The night I developed this recipe, I had no intentions of coming up with an end product that would be good enough to blog about. But once my family and I had tasted it, I knew I HAD to share it with you! It was one of those happy accidents that was born out of desperation...that desperation we've all felt (and perhaps feel on a daily basis)..."What in the WORLD am I making for dinner tonight?" We all know the familiar feeling of panic. I created this easy recipe based on what I had on hand, and it turned out so...darn...good...I just had to photograph it and tell you about it. It was also very simple to make!
The kids and I ate dinner before my husband did, as he was out doing some yard work. When I first tasted it, I said, "Wow! This is like a party in my mouth!" Later, when my husband came in and ate his, the first thing he said - no joke - was "Wow! This is a party in my mouth!" Great minds think alike, I guess?!
So I present to you my version of the haystacks of my youth, Mexican Haystacks. You start with a base of cilantro rice, which is simply fresh cilantro stirred into brown rice. Next, add a layer of tender ground turkey that has been browned, then simmered with onions, garlic, and salsa to make it full of flavor. Then, top with the fun stuff: smooth avocado, crunchy red pepper, and sweet, juicy mango. Last, a few sprinkles of fresh cilantro on top, and voila! Or perhaps I should say...ole!
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups salsa (I used Kirkland organic salsa from Costco)
1-2 avocados, chopped
1-2 red peppers, chopped
1-2 ripe mangoes, chopped
fresh cilantro for garnish
Start your brown rice in a pot on the stove, or in a rice maker. Next, add ground turkey and chopped onion to a large saute pan. Add garlic powder and salt and pepper. When the turkey 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 is done, simply stir in almost all of the fresh cilantro, leaving just enough to garnish each dish.
I served each person with the rice and meat already on the plate, and everybody had fun adding their own toppings. Kids always like to feel that they "made" their own dinner!
I'd recommend serving this with a nice big green salad on the side.
*Also, the recipe above made enough for our family of five to have leftovers the next day. If you are cooking for a smaller family, just chop one avocado, pepper, and mango. You can also make less rice and only 1 lb. of turkey. If you do this, reduce the salsa used to only 2-3 cups.
Enjoy, mi amigos! :-)
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