Mexican Haystacks

I blame pinterest for the reason I was absent from the world of Snacks and Desserts for so long.  It's so easy to pin recipes onto my "Delish (recipes to try)" board and then go back to that board over and over, both for the tried and true recipes and the new ones I plan to try.  This recipe is one of the first pinterest recipes I tried.  It is so so good.  Pretty (impressive even) presentation and yet very easy.  And delish.  Next time you get a hankering for greasy mexican food, do yourself a favor and make this recipe instead.  Fresh, healthy, and delicious so no food hangover the next day.

The original recipe calls for rice but the hubs and I can't agree on the kind of rice we eat.  I say we're a brown rice family.  He doesn't like brown rice and insists we're a white rice family.  I can't make myself eat white rice because it's refined, processed, generally unhealthy (sorry y'all!) so we compromised and we're pretty much a quinoa family.  Don't worry, though, quinoa and rice are pretty much interchangeable without sacrificing any flavor, and this recipe is no exception. Whether you go with brown rice or quinoa, you can't go wrong (just don't go with white rice!).


2 cups uncooked brown rice (or quinoa)
1 bunch fresh cilantro (dried is fine, too)

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 - 4 cloves fresh garlic
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups organic salsa

Toppings (note: you can really use whatever toppings you like):
1-2 avocados, chopped
1-2 red peppers, chopped
1-2 ripe mangoes, chopped
fresh cilantro for garnish


Start your brown rice (or quinoa) in a pot on the stove. Next, add ground beef and chopped onion to a large saute pan. Add garlic powder and salt and pepper. When the meat is browned, add 4 cups of salsa. Bring the salsa to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, chop the cilantro, pepper, avocado, and mango. When the rice (or quinoa) is done, stir in almost all of the fresh cilantro, leaving just enough to garnish each dish. 

Find a small bowl or ramekin and put the rice (or quinoa) in there, pressing it down with the back of a spoon.  Turn the bow over to empty the rice (or quinoa) on a plate.  It should slide out pretty easily and maintain the form of the bowl you used.  Top with meat and other toppings.

Or if you're in a hurry and/or don't care about the presentation, you can just throw it all into a blow like this:

Since regardless of how you serve it, it's probably going to end up looking like this:

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