As part of my remaking our childhood favorites, I decided to take on one of Dan’s childhood favorites. In fact, this is the dish that started the whole idea of remaking these foods from our childhoods! Next up, Little Meat Patties and Rice!
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Dan has really fond memories of this dish. His mom made it when he was a kid. Here’s how the dish went originally.
His mom would take ground beef, make little meat patties, kind of like hamburger patties, but smaller. Fry them in a pan, adding spices. Then, she would top them with a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, simmer for a little while, and serve the little meat patties over steamed white rice.
Really quick and easy, and quite budget-friendly. You can totally see why kids would like it, and why it still holds a space in his heart.
But, I don’t eat meat, and we’ve given up canned cream of mushroom soup. I just can’t get past the high fructose corn syrup, and, it’s just so salty. And, I like to sneak some brown rice into his diet!
As for the rice, that’s really easy to makeover. I’ve found that Dan doesn’t mind a mixture of half brown rice and half white rice. If it were up to me, this would be served all on brown rice (love that nutty flavor!). But, we compromise on this part.
I cook the rice in a rice cooker using 1 part white, 1 part brown, and 4 parts water. So, for ½ cup white rice, ½ cup brown rice, I use 2 cups water. Cooked rice lasts a long time in the fridge too, so I often make extra to have for lunches.
The Cream of Mushroom soup actually turned out quite surprisingly awesome!
It acts just like the canned stuff. Use this anywhere you wanted to use a can of soup.
Remember that green bean casserole that was always served at every holiday, well, now I can make it again, just using this soup. My mom used to make a broccoli rice casserole using canned soup. Well, I make that now too.
And, this soup is great just as “plain ‘ol soup”. Just thin it with a little milk (or cream if you like), and voila! Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup!
I like to chop the mushrooms really fine. Dan doesn’t like the texture of mushrooms, but he does like the flavor of them. So, I’ve found that chopping them in a food processor makes them perfect! Just cut the mushrooms in quarters (so they don’t simply bounce around in there!), and drop them into the bowl of a food processor. I use my little mini food processor for this. A few pulses, and they’re perfect!
Now, the meat patties were the last part of the recipe that needed to be remade. Dan was the one who came up with using meatballs. I use Nate’s Meatless Meatballs. But, feel free to use any meatballs that you like, homemade would be awesome, but for a time saver, frozen will work just fine. Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, whatever suits your fancy.
Since his mom seasoned them with spices as they cooked, I decided to keep that part of the recipe, and in the recipe, I suggest adding additional spices as the meatballs cook.
That’s about it. My version of Little Meat Patties and Rice. A great remake of one of Dan’s childhood favorites using homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup, brown rice, and meatballs. And, it comes together pretty quickly. Serve it with some roasted carrots, and you have yourself a great comfort food dinner!
This is the third in my remaking our childhood foods series. “A while ago I decided that I wanted to remake some of the foods from our childhood. I wanted the new versions to reflect out current eating styles: healthier, less fat, no trans-fats, fewer processed items, more veggies, maybe even just tastier.” Check out the first post, homemade drumsticks. Or the second recipe for Homemade Rice-a-Roni.
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Little Meat Patties and Rice Recipe
Little meat patties and rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or light tasting oil of your choice divided use
- ½ small onion finely chopped
- ½ cup mushrooms finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 10 fully cooked meatballs frozen or homemade chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian, your choice
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ cup cooked rice
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until onion has released its water and begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add chopped mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms release their juices and the pan looks dry again, about 5 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon oil, garlic powder, and flour to pan. Cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, stirring as you add so that there are no lumps. Add broth. Reduce heat, and cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until it reaches desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Soup can be made ahead up to 3 days, and kept in the fridge. Soup can also be frozen for future use.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add meatballs and water to skillet and cover, cooking 3-5 minutes until meatballs have browned. Add garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. Add soup, and heat through. If the soup seems a little thick, add additional milk or broth to thin to desired consistency.
- Serve little meat patties with sauce over rice. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves if desired.
The soup recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of condensed soup, or equivalent to 1 can of soup. The meal could serve additional people if you throw in more meatballs. I just usually serve it to the two of us. We often have a little soup leftover that I get to snack on the next day.