Mexican Casserole

I love Mexican food. Love it. Of course, what I make at home never quite lives up to my favorite restaurant meal (a vegetarian option that is to die for), but I’ll take what I can get.

I made this recipe a few weeks ago when I was in the middle of finals. I had intentionally saved it for a busy night because it’s so easy to make, and it definitely did not disappoint. It came together in less than half an hour and was really a great, easy dinner.

Mexican Casserole

Ingredients

16 oz refried beans
1/2 cup diced onion
5 10-inch flour tortillas
1 cup salsa
2 cups Colby Jack cheese

**extra salsa, sour cream, and green onions for garnish**

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare pie pan by spraying the bottom with cooking spray.

2) In a medium saucepan, cook refried beans with onions just until heated through (about 5 minutes).

3) Put one tortilla in pie pan. Spread with bean/onion mixture and place two spoonfuls of salsa on top of that. Sprinkle some cheese on top of salsa.

4) Repeat layers until pie is assembled, then top with remaining salsa and cheese.

5) Bake 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Recipe adapted from this one.

 

Delicious!

I used whole wheat tortillas instead of flour. And next time I’ll sub in diced green chiles for the onions–I’m just not a big fan of onions unless they’re really well hidden in things.

If you want to make this for any vegetarians, make sure you grab the vegetarian refried beans. I had no idea they existed until I stopped eating meat, I just took for granted that all refried beans would be vegetarian, but that is definitely not the case.

I’ll keep this recipe around for for my next crazed finals week.


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Turkey Pot Pie

Oh, Thanksgiving leftovers. I’m not really sure if I shared with y’all the story of our Thanksgiving turkey. It’s kind of a long story that starts with me telling Chad that if he wanted a turkey he needed to get it from a local, humane farm and ends with him bringing home a 20 lb turkey for the two of us. Needless to say, we have a ton of cooked turkey hanging out in our freezer.

Obviously I need to use those leftovers, so expect a few turkey recipes in the coming weeks. Here is the first one adapted from this source:

Turkey Pot Pie

Ingredients

2 cups cooked turkey or chicken
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup onion
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
3/4 cup milk
1 bag frozen veggies
1 tube croissant rolls

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Melt butter (or margarine) in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.

3) In a medium bowl stir together the flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Add milk and veggie broth. Whisk mixture until smooth, then add mixture to onion and butter.

4) Bring to a boil and cook two minutes while stirring constantly. Once the gravy mixture has thickened add the chicken and vegetables and remove from heat.

5) Fill pie plate with turkey mixture. Unroll croissant dough and place over mixture. Cut slits in top of dough and bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

 

The original recipe called for a double pie crust. but I decided to use croissant dough because I hate pie crust.

This was pretty good. I’m really not a big fan of turkey, and I certainly don’t intend to start cooking with it all the time, but this was definitely a good use of leftovers. It was also husband approved. which is always a bonus. And I can promise that it’s better than the frozen pot pies you can buy at the store.

 

Mexican Lasagna

I’m not even going to attempt to come up with a good reason as to why I am about four entries behind for this blog. Just…nursing school. Finals. Life. Hey, that’s three reasons. So there you go. 🙂

Now, onto the whole point of this entry: a Mexican Lasagna recipe that Chad loved. I mean LOVED. We do have a few things that we rotate in and out throughout the weeks that are delicious, (hopefully) nutritious, and easy to make if I have a late class. Chad actually said, “This is so good, it needs to be added into our rotation!” That’s high praise. And he ate the leftovers for the next few days and declared it just as good when it’s reheated.

This recipe was adapted from another blog by Leslie Sarna. You can find it here. I’ve made a few of her recipes and I’ve loved every one of them. Delicious vegetarian recipes=perfection!

Mexican Lasagna

Ingredients

3 or 4 tortillas
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I subbed in vegetarian fat free refried beans since those are the only beans I like….I know, bad vegetarian.)
1/2 can of corn, drained (or you can use one cob of corn, cooked, with kernels cut off)
1/2 onion, sliced
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
a couple handfuls of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 8 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 small can of diced green chilies
1 small can of sliced olives, drained
about 6 oz. of cheddar cheese or a mexican blend cheese, shredded
a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Saute the mushrooms and onion with a little bit of butter and a pinch of salt. Just cook until tender.

3) In a pie dish, spoon some tomatoes. Put a tortilla down on the tomato mixture, then start to layer a little bit of every ingredient. Place another tortilla, then repeat until you reach the top of your pie pan. (I used three tortillas.)

4) Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Delicious.

My picture doesn’t look nearly as good as the one on the blog I linked you to, so go check that one out. Mine kind of fell apart when I was trying to get it out of the pie plate. Regardless, it was definitely something we’ll be making again, and soon if the husband has anything to say about it.

Super Easy Pizza Casserole

I really have been cooking more than it seems. I have a couple recipes that I just haven’t posted yet, including one for a chocolate cheesecake. And once Valentine’s Day is over I’ll have a recipe for Black Tie Mousse Cake that will (hopefully) be amazing.

This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. And really, who doesn’t love easy? 🙂

Pizza Casserole

Makes 6 servings
370 calories/serving

Ingredients

4 cups uncooked wagon wheel pasta
1 jar (28 oz) tomato pasta sauce
1 can (8 oz) mushroom pieces and stems, drained
1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees

2) Cook pasta until tender

3) In 2  1/2 quart casserole dish, mix pasta and remaining ingredients except cheese

4) Cover. Bake about 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese and bake, uncovered, an additional 5 minutes.

Chad added some oregano, just sprinkling it on the cheese before popping it back on for the last five minutes, but that was really the only change made.

It was simple, fast, and good. Perfect for a busy weeknight.

**This recipe came from Betty Crocker’s Easy Everyday Vegetarian cookbook.**

Taco Casserole

I have been neglecting this blog for a little while. It isn’t entirely my fault. I HAVE been cooking, but a lot of what we’ve had in the last week have been repeats. We had the garlic and red pepper pasta one night. We’ve had vegetarian chili. You get the idea.

Plus I spent all last weekend baking and decorating a strawberry and white checkerboard cake, so I was definitely not going back in the kitchen to do anything complicated for a while.

But today, I decided I should actually cook. Or, more accurately, throw a bunch of ingredients in the slow cooker, ignore it all day, and see what came out.

Taco Casserole

Makes 4 servings
470 calories/serving

Ingredients:

3 cups frozen soy burger crumbles (You can sub in 1 lb ground beef/chicken/turkey/whatever)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (10 3/4 oz) can tomato soup
1 package taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
3 medium green onions, sliced

1) Spray 3 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In prepared slow cooker, mix crumbles, tomatoes, soup, seasoning, and water. Gently stir in tortilla strips.

2) Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.

3) Spread sour cream over casserole. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes (until cheese is melted). Sprinkle with onions.

This recipe came from my Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian cookbook. I loved this cookbook when I first got it, and I still have a few recipes that I’ve made from it that I think are amazing. This was not one of those amazing recipes.

My issues with this recipe are:

*Anything made in a slow cooker is not a casserole. Sorry, Betty Crocker, maybe I just don’t get it, but this was really more of a strange soup than anything.

*The amount of cheddar and sour cream seem excessive to me. To cut back on calories, I used light sour cream and added that after casserole was plated. That way I could use less than what would have been on a serving had I prepared it the way the recipe suggested. If I make this again I would cut the cheese in half and probably use vegan cheese.

*It just wasn’t anything special.

The cookbook says the recipe serves 4, but the portions would be pretty big. I think if you were serving 4 you would probably have leftovers.

In the end, this recipe was okay, but I felt like it was missing something. Something crunchy. Perhaps a taco shell.

Considering I did just turn the slow cooker on and forget about it, I really can’t complain too much. Next time I’ll just make regular tacos.

texas tater casserole

I made this recipe like, a month ago, but I never posted it. Partially because I didn’t like it and partially because I am a slacker.

Texas Tater Casserole-
adapted from Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian
Makes 6 servings
470 calories/serving

Cooking spray
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups frozen soy-protein burger crumbles (can sub in 1 lb ground beef)
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1 can (11 oz) corn with green and red peppers
1/2 cup chunky salsa
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 1/2 cups tater tots
1/2 cup shredded taco-seasoned cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Add onion, celery, garlic and cook over medium heat until tender.

Stir in crumbles, soup, corn, salsa, chili powder, and pepper. Spoon into ungreased 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Top with tater tots.

Bake uncovered 40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

100_1446

Chad liked this dish, but I was not impressed. Plus the leftovers didn’t heat up very well, the tater tots were mushy once it was reheated. And it was kind of brown…not pretty.

Tonight: crockpot soup. Mmmmm.

“Chicken” Alfredo Pot Pie

I am a procrastinator. Anyone who knows me will tell you that. I will attempt to update this recipe blog on a fairly regular basis for whoever (whomever?) may be reading, but I make no promises.

In case you haven’t noticed a distinct lack of meat in my other recipes (all three of them), this one makes it pretty obvious. I am a vegetarian, so I don’t eat meat.  The “chicken” part of this dish is chicken-style soy-protein patties. Sounds yummy, huh? Actually, they are really good, and taste a lot like grilled chicken.

If you are going to use the soy protein patties, I suggest Morningstar Farms brand. Chad thought it was real chicken at first.

“Chicken” Alfredo Pot Pie
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian
6 Servings
530 calories/serving; 280 calories from fat

1 can (11 oz) refrigerated breadsticks
4 frozen grilled “chicken” patties
1/3 cup of milk
1 jar (16 oz) alfredo pasta sauce
1 bag frozen broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, thawed and drained
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll breadstick dough; seperate at perforations into 12 breadsticks. Set aside. On small microwavable plate, microwave “chicken” patties on High 30-45 seconds, until slightly thawed. Cut patties into cubes.

In 3-quart saucepan, mix pattie cubes, milk, Alfredo, and veggies. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Spoon into ungreased 3 quart baking dish.

Twist each breadstick; arrange over sauce mixture, stretching strips to fit if neccessary. Sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning.

Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes, until breadsticks are deep golden brown.

pot pie

The breadstick dough I got only made eight breadsticks, and I twisted them to make four larger ones.

Other changes I made:

I left out the cauliflower and added in some portabello mushrooms, mainly because I hate warm cauliflower and we had  leftover mushrooms in the fridge.

I also made the Alfredo sauce from scratch (see recipe here).

This dish was easy to make, delicious, and great as leftovers the next day, as long as you ignore the insane amount of calories. I just plan on spending extra time on the treadmill after a meal like this.

Plus I got to make it in my really cute Paula Deen pie dish. Perfection.