dinner

One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Rice (and Free Cookbook Preview!)

One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Rice (and Free Cookbook Preview!)

 

My One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Rice with Ground Beef is the ultimate one-dish meal! It's easy enough for weeknight dinners, and it's kid and family friendly, as well as low fodmap and gluten free. Click to get the recipe and a bonus sneak peek at the Calm Belly Kitchen Cookbook: Crave-Worthy Low FODMAP Recipes for Everyday!

Click to pin it!

Today's recipe is:

  • Easy (as in, "after-work easy")

  • Cheesy (easy and cheesy!)

  • Low-FODMAP (and gluten free)

  • Made completely in one pan

  • Crazy-good

This magical unicorn of a recipe is my One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Rice with Ground Beef. Not only is it a tasty, all-in-one, low-FODMAP meal, it's the first recipe I'm sharing from the Calm Belly Kitchen Cookbook.

It's also got a really great backstory.

I've been developing the recipes for this cookbook since January. I planned them out and put them on my calendar. Week after week, I'd churn out a few more: testing them, planning the photo shoots and props, writing the text.

(For the record, it's an ebook, but I couldn't resist that cool mock up!)

Some of my original recipe ideas didn't pan out like I expected, or they just didn't fit into the book as it took shape. Somewhere in March, I figured out that I had about 45 recipes, but I wanted to hit 50.

So I asked you guys! If you've been part of the Email Crew for awhile, you might remember that around the end of March I asked you to nominate recipes you'd like me to create for the book. 

The suggestions were priceless because I got tons of insight into what you're really craving. I picked my top 3 and left it up to a vote. One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Rice with Ground Beef was the clear winner. 

A few people in the community have already tried it out and posted about it on Facebook:

I'm so glad I decided to ask for input (and help with recipe testing!) from the Calm Belly Community. It's made this book so much better than it could have been if I'd just worked away in secret.

The full recipe for my Cheesy Mexican Rice is below for you to try out...

...Or just snap up your own copy of the Calm Belly Kitchen Cookbook right now!

One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Rice with Ground Beef

It's best to use “instant” or “minute” rice since it takes a bit longer to cook with this method. I like using brown rice, but instant white rice will also work and should cook faster (use 1 ½ cups water for instant white rice). Regular white rice also works, but you'll need more water and the cooking time will be about 40 minutes.

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Cooking spray
1 ¼ lb ground beef
2 tsp ancho chile powder, divided
2 tsp cumin, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 ½ cups instant brown rice (see note above)
15 oz can petite diced tomatoe
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups water
8.75 oz can sweet corn, drained
4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
5 scallion tops, sliced
1 packed cup (4 oz) grated colby jack or cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat a large saute pan or skillet with a lid on medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray and add beef, 1 tsp of the chile powder, and 1 tsp of the cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, crumbling the meat with your spoon, until no longer pink, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

2. Add rice to the skillet and stir well to coat with the juices from the meat. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and water. Cover and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes (The directions on the rice box don't apply; it takes a bit longer to cook with this method.).

3. Stir in corn, green chiles, scallions, beef, and remaining 1 tsp each of chile powder and cumin. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle cheese all over the top. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Rest 5 minutes, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (& Bonus 1-Week Low-FODMAP Menu!)

Slow Cooker Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (& Bonus 1-Week Low-FODMAP Menu!)

This hearty chicken and wild rice soup is a cinch to make in the slow cooker. Thanks to a healthy secret ingredient, it's extra creamy and satisfying. Click through to get this easy recipe and a free 1-week low-FODMAP menu. The menu shows you how to repurpose and jazz up leftovers so you're NOT spending hours cooking every night (win!).

This slow cooker soup is so rich and creamy that it's more of a chowder than a soup. I've eaten it 3 times this week, and I'm sad to run out! I'm so in love with it that I put together a whole week's worth of low-FODMAP meals around it.

More on that in a second, but if you want to just grab the free 1-week dinner menu right now, click the button!

This soup is packed with moist, shredded chicken, veggies and wild rice. To keep the leeks from getting so soft that they melt away, I saute them in a little garlic oil and add them at the very end so they retain their texture and bright oniony flavor. 

But the thing that really sets this recipe apart is a very simple secret ingredien

To get that thick, creamy texture with zero dairy, I stir two egg yolks into the soup. Not only do they thicken, but they add an extra hit of satisfying protein and healthy fat that makes this a meal in a bowl (but don't let that stop you from having a nice green salad on the side!). They don't taste "eggy" either, just rich and delicious.

This hearty chicken and wild rice soup is a cinch to make in the slow cooker. Thanks to a healthy secret ingredient, it's extra creamy and satisfying. Click through to get this easy recipe and a free 1-week low-FODMAP menu. The menu shows you how to repurpose and jazz up leftovers so you're NOT spending hours cooking every night (win!).

The soup recipe is below, but I also put it into a 1-week menu of low-FODMAP dinners for you to download!

So often, when websites offer free meal plans and menus, they just give you 7 totally different recipes as if you have an hour or two to spend cooking every night of the week (and unlimited money to spend on ingredients). I know you don't have that kind of time because you've told me. 

So this menu features four main dinner recipes  with instructions on how to repurpose the leftovers or ideas for different side dishes to jazz them up on day two.

To get the menu delivered straight to your inbox, just click the yellow button and let me know where to send it! 

You'll also be added to the Calm Belly Email Crew, which means every Friday you'll get even more tips, inspiration and bonuses that you won't find on the blog.

So what do you think of this recipe? Have you ever used egg yolks as a thickener before? I'm absolutely loving my slow cooker right now, so if you have a favorite recipe to share, leave a link in the comments!

If you liked this post, would you take a second to share it on Pinterest or Facebook? Thank you...I'm giving you a big computer hug right now!

Pin it!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Low-FODMAP, Gluten Free (if made with low-FODMAP, GF broth)

Although I say adding egg yolks is optional, it's a great technique that makes this soup extra special. Stirring them in at the end creates a rich, creamy texture without tasting “eggy.” Since veggies tend to get a little too soft in the slow cooker, I like adding the sautéed leeks at the very end so they retain their bite and pack more onion-like flavor. However, if you want to add them at the beginning, sautéed or not, the soup will still be fantastic. Herbes de Provence is a blend of dried herbs, usually thyme, rosemary, marjoram and lavender; find it in the spice section. Dried thyme may be substituted.

Author: Julie-Calm Belly Kitchen             Recipe type: Main dish
Prep time: 10 mins    Cook time: 4 to 8 hours, 30 mins    Total time: 4 to 8 hours, 40 mins
Serves 4 to 5 

INGREDIENTS
 
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half if large
1 tbsp butter
1/2 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence or dried thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 cup wild rice-brown rice blend (I use Lundberg)
2 egg yolks (optional)
2 tsp garlic-infused or regular olive oil
1 small leek, green parts only, sliced
3 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Grated parmesan cheese for serving
Chopped fresh Italian parsley for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add all ingredients through rice to a large slow cooker and cook until chicken breasts are opaque in the thickest part (165F on an instant-read thermometer) and rice is tender, 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.  Transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour about ¼ cup of the hot soup into the yolks as you whisk (this heats up the yolks so they don't start to scramble when you add them to the hot soup). With the slow cooker on high, slowly pour the yolk mixture into the soup, stirring as you pour. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 10 minutes.

3. Heat the garlic oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Shred the chicken and add it back to the slow cooker along with the leeks. Cover and cook for a few minutes, just until chicken is heated through. If soup is very thick, add water or broth (I added about ½ cup) to thin as you like. Turn off slow cooker and stir in the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan and fresh parsley.

Sardine Spaghetti with Tomato-Caper Sauce (Gluten Free, Low-FODMAP, Dairy Free)

Sardine Spaghetti with Tomato-Caper Sauce (Gluten Free, Low-FODMAP, Dairy Free)

This Sardine Spaghetti is a simple pasta dish that's ridiculously healthy and packed with flavor. The quick tomato-caper sauce goes so well with the savory sardines. This dish is gluten free, dairy free and low-FODMAP, but you won't be missing out on anything. Click through for the recipe!

This pasta dish is one of my favorites. I easily make it twice a month. It's definitely a “Go-To Meal” for me, but I haven't stopped and written up the recipe until now.

If you need a simple, seriously healthy meal to break up your holiday feasting, this is it! Sardines are considered a superfood, but I (and probably you, too) wouldn't be eating them if they weren't so tasty.

Sardines are little umami powerhouses—they have that addictive savory-salty-funky flavor that's considered the “fifth taste.”

 Sometimes eating clean or dealing with dietary restrictions means losing out on those special flavor boosters that take a recipe from “really good” to “crazy delicious.” Not the case here!

 If you need more convincing, the sardines make this meal ridiculously healthy. Just the highlights:

  • Bone-building vitamin D, which is hard to come by if you don't eat a lot of dairy or get a lot of sun

  • More iron than the same amount of steak so your immune system stays strong, and you don't get sick so often

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, which sharpen your memory (yup, this recipe will make you smarter)

Lastly, I'm dedicating this recipe to one of my favorite people on the internet as a little holiday gift. She's helped me make this website and all the content that goes with it something I'm truly proud of. I know she appreciates the magical deliciousness of sardines, so this is for you, Regina!

So, have I talked you into whipping up some sardine spaghetti, or are you already a fan of these tasty little fish? If you have a great recipe with sardines, please share in the comments!

This Sardine Spaghetti is a simple pasta dish that's ridiculously healthy and packed with flavor. The quick tomato-caper sauce goes so well with the savory sardines. This dish is gluten free, dairy free and low-FODMAP, but you won't be missing out on anything. Click through for the recipe!

Sardine Spaghetti with Tomato-Caper Sauce (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low-FODMAP)

If gluten-free pasta hasn't won your heart (my favorite brands are Jovial and Trader Joe's), this dish is just as good with quinoa. The sauce (you can always double the recipe to have leftovers) is also great over roasted fish, with eggs and toasted bread for breakfast, or added to a rice bowl. I use Ian's panko-style GF breadcrumbs because they stay crispier than the traditional kind. My favorite brand for sardines is Crown Prince (I like the water-packed variety), which I buy at Whole Foods, because the bones and tails are already removed. You can also substitute tuna (the Italian-style packed in olive oil works especially well). If you're low-FODMAP, stick to 1/8 of an avocado per serving.

Author: Julie~Calm Belly Kitchen             Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 5 mins        Cook time:  30 mins        Total time: 35 mins
Makes 3 low-FODMAP servings or 2 larger servings (can be doubled)

 

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or garlic-infused oil, divided
3 tbsp gluten free breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 oz (about 3 big handfuls) spinach leaves
2 to 3 scallions, sliced (green parts only for low-FODMAP)
¼ tsp red chile flakes (or to taste)
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (regular diced is good too)
1 tbsp drained capers, roughly chopped
6 oz gluten-free spaghetti
2 (4.37 oz) cans sardines, drained and de-boned if necessary
¼ to ½ avocado, chopped
Lemon wedges for serving


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large skillet on medium. Add breadcrumbs and stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, heat 1 tsp of the oil on medium heat. Add spinach and season with black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

3. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the same skillet and heat on medium. Add scallions and chile flakes and cook until scallion is tender, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with their juice. Raise heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in capers and remove from heat.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat. Season with salt and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente according to package directions and drain. Return pasta to the pot you just cooked it in. Add sardines, spinach and tomato sauce (for low-FODMAP, reserve about ¼ cup of the sauce for another use). Place pot over low heat and stir gently to combine. Cook just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Top each serving with breadcrumbs and avocado and serve with lemon wedges.

 

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/3 of recipe  Calories:545  Fat:24 g Saturated fat:4 g Carbohydrates:63 g Sugar:4  g Sodium:457 mg Fiber:6 g Protein:21 g

 

One-Pot Cheesy Quinoa with Prosciutto, Ground Turkey and Basil (Low-FODMAP, gluten free)

One-Pot Cheesy Quinoa with Prosciutto, Ground Turkey and Basil (Low-FODMAP, gluten free)

I love that this requires just one pot! It's a great, simple weeknight meal that happens to taste like pizza, but much healthier.