From the Garden...Cobre Valley Casserole

  The Taste of Home Casserole cookbook has some good
casserole recipes. This one, is one I debated about making as neither Lyle or I are fond of Mexican food. Bettie however is, so thought I would try it.
  I must say that this might change my mind. All of us enjoyed it and it warmed up nicely for lunch the next day. I used a can of chopped green chilies, and it could have stood a little more heat. 
The recipe calls for 2 cans of refried beans, and I used only one. Really this is plenty. Even if you like refried beans, I would try adding one can at a time and checking it before adding the second can.  
If you have home-canned pinto beans, drain them, saving the liquid, and then simply mash them and add enough liquid to make the consistency you like.  No need to fry them for this recipe.  
I grated the cheese myself, the grated in the bags has additives so that it doesn’t stick together. Otherwise, this would be gluten free. As always check all the labels of the ingredients before you use them if you need gluten free.
Cobre Valley Casserole
YIELD: 6 - 8 servings  PREP: 15 minutes BAKE: 30 minutes
1 pound ground beef
1 medium chopped onion
1 celery rib chopped
1 envelope taco seasoning (or your homemade)
¼ cup water
2 cans (15 ounce each) refried beans (I used one)
1- 4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions sliced
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
⅓ cup sliced ripe olives
1 -½ cups crushed tortilla chips
  In a large skillet, cook the beef, onions and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the taco seasoning mix, water, beans and green chilies if using.
  Pour into a greased 2 ½ quart baking dish. Bake uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Top with cheese, green onions, tomato, olives and chips.

  I used the same pan to brown hamburger and heat in oven. One less dish to wash.

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