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.

MexicanCasserole

Ingredients (Serves 3 – 4 hefty portions)

  1. 1.5 C Cooked Pinto Beans (reserve bean water if you cooked these fresh)
  2. 1 6oz Can Tomato Paste
  3. 1.5 C Cooked Brown Rice
  4. 6 Small Red Potatoes Boiled Until Tender
  5. 1 – 2 Large Tomatos Chopped
  6. Half an Onion
  7. 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  8. Half Cup Quinoa Cooked
  9. Optional: Flax Meal
  10. Optional: Leek Greens (I minced these and cooked them along with the potato, and added them in along with the potato)
  11. Oil
  12. Mexican Spices  (Plus Cayenne to make it spicy!)
  13. Tortillas (Optional)
  14. Cheese
  15. Hot Sauce of Choice

Directions

  • 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.

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