Let’s Cook! Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole

November 23, 2013

Dedicated Readers will know that I’m not one to eschew a nice, juicy Rib-Eye or turn my nose up at some lovely pork belly, but yes, I will occasionally dip my toe in the vegetarian (and even sometimes vegan) pool to test the waters…

All kidding aside, I know that cutting back even a bit on my meat consumption is good for me, and the planet as well…

So here’s a vegetarian recipe I’ve made more than once (so yes, it’s a good one), and it’s one of those that’s easy enough for a weeknight (like Meatless Monday), and versatile… you can add extra veggies to it, adjust the quantities a bit depending on what you have on hand and it will still turn out well!

I first came across this recipe on the Adored Home blog as one of her Meatless Monday recipes, and the original recipe comes from the Yummy Morsel blog (ain’t the interconnection of the interwebs great?). I was also inspired to write this one up for you after I was given several samples of vegan “cheese alternative” products called Vegan Gourmet Shreds from Follow Your Heart (the Vegenaise® people…). You can certainly use “real” cheese, but this casserole is an application where “not-real” cheese actually works pretty well.

Okay, let’s get on with it – Let’s Cook!

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Ingredients

6  Small Corn Tortillas (of course you can use flour if you want, and cut/tear larger size tortillas to fit if that’s what you have)

1  Onion, chopped

1  Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 or 2  Jalapenos, chopped (you can use Serranos or other pepper of choice if you like, quantity depends on your heat preference)

1  Can (about 15 oz) Black Beans, drained and rinsed (or Black Soy Beans if you have/prefer)

1  Can (11 oz) Corn Kernels

1  Cup Picante or Taco Sauce (mild, medium or hot as you prefer)

1  Cup Salsa (ditto)

1  Tsp Cumin

2  Cups (or more if you prefer… and you might) Mexican Style Cheese, shredded (in this case I used the Vegan Gourmet Fiesta for this inside and topped with their Cheddar – you can use any real or vegan cheese of your choice: Mexican blend, cheddar, jack, etc)

1  Tbl Oil

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Heat the oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat and saute the onions and bell pepper until getting soft.

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Add the cumin and jalapenos and stir for a few seconds then add the salsa and picante sauce and stir. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

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Add the beans and corn and stir well to combine. Remove from the heat.

Spray a baking dish (I used an 8″ x 8″, 2 quart Pyrex dish) with some cooking spray and spread a third of the mixture from the skillet on the bottom of the dish.

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Next top that with a layer of the tortillas – I overlapped two from side-to-side as shown above then tore a third in half to cover the rest of the mixture.

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Top the tortillas with about a third of the cheese (or as as much as is needed for a nice even layer).

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Add another third of the skillet mixture and spread it out. Top this with another layer of tortillas and another third of the cheese.

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Spread the remaining mixture on top and cover the dish with foil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

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Take out of the oven and remove the foil. Top with the remaining cheese and put back in the oven until the cheese is melted, maybe 5 minutes or so…

Remove from the oven and let stand 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

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Serve with a side of salsa and a dollop of sour cream (or plain yoghurt or some vegan-sour-cream-like-alternative, of which I have no idea what that would be…). A nice green salad alongside wouldn’t hurt…

Like I said above, you can adjust this recipe as you like: add more/use other veggies (chopped sauteed mushrooms would add “meatiness”), add something like Boca crumbles or Gardein beef-alternatives, etc if desired, or whatever you think might be good…

Easy, pretty quick and fairly inexpensive… and it tastes good too! I’ve even frozen this with good results. So give this one a try and let everyone know what you think in the comments section!

DSCF4454Thanks to the good folks at Follow Your Heart for the samples of their Vegan Gourmet Shreds (and in effort of Full Disclosure, I was given the samples free of charge). They worked well in this recipe (as well as on a flatbread I tried them on), and no it’s not the same as a dairy cheese, but if you’re vegan, have a problem with lactose, or just looking to reduce your intake of dairy/animal products these products are worth giving a try. There are (at the time of this writing at least) discount coupons available on their website.

Okay, that’s this edition of Let’s Cook… so now it’s, as always, back to the kitchen! See you again soon!

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