Vermont Valley Becky Perkins

Swiss chard, Summer Squash and Brown Rice Casserole with Ground Beef and Cheddar

I got the idea for this recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. My recipe is similar to Katzen’s Spinach Rice Casserole recipe but includes ground beef and some different vegetables. I used The Moosewood Cookbook a lot when I cooked primarily vegetarian meals. I now like to include sustainably raised meat in most of my main dishes for the nutritional value and protein content. With that being said, if you are vegetarian this recipe would certainly taste good without the ground beef!

Prep time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:
2 cups brown rice plus 3 cups water
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion
1 summer squash
1 bunch Swiss chard
oil for sautéing
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups grated (packed) cheddar, about 6 oz.
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika

Prepare brown rice. Place rice and water in a medium sized pot and cover. Heat on high until just boiling, then turn flame to low until all the water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 40 minutes total. Prepare ground beef in a medium skillet as you would for tacos (minus the spices).

Meanwhile, chop onion, summer squash and chard stems into small, uniform pieces. Sauté in 1 T. oil over medium heat until squash is slightly tender. Roughly chop chard. If dirty, submerge in cold water to clean. Add Swiss chard to sautéing vegetables and stir. Cover until chard is wilted, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine rice, cooked ground beef, sautéed vegetables, eggs, cheddar, nutmeg, cayenne and salt. Mix well until evenly combined. Fill a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle paprika on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Farm Cook, Becky Perkins is a Certified Health Coach, visit her blog at www.therealfoodmama.com