beef & Rice Salad

Ingredients
1-2 Tbs Cooking Oil (veg, sunflower, olive, whatever you have on hand will suffice!)
1 Medium Onion (diced)
2-3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
10 Sugar Snap Peas* (sliced thin, horizontally) * You can sub bell pepper for this, just dice them up! πŸ™‚
1/2 jar Pasta Sauce* (any flavor) * You can Sub tomato sauce or 3-4 diced med. tomatoes and a can of tomato paste
1 lb Ground Beef (or pork, chicken, turkey, soy or TVP!! whatever ground protein you’d like will work!
Blend Seasonings (1Tbs salt, 1/2 Tbs black pepper, 1/2 tsp of each: chili powder, paprika & cumin.)
2-3 cups Cooked White Rice (make as much as you need, have extra? Make my rice pudding recipe! πŸ™‚ )
1 bag Mixed Salad Greens
1 Jar Salsa (homemade works too, see my salsa recipe and fall in love!)
1-2 cups Shredded Mild Cheddar (as much as you’d like)
1 bag Corn Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt or Mayonaise

Equipment Needed
Large Skillet & Lid
Wooden Spoon
Small mixing bowl

1.Prep all your ingredients.
2.Set your uncooked rice to boil or if you are lucky and have a rice cooker, set that baby up!
3.Heat the oil over low heat until pan is hot.
4.Toss in the onions, stir and cover. Cook until just beginning to yellow.
5.Add the garlic, stir, cover. Cook until just all ingredients just browning.
6.Toss in sugar snap peas (or bell pepper), stir, cover. Continue cooking until peas or peppers soften just slightly (about 3-4 minutes).
7.Stir your rice or just twiddle your thumbs for a quick second.
8.Add the pasta sauce (or tom sauce), stir, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickens just slightly. Add about 2 tsp of the seasoning mix, stir to blend.
9.Remove from heat and pour into a small mixing bowl, set aside.
10.Stir your rice again or scratch that place between your shoulder blades that has been bugging you.
11.Place the skillet back on the stove, don’t worry about the remnants, add the beef. Over medium low, brown the ground beef.
12.Add the sauce you just set aside, stir until well mixed with beef, cover. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or so, basically you want the moisture to absorb into the meat. The longer you cook it the tastier it gets! πŸ™‚
13.At some point the rice should be done, so keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t burn. Or just wait for the ding. πŸ™‚
14.You could shred the cheese now, if you don’t buy it in those fancy pre-shredded packages. You could also set up your bowls with salad on the bottom or you could wait. πŸ™‚
15.Once the beef/sauce mixture has reached the consistency you like, it shouldn’t be saucy really, add a little more of your seasoning blend to taste, stir well. Remove from heat.

To create your salad:

In a salad bowl or large plate pile the items in the following order:

1.Mixed greens
2.Rice
3.Beef mixture
4.Shredded cheese
5.Salsa
6.Dollop of Sour Cream, Mayonaise or Plain Yogurt if you like πŸ™‚

Arrange corn tortilla chips around the outside of the greens.
Lightly sprinkle your seasoning blend over the whole thing for flair.
Serve immediately with a fork!

Enjoy!

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