Mexican Casserole – Surprisingly Healthier than it Looks!
I’m not a calorie or fat counter, and I urge you not to be either. Personally I feel eating reasonable portions and keeping your food as fresh and non processed as possible is a good way to gauge what you should and shouldn’t be eating while still satisfying all your food flavor cravings!
This recipe includes cheese, which is more of a rarity for my recipes, but once in a while doesn’t hurt. However, if you’re lactose or vegan feel free to omit! The recipe doesn’t absolutely need it.
Ingredients (Serves 3 – 4 hefty portions)
- 1.5 C Cooked Pinto Beans (reserve bean water if you cooked these fresh)
- 1 6oz Can Tomato Paste
- 1.5 C Cooked Brown Rice
- 6 Small Red Potatoes Boiled Until Tender
- 1 – 2 Large Tomatos Chopped
- Half an Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- Half Cup Quinoa Cooked
- Optional: Flax Meal
- Optional: Leek Greens (I minced these and cooked them along with the potato, and added them in along with the potato)
- Mexican Spices (Plus Cayenne to make it spicy!)
- Tortillas (Optional)
- Hot Sauce of Choice
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- After your ingredients are cooked as specified above, they’re ready for prep and seasoning, then layering into the Casserole.
- First begin heating oil over medium heat and sauteing the garlic and onion until fragrant.
- In a Large bowl combine your cooked Brown Rice, Sprinkle Flax Meal (I used a few tablespoons worth – just to help make the rice bind, as well as add fiber) Tomato Paste and the Garlic & Onion mixture you just sautéed and Mix Well. Add water as needed to thin out the paste.
- Heat a Fresh Non-Stick Pan over High Heat. Add the quinoa and add the Mexican Spices. Let crisp a bit before stirring it together. Stir everything and let crisp for another minute or so. Remove from Heat.
- Take about 1 C of your Cooked Pinto Beans and Blend them into a paste. Use the reserved bean water if you have this, if not, regular water is fine. Leave the rest as whole Beans
- Now everything is finally ready to combine! Grease a Large Casserole Pan and line it with tortillas. Mine was big enough to fit about 3 Corn Tortillas, Torn in half to fit the pan correctly. I later found these to be unnecessary. I layered everything about twice, so portion out respectfully.
- The layers were as follows: Tortillas, Rice, Bean Paste, Quinoa, Whole Pinto Beans, Tomato, Potato, Rice, Bean Paste, Quinoa, Whole Beans, Tomato, Rice.
- Cook at 375 for about 5 Minutes, Add Cheese, then finish cooking until fully melted.
- Top with Hot Sauce, Let cool slight and serve!
I know these instructions are a bit dense and open ended. To simplify it, just consider the layers and how they’d work best together. You want the looser ingredients to have something like the rice & bean paste to bind to so they stick together. Beyond that, layer however you please and use the picture as a reference.