Green Chile Cheeseburger Casserole and a Turnip Truck Giveway

The days of me spending hours in the kitchen are over. Well, at least for the time being. As a full-time working mother of an infant, I’m sometimes lucky if I even have time to eat some cheese and crackers before 9 p.m. Cooking a big meal? Not gonna happen.

Looking back on my own childhood experience, I’m now completely amazed that my own mother had a hot meal on the table every night of the week, usually by 6 p.m. She didn’t even get off work until 5 p.m. for goodness sakes! We never ate fast food or takeout because those weren’t really options in my small town. Every single night she cooked. And it was good. I’m dumbfounded.

I keep telling myself that once he’s sitting up, or walking, or feeding himself — you know, any stage that doesn’t require constant hands-on attention– then I’ll be able to go back to how it used to be. But for now, I make do. What that means is that takeout has become the norm, and hot bars have been my salvation.

More times than I can count, I’ve visited the hot bar at The Turnip Truck in the Gulch to grab a nourishing meal. I was first turned on to The Turnip Truck hot bar by friends extolling Fried Chicken Wednesday. At some point, I decided I should see for myself what all the fuss was about. What I discovered was a smorgasbord of interesting selections on both the hot and cold bars. I was hooked.

Since it’s opening in October 2010, the Gulch location has featured a daily, freshly prepared hot and cold bar in addition to a variety of local and organic groceries.  Each day there is a theme to the hot bar, but the dishes are ever-changing. On Monday, there’s Potluck; Tuesday – Italian; Wednesday – Southern; Thursday – Asian; and on Friday – Mexican.

And guess what? This Friday, May 25th, you can find a recipe of mine featured on the Mexican-themed hot bar!

When trying to decide what type of dish would work well, I started thinking about some of those dinners that my mom made when I was a kid. There was one in particular that was served often and a favorite of family members, no matter what age. We simply called it Hamburger Casserole.

I’ve put my own little spin on it, but it’s still very reminiscent of that homey, comforting meal my mom used to serve. Quick and easy, this is exactly the kind of dish that will probably pop up often on our dinner table alongside a crunchy green salad now that I have a child of my own. Hopefully my son will one day wonder how in the world his mommy was able to work meal-time miracles, just as I wonder about my mom now.


Green Chile Cheeseburger Casserole

Serves 4-6


1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked rice

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 cup water

1 8 oz can of tomato sauce

1 8 oz can of mild green chiles*

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Over medium-high heat, brown rice, beef, and onion in oven proof skillet. Drain fat. Add water, tomato sauce, green chiles, salt and pepper. Mix well and bring to boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir and top with cheese.

Place in oven and broil until cheese melts and browns slightly, about 2 minutes.

*for milder flavor, use only 1 4oz can of green chiles

*this post also appeared in The Tennessean

As you’ve probably deduced, I’m a Turnip Truck fan. In addition to the convenient food bars, they offer natural produce, meats, dairy, frozen goods, prepared foods, deli….well, basically just about everything you need from a grocery. I’d love each of you to check it out yourself if you haven’t already. That said, I’m giving you the chance to do some shopping (or eating) for free! One lucky reader will win a $50 Turnip Truck gift card to use on anything in the store!

~Contest Closed~

The winner: # 61 Megan Morris

Here’s what you have to do to enter:


1. Leave a comment on this post saying whether or not you’ve ever shopped or eaten at Turnip Truck. If you have, what’s your favorite thing to get there? If you haven’t, what would you use this gift card to buy?

For up to 2 additional entries, you can do any of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2.  Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Win a $50 gift card for @TurnipTruckWest from @betheats!” and leave a comment that you have done so.

3. Like Turnip Truck Urban Fare’s page on Facebook, and leave a comment telling me you did so.

Contest ends on Monday, May 28th at 11 a.m. CDT. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll contact them via email and post it here on the blog. If the winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!

Now I have one last important tidbit of information for you.

On the 2nd Thursday & Saturday of each month, the Turnip Truck holds in-store classes on unique topics led by members of the staff and/or visiting specialists. For the month of June, an educator from CSA Nashville, an organization that provides information for patients with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance, will be speaking on gluten-free eating.

Class dates and times:

Thursday, June 14th 6-7 pm
Saturday, June 16th 10-11 am

All participants will receive a 10% discount for any groceries purchased at the time of the class. All classes are FREE, but space is limited, so sign up in advance by emailing


The Turnip Truck Urban Fare Gulch

321 12th Ave S
Nashville TN 37203

Mon-Sat 8 am to 8 pm
Sun 9 am to 8 pm