See the recipe for this dish on this blog.

Looks pretty simple, huh?

So, I was in the kitchen, looking through the pantry, trying to decide what to do with my pound of ground beef. There are some pretty standard options available for making use of ground beef. Burgers with canned corn and frozen fries. A childhood favorite: ground beef crumbles in instant mashed potatoes. Burritos. Quesadillas. Meatball sandwiches.


None of those choices particularly appealed to me. But what I did have in my pantry was a can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of peas, an onion and a bag of rice. Again, sounds pretty standard, right? Well, here’s where it gets complicated, but for good reason. This blog is about making conscious eating choices, right?

So, let’s start with the ground beef. It was grass-fed beef from White Oak Pastures here in Georgia. To recap, that makes it humane and local – if you’re going to eat meat, this is the best of the bunch. The soup and peas came from cans, true, but both were organic: Heath Valley Organic Cream of Mushroom soup (ready-to-eat, not condensed) and Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value® organic sweet peas. The onion was a simple conventional sweet onion – it’s a whole food, a source of fiber and other nutrients, and simply quite tasty.

I sauteed the finely diced onion in about a tablespoon or so of Nutiva’s Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. This has quickly become my very most favorite food of the moment… I’ll save that ramble for another post. The rice I chose is another recent love: California Premium Short Grain Hitomi Rice. Though I haven’t been able to find a website for this glorious product, it’s available in 5lb. bags at Super H-Mart stores. I have to admit my fondness began as an admiration for the package design (it’s puuurdy) but the rice cooks up beautifully (when I follow the instructions).

When the beef was crumbled and browned, I poured the soup into a pot then added the onions, the peas (drained, of course) and the meat – NOT drained – and heated it over med-low. A note about NOT draining the meat: This is grass-fed (not GMO corn-fed) beef with an advertised lean meat to fat ratio of 90-10 but there’s none of that greasy, disgusting stuff that congeals all too rapidly that comes with cooking standard “chuck”. It’s a very watery, um, juice that’s in the pan when the meat’s fully cooked so I just poured it into the soup along with everything else.

When the rice was done and the soup heated through, I dished it all up, single-bowl style (the way I prefer) and chowed down. Not really so complicated afterall, now was it? Even the two-and-some-change-year old gobbled it up! So, in the time it takes to make the rice (about 35 minutes total for two cups dry rice), I had 4+ servings – plenty for two meals for my family!