Monday, November 24, 2014

Vegetarian Mexican Casserole

 This recipe is really surprised me.  It was super tasty and the left overs were even better.  I made this dish vegetarian but you certainly could make it vegan easily.  I have been trying to cut back on my meat consumption and since I'm the only one that cooks in this house, the family has to follow.  Its a great way to get more vegetables in your diet. 



1 tbsp chili powder
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika or ½ tsp regular paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper, plus more as needed
1¼ tsp fine-grain sea salt
½ tsp ground coriander (optional)

1½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and diced
fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh or frozen corn
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree
2-3 cups chopped kale leaves or baby spinach
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked wild rice blend or brown rice
½ cup shredded cheese
1-2 handful corn tortilla chips, crushed
Sliced green onions
Corn Chips
Cashew Cream (recipe in the book)

Make the Tex-Mex Spice Blend: In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, and coriander (if using). Set aside.
Make the Casserole: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a large (4 to 5 quart or liter) casserole dish.

In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeño and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, until softened. Season with salt and black pepper, if desired.

Stir in the Tex-Mex Spice Blend, corn, diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, kale, beans, rice and ¼ cup of the vegan shredded cheese. Sauté for a few minutes and season with more salt and black pepper, if desired.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the crushed chips over the casserole mixture along with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Uncover the casserole dish and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, until bubbly and slightly golden around the edges.

Scoop the casserole into bowls and add your desired toppings.
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