Tex-Mex Delight

The title of this recipe just makes me smile! I am from Texas, and there is nothing like Tex-Mex style food. This whole recipe makes enough for 2 9×13 pans. We had one today for lunch, and one is covered with foil and in the freezer to bake off for another day.

This recipe is definitely more on the healthy side. It is made with brown rice, black beans, steak (or chicken, or no meat at all if you prefer!), homemade enchilada sauce, and topped with just a little cheese and cilantro. It is wonderful to eat and the whole family loves it! I started the process the night before, and you will understand why as you move down the steps.

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You will need:

  • For the main filling:
    • 2 cups of black beans (overnight soak)
    • 4 cups dry brown rice (8 cups cooked)
    • 1.5-2 lbs flank steak (marinate overnight)
    • 2 14oz cans of low sodium chicken broth
    • 2 bay leaves
  • Enchilada sauce:
    • 2 8oz cans of tomato sauce
    • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
    • 1 14oz can of low sodium chicken broth
    • 2tbsp flour
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp minced garlic
    • 3 tbsp chili powder
    • 1 tbsp cumin
    • 1 tbsp onion powder
    • 1 tbsp oregano
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1tsp pepper
  • Toppings:
    • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
    • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
    • Fresh lime slices
    • Avocado (if you can or want)
  • Equipment:
    • 2 9×13 pans, either foil or glass (you can also put this into meal-prep containers)
    • Blender
    • Large pot to cook beans
    • Rice cooker, instant pot, or large pot

To start, the night before I put a 1lb bag of dry black beans in a bowl covered in cold water to soak overnight. This hydrates the beans and ensures a quicker cooking process. It also helps to clean the beans as well. The next day, give them a rinse under cold water to rinse off any debris from the soak. If you want to use canned beans, go for it! I like to use dry because they are less expensive and do not contain any extra sodium. I buy bags of store brand dry beans like it’s crazy. They are so inexpensive and easy to make!

At this point, move the drained beans over to a large pot. Pour in the 2 cans of chicken broth, and add two bay leaves. Let the beans come to a boil for 1 minute, cover the pot, and put the heat on low. The beans will cook for two hours. During this two hours, you will do most of the cooking for the remainder of this recipe. I don’t season the beans right here because I end up freezing the rest for recipes down the road. I keep them simple for now, and season upon individual use.

My little taste tester approved of the beans 🙂 DSC_0725

Moving along to the enchilada sauce. Start by heating a pan over medium heat. Add in 2 tbsp of olive oil, followed by 2 tbsp of flour. Whisk this around until it looks like a creamy roux. This will need to cook for 5 minutes. Stir it constantly. This is going to ensure the enchilada sauce thickens a bit more than a typical enchilada sauce. This is necessary so the dish is not watery at the end of baking.

After the five minutes is up, add in the 2 tbsp of minced garlic. The roux will start to bubble. Make sure you are stirring the garlic around and not letting it sit. Do this for about one minute. After that minute, pour in the can of diced tomatoes, two cans of tomato sauce, and 1 can of chicken broth. Stir this around until it is well incorporated.

Now, to spice things up! Add in the chili powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir. This will change the color dramatically. It will go from a bright red to a dark red. Let this simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. After the five minutes is up, transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until it is smooth. It will turn the familiar bright red/orange color we all recognize on enchiladas 🙂 Leave the sauce in the blender for now. We will come back to it in a bit.

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For the brown rice, I cook mine in the Instant Pot. This recipe is no-fail. It is 4 cups of brown rice to 2 14oz cans of chicken broth. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Natural release for 5 minutes. Quick release after that, and voila! It is perfect every time. This specific style will make sure it is fully cooked and chewy. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, cook the rice according to the package. It usually takes 30-45 minutes in a standard pot. Go ahead and transfer 4 cups of rice to the bottom of each of the 9×13 pans. DSC_0688

If you are a vegetarian, or want to skip the meat part of this, move along to the assembly portion. This recipe is definitely vegetarian friendly 🙂

For the meat, I am using flank steak. I love this cut of meat because it is so perfect for this style of meal. I highly recommend marinating it for at least 8 hours (better if overnight) in something acidic. The meat has longer fibers and is typically a bit tough if not marinated properly. I love to use a marinade called Mojo Criollo by Goya. It is super cheap and makes any and all meat extra tasty. If you cannot find this at your local store, you can order it on Amazon. I use one bottle for 1.5-2lbs of flank steak. Cut the steak in half and put it into a gallon bag, or shallow Tupperware bowl. Cover with the marinade and let it hang out in the fridge overnight. You can also make a marinade I have used before by mixing 2 cups of orange juice, 1/4 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. It is really worth it to marinate it overnight. Please don’t skip this step. It makes all the difference.

Once your meat as been marinated properly, grill it on both sides for 5 minutes. You can also flat sear it in a regular skillet if you don’t have a grill pan. I cook this steak to rare, or medium rare. After it has cooked, let the steak rest on a plate lightly covered in foil for 10-15 minutes. When it is time to cut the steak, cut it into thin strips one way, and then cut it the opposite way to create little squares. It will be cooked again during the baking process at the end, so don’t freak out if it is too pink for your liking. Trust me on this!

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Time to assemble the dish! If you haven’t already, go ahead and chop up your bunch of cilantro. You will want to separate it into two halves. Take about 2 tbsp from each half and set aside. This will go on top at the end.

Sprinkle the halved cilantro on top of the brown rice sitting in the dishes. One half per one dish. Next, add in one cup of black beans (drained) into each pan. Split the cut steak in half, and add in one half to each pan on top of the beans. Pour 1-1.5 cups of enchilada sauce on top of the steak. You will have extra sauce- I’ll discuss that in a bit.

Give all of this a big stir until it is well mixed. Once it is all mixed together, top each pan with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and sprinkle the remaining cilantro on top. Bake at 375*F for 20 minutes. You can save the cilantro for after baking if you want. I personally don’t mind if it has been in the oven.

 

If you don’t want to eat it right now, you can cover with foil and put in the freezer for up to six months. Just put a label on it with what it is, and how long to cook it.

I like to eat mine with a side of sliced avocado and a wedge of lime. This is a delicious meal and something I really love to make. I am not a fan of brown rice, but I will eat it in this recipe every time.

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For the extra beans and enchilada sauce- freeze them! Put them both into gallon freezer bags and store for up to six months for another use. When freezing the beans, make sure to add in 1-2 cups of the liquid they cooked in. This makes reheating a lot easier. The enchilada sauce will be thick when reheated. You can add 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water to thin it out. They both reheat perfectly!

I hope you love this as much as my family does. My kids asked for seconds, and it makes plenty of food for a large family. Not to mention, this dish is pretty healthy!

Always remember to pray and give thanks for the food we are given. Taking small steps to make food ahead of time is easy to do, and it allows for us to spend time with our families without being totally stressed out. Have a blessed week!

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

John 1:29

2 thoughts on “Tex-Mex Delight

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