Tex Mex Casserole. Vegan and Vegetarian options.

March 14, 2014 Post a comment

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I’ve been a long time fan of the blog Oh She Glows – Angela is a pioneer in the world of vegan blogging.  She has been very open about her food struggles and successes and her first cookbook is wildly successful and fabulous.  My husband bought this for me and I’m determined to work my way through many of the recipes and share them with you.  I think so many people fear the word vegan thinking that food is crazy, bland, boring, cardboard-like, tofu or something disgusting and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Plus each recipe can be customized to you and your family’s preference.

I made this recipe yesterday and it came together quite fast.  My oldest is going through lifeguard training and she tries to eat earlier because she hates to have a full stomach while swimming (which I can understand).  I had this in the oven and it only took about 15 minutes to finish up.  From there I set my oven to the warm setting and served it as my family arrived home for dinner.  For my youngest, who isn’t a fan of cheese, I left it vegan – for my father and husband I added shredded Cabot hot jalapeño cheddar and some diced avocado.  Totally customizable!

This recipe is based on Oh She Glow’s Tex Mex Casserole but with my interpretation.  

Ingredients:

Tex Mex Spice Blend:

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons of ground cumin (use less if you don’t like it)
1.5 teaspoons of smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Casserole:

2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded for less heat or leave them intact for more heat
1 cup of frozen organic corn
1-14 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with their juice
3 cups of kale and/or baby spinach, chopped
1-15 oz can of organic black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups of rice, cooked — I used wild rice blend (organic) – any rice would do
Tortilla chips  – I used sprouted sweet potato tortilla chips (see photo)
Optional toppings:  Vegan – use vegan cheese or for Vegetarian – I suggest spicy cheddar.  I used Cabot Cheese.
Diced avocado
Fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

Make the spice mixture in a small bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish (non metal) with olive oil and set that aside.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium flame.  Add the onion, garlic, peppers and jalapeño, sauté for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add your spice mixture and stir well.  Then add the corn, tomatoes, kale/spinach -whichever blend or single ingredient you opted to use, black beans and cooked rice.  Stir.  If using cheese, add about 1/4 cup to the mixture to melt in to the casserole.  I opted not to do this at this point.  Spoon the mixture into your prepared casserole dish and top with crushed tortilla chips ( use as many as it takes to top the casserole in a single layer).  If using vegan or regular cheese- top the tortilla chips with the cheese in a single layer.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Due to specific preferences in my house I opted not to use cheese in the casserole mixture yet to top it on the dishes that I needed it on.  I did dice avocado on each one and it paired beautifully.  This dish was incredibly good, filling and packed with essential vitamins, protein and minerals your body needs.  You will not miss the meat in this dish at all. My ravenous 15 year old daughter ate two bowls of this before training and loved it.

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