This past Sunday I locked myself in my kitchen for 3 hours and I cooked. It was amazing! When the weather gets cold and blustery I like nothing better than a Sunday afternoon experimenting with flavors and maybe even making something that would normally be too time consuming for a weeknight. Last weekend we got our first real snowfall of the season here in Toronto so it was a perfect day to get some much needed playtime in. Kona hates cold weather so the park was out of the question, I had finished yoga by noon and the apartment was clean, everything had fallen into place for me to cook enough food for a small army. My freezer is now packed to capacity with muffins, chili and fish pie. I won't starve anytime soon!
I mentioned last week about my 30 day yoga challenge which has been sucking up most of my time. I thought that I would use my kitchen time wisely on Sunday and make something that requires a bit more time than I happen to have on weeknights (especially during this challenge), Mexican lasagna. This dish also goes by a lot of other names; baked enchilada casserole, Mexican casserole, and tortilla casserole are the ones the come to mind. Personally I think Mexican lasagna sounds more fun, there is something about the word casserole that just sounds dull to me.
There are so many different variations of this, but this is my take on it. I have yet to find someone who likes Mexican food who doesn't like this. The layers of tortillas, gooey cheese and spicy sauce make it hard to resist. Like most things that I share with you this recipe is incredibly adaptable. Feel free to change the type of beans or cheese. If you don't have kale then use collards or spinach. Don't have roasted red pepper sauce on hand? Go ahead and use tomato sauce. This is vegetarian, but if you are a meat eater then leave out a can of beans and add a pound of cooked lean ground meat. You can even swap the corn tortillas for wheat ones if those are easier to come by in your area. This can easily be made gluten free by using tortillas are certified gluten free. You could even make is vegan by using soy cheese. Talk about one recipe being adaptable to a variety of needs. Use this recipe as a template and then go nuts!
1 TSP Canola Oil
1 White Onion, Diced
1 Bell Pepper, Diced
0.25 Cups Frozen Corn
1 Cup Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped
2 Cups Kale, Ribs Removed
650 mL Jar Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
1 Cup Salsa
2 TSP Minced Garlic
1 TSP Chili Powder
1 TSP Cumin
1 Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1 Can Kidney Beans, Drained and Rinsed
0.5 Bunch Cilantro, Washed and Chopped
1.5 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Grated
9-12 Corn Tortillas, Quartered
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat oil in a pan
Add onion and pepper and saute until barely cooked
Take off heat and add both types of beans, cilantro, roasted peppers and corn, set aside
To make the sauce mix together red pepper sauce, salsa, chili powder, garlic and cumin. Set aside.
In a 2.5 quart casserole dish spoon a layer of sauce. Top with a layer of tortillas, placing them as needed so there are no big gaps. Layer kale, bean mixture, sauce and cheese. Repeat until the dish is full to the top finishing with a layer of tortilla, sauce then cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Serve hot.