Fall foods: Texas Stew

It’s not quite fall yet, but the weather has been really crazy and cool (up until this week) so I wanted to break out one of my family’s favorite fall/winter recipes – Texas Stew.
Texas Stew is similar to chili, but a million times better! At least in my opinion. If you don’t care for spicy or Mexican food then just stick with your chili.

I didn’t try Texas Stew until I was in high school, but I can count on one hand how many time I’ve had chili since then. It’s a whole lot easier than making chili and it only takes about 15 minutes if you prepare properly.

So here’s what you need:

  • 1 pound of hamburger meat (turkey or deer will work too…deer tastes even better)
  • 2 cans/bags pinto beans
  • 2 cans/bags kidney beans (I prefer light kidney beans)IMG_3382
  • 2 cans of hominy
  • 2 cans rotel or 1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of ranch mix (or a packet of ranch if you’re feeling unmotivated to do it from scratch)
  • Rice

It’s simple. I fry up my hamburger meat ahead of time if I’m working that day, but really it doesn’t take long to fry hamburger so it can be done whenever. If you want to make this vegetarian, then just use an extra can of beans, or maybe a different type of beans…I haven’t tried adding a different bean, but I know black beans are good substitutes for hamburger in mexican foods.

When I’m using cans, I empty all of the cans into my strainer and rinse them. Honestly, I don’t see any difference in those beans and the dried ones (unless you buy organic) except the salt content of the canned ones because of the liquid they’re packed in. I’m not an expert, but rinsing the juice from the beans and hominy seems to make it taste more natural than leaving in the salty juice.

Everything except the rice — and I mean everything goes into a big pot. I normally turn it on low or medium because it will heat up the ingredients without scorching anything. Add some water to make sure it has a soupier texture — the water will evaporate before you’re ready to eat it anyway.

The rice I use is the boil in a bag rice. I never think to use rice until it’s too late to cook it (it takes an hour unless you have instant). I used to have a rice cooker, but sadly I hadn’t started cooking healthier yet so I got rid of it due to lack of use. I boil one bag of rice, which is I think about 12-16 ounces. When the rice is done, I dump the rice into the pot and stir it all together and presto! Dinner is done.

This one pot has every food group except fruit. You have your protein, vegetables and even grains (gluten-free grains at that!) It’s delicious. And the great thing about this recipe is it will feed my family of three (which includes me, the pregnant one and my 4-year-old garbage disposal) for one meal and then we’ll have enough leftover that we can all have it as leftovers at least a few times during the week. It’s one of those meals that reheats really well. I don’t advise freezing it unless you’re going to leave the rice separate. That’s the way Annita used to do it. She’d leave the rice in a separate container and we’d put some rice in the bottom and pour the stew on top…almost the way some people do spaghetti. My thought is, why dirty two dishes if you’re just going to put it in one bowl anyway?

This meal is gluten-free (rice is GF naturally, but is often made in factories around gluten products, so celiacs need to buy 100% GF to be safe) and can be vegetarian. There isn’t any dairy in it except for what naturally occurs in the buttermilk in the ranch dressing, but because you only use a little of it, I bet a dairy-free person could just omit the ranch mix and it’d still taste excellent!


One thought on “Fall foods: Texas Stew

  1. Pingback: Pinching pennies leads to dollars saved | Be Organic and Healthy

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