This recipe accompanies our Cooking with Grandma Gigi video, in which Gloria “Gigi” Smith shows her 8-year-old granddaughter Olivia how to make her special Plantation Casserole.

  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings
  • Total: 40 mins 
  • Active: 15 mins

Ingredients (17)

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 medium, hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 pound lean, organic ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups homemade tomato sauce
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese


  1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and sauté the onions in it until tender.
  3. Add celery, green pepper, garlic, hot peppers, and ground beef. Cook, stirring until beef loses its pink color.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and blend in the flour and curry powder. Gradually add the broth and milk and bring mixture to a boil, stirring. Add salt and continue cooking until mixture thickens.
  5. Add curry sauce, tomato sauce, brown rice, pecans, and half of the cheese to the vegetable mixture. Mix well and season with salt. Pour mixture into an oiled casserole, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until the casserole is bubbly hot and the cheese on top has melted, about 25 minutes.