Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mexican Beef Bake with Cilantro Lime Cream

This is a great weeknight family meal.  It comes together quickly, has great flavor, but not to much spice for kids.  It makes a big dish so it's great to freeze some for leftovers later.   The cilantro cream gives this such nice fresh flavor.  You can make this as light as you like, I list the options below.  Try this out, you will be glad you did!


1 box elbow macaroni (whole wheat or regular)
1 pound ground beef
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) no salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup prepared salsa (I used mild for the kids sake)
1 can Rotel (mild)
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat or regular)
salt and pepper to taste

For the cream:
1/3 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon lime juice


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to hot saucepan; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook meat  until meat is brown, stirring to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat.
Stir the cooked meat into pasta in saucepan. Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, rotel,  salsa, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and chili powder. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 inch casserole or baking dish or 2 8 x 8 inch baking dishes if freezing one for later.
Bake, covered, about 30 minutes or until heated through. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 3 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
In a small bowl, stir together sour cream,, the cilantro, and lime juice. To serve, top each serving with a spoonful of the sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro, if desired.

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