Monday, February 25, 2013

Taco Casserole a.k.a. Tex Mex Shepherd's Pie

Hello all!  It's Monday again, and in true Monday spirit, my workout this morning was ultra-lame.  I have an old stress fracture in my foot that bothers me every now and then, and upon waking this morning I recognized the familiar ache.  I decided to avoid too much weight-bearing at the gym, so I hopped on the recumbent bike for 30 minutes and caught up on my gossip mags (I had to dig around to find a reasonably current issue, since the first glossies I discovered were from 2008 and 2009).  As I've said before, I have an obsessive urge to complete the Coach's workout within the week, and given that I have 2 early days coming up, I'm short on time to finish it up.  So I mustered up my inner gym freak and did 8 30/30 sprints on a spin bike after my 30 minutes was up and clinched my sweaty mess gym status.  Victory!


While making last night's dinner, I realized that it seemed pretty familiar...because my taco casserole is really a Tex Mex version of last week's shepherd's pie.  Woops!  I usually try to make the meal requiring the most dishes Sunday night because I know the Coach will have ample time to clean the food processor or scrub baking racks :)  Thanks babe!  Anyway, despite being a repeat of sorts, last night's dinner was super yummy, I definitely recommend trying this one out!

Taco casserole
Filling ingredients:
 2lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2T chili powder
2T cumin
2T onion powder
1T oregano
1t paprika

Topping ingredients:
1lb carrots, steamed until very soft
1T butter
1 egg
1t chili powder
1t cumin
1t onion powder
1/2t salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat a large oven-proof pan over medium-high heat and brown with s&p.  Once the meat is nearly done, add the onion, peppers, and garlic, plus more s&p.  Once translucent, add the tomatoes with their juice and all the spices, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the topping: throw your steamed carrots and the rest of the ingredients in to a food processor and mix until smooth.
Once most of the liquid has evaporated from the filling, top with filling and put in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is brown.  Then, enjoy!

So so so good!  The caramelized topping adds a nice sweet balance to the spicy and savory filling.  And it looks so pretty!  If you don't mind dealing with the food processor clean up (which I do mind, terribly--luckily the Coach doesn't), this is a must make!

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!  Yay for the last week of February!

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