Mexican Casserole

The inspiration for this recipe came from the latest issue of my trusty Cooking Light. Since I’ve been trying to get Parker to eat new foods(and since he’ll eat anything that looks remotely Mexican in nature), I decided to modify the original recipe and give it a go. It was easy, tasty and there were no leftovers. In other words, it was a total success.

I should also mention that I decided (without asking the boys for input) to stop cooking meat entirely. It wasn’t really intentional. I just didn’t add any meat-only dishes to the menu and I didn’t buy any meat at the grocery store last weekend. Frankly, I’m sleepy and my poor, little brain couldn’t be taxed with thinking up 2 different recipes for dinner each night (since I usually cook them a separate meal than I cook myself). I’m curious as to how many days/weeks will pass before either one of them has noticed that they’ve kind of sort of turned into vegetarians.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup diced onion
1 pound ground beef or the equivalent of meat-alternative (I like Quorn brand crumbles)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1.5 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef, chicken or veggie broth
2 tablespoons Taco Mix (store bought or homemade)
1 eight-ounce can tomato sauce
4 eight-inch tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (plus extra for the top)

Add a touch of olive oil to the pan and saute your onions for a couple of minutes. Add ground beef or meat-alternative and brown. (Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.)

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Add in the flour and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.  Add broth, taco seasoning and tomato sauce to the saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Once it comes up to a boil, cook it for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all but 1/2 cup of the sauce to the meat/onion mixture and stir to combine.

Put a tortilla in a 9-inch pie plate. Add 1/3 of the beef mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat this 3 times and end with a tortilla on top. Spread the rest of the tomato sauce mixture over the tortilla and top with a handful of cheese.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Let it cool off for about 5 minutes before you cut into it, otherwise, the meat and cheese will spill out of the tortilla like a molten lava explosion and you’ll be left with Mexican soup instead of a Mexican casserole. Trust me on this one, don’t be like me.

This casserole was seriously yummy. It was a nice change of pace from our usual soft taco or burrito and the tomato sauce gave it an enchilada flavor rather than a standard taco taste. The best part was that no one even commented on the fact that I skipped the beef in favor of the Quorn crumbles and trust me, Parker would normally have been the first one to pitch a fit if it didn’t meet his picky-eater standards (which I need to stop talking about since it makes my eye twitch). Next time, I think I’ll serve this with a dollop of sour cream and guacamole just to dress it up a bit.

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