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Capitol Reef Casserole

The first time we visited Capitol Reef National Park was after a long drive over the Hogback - a section of Utah highway 12 along a mountain ridge with sharp drop-offs on both sides. While it was exciting and very picturesque, it was also understandably stressful so we both needed some comfort food that was also nourishing. I had frozen spinach and some left over cooked hamburger which when combined with a few pantry staples turned into a hearty meal for two tired travelers.

This is especially good when served with a fresh loaf of sour dough bread. We were lucky to have the Gifford Farmhouse museum store a short walk from the Capitol Reef National Park campground. This combination museum and store has plenty of bakery goods, like fresh breads and pies, and a nice selection of canned jams, jellies and pickled items.


 1 box frozen chopped spinach
 1 can chopped tomatoes
 1 Tablespoon dried chopped onion
 1/2 cup instant rice
 1/2 pound cooked hamburger crumbles
 steak seasoning, dry mix
 freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In a pan slowly heat the frozen spinach until thawed, breaking up into smaller pieces and occasionally turning. Add the can of tomatoes, dried onion and steak seasoning, cook for a few minutes until flavors are blended. Add the instant rice, cover and let simmer for about five minutes until rice is tender. Add the cooked hamburger (it's OK if still frozen) and heat through. Stir in the grated Parmesan just before serving.

Serves: 2 to 4
Spinach Tomatoes Rice Hamburger Parmesan_Cheese Stovetop

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You may notice that some of our recipes do not contain exact measurements for all ingredients. Cooking on the road is an art more than a science. We view each recipe as only a suggestion - a starting point for your own personal creativity.

We aren't usually dealing with food chemistry in these recipes since we aren't baking with leavening, etc., so feel free to use as much or as little of any suggested ingredient. Be creative and imaginative! Substitute the foods you like or have available for the ones in the recipes. And if you find something that turns out well for you, please share it with the rest of us.