The Inspiration: I was going to make lasagna for dinner, but then I decided I wanted to make something Mexican. I though to myself, "How can I make a mexican lasagna?" I slowly came up with the idea of sautéing some veggies and mixing them with pinto beans to make the filling, and using corn tortillas much like lasagna noodles, and lastly using enchilada sauce somewhat like marinara sauce. And thus the easy mexican casserole was born!
Nutrition Notes: This casserole is pretty rockin when it comes to nutrition. The pinto beans, corn, and corn tortilla make a complete protein. The beans, corn, and zucchini also add a healthy amount of fiber. Lastly the corn and zucchini get in a good serving of veggies! The casserole is free of any added fats or oils, which is pretty awesome. Overall this is a pretty well rounded meal. I also served a side of guacamole which as we all know is one of the best ways to get some fats in your diet if that's what you're looking to do.
Recipe: Easy Mexican Casserole
- 3/4 cup diced onions
- fresh corn from 2 ears of corn (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 3 chopped zucchinis (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 15 oz (1 can) pinto beans
- 9-10 medium corn tortilla
- 1 jar (around 14 oz) enchilada sauce (I used Trader Joe's brand and it rocked)
- vegan sliced cheese (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large, non-stick frying pan on medium-low heat add the onion. Cook for five minutes or until beginning to soften.
3. Add corn and zucchini and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Add garlic and spices and continue to cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.
5. Add pinto beans, mix well, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
6. Cover the entire bottom of a casserole dish with a layer of enchilada sauce.
7. Layer over enough corn tortilla to completely cover the sauce.
|Covering the bottom of the casserole dish|
8. Add half of the bean & vegetable mixture over the tortilla and spread evenly.
9. Cover completely with another layer of corn tortillas.
|The Laste Step. Covering everything in enchilada|
10. Use the second half of the bean & vegetable mixture over the tortillas and spread it evenly.
11. Cover this with one final layer of corn tortillas completely.
12. Pour over the rest of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas and spread out so that it's even.
13. Place in oven for 15 minutes.
14. If you choose to use the vegan cheese, turn the oven up to 425 degrees and remove the casserole dish. (If you are not using the cheese ignore these steps and leave the casserole in the oven for 5 more minutes at 350 degrees and then remove it.)
15. Add a layer of vegan cheese to the top of the casserole and place it back in the oven for another 7 minutes.
16. Remove casserole from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
17. Serve with guacamole and enjoy!