Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mexican-Style Casserole

Friday  night we decided to have some friends over. Since we're all homebodies now, after graduating from college, this was a really big deal. We planned everything out, decided on tequila for drinks and, to complement the drinks, Mexican-style food. Our friends offered to bring tequila, and I baked a Mexican casserole on the fly. This is what I came up with:

Mexican-Style Casserole

2-3 cups of crushed blue corn chips (crushed them with a potato masher)
1 box of "fantastic world foods" brand vegan taco "meat" mixture
1 can of black beans
1 can of whole kernal corn
1 cup of salsa (any kind you like, I make my own with summer tomatoes, I will provide the recipe below)
1 cup of tofutti brand vegan sour cream
1/4 cup each of fresh diced tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos
1 8 oz package of Mexican-style cheese (this is optional, you can leave off the cheese for a vegan casserole)

Preheat your oven to 350, and in a baking dish crush your corn chips up
Prepare the taco "meat" as directed on the box (I also add a little cumin and garam masala to add some extra flavor and spice to the mixture)
Layer the taco mixture over the corn chips
Next, layer the sour cream over the taco mixture
Place a thin layer of salsa (about 1/3 of a cup) over the sour cream
Next add a layer of black beans
Add another 1/3 cup layer of salsa
Add a layer of corn
Now add the rest of the salsa
On top of this place the fresh cut tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos
If you are using cheese place the cheese evenly on top
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the casserole is all nice and bubbly


Homemade Salsa
(disclaimer: This is a salsa I make out of summer garden ingredients, and mostly I randomly throw things together in a food processor and see how it comes out, but this will be my best attempt at listing an official recipe for this salsa. It's a great salsa, a little like pico de gallo, a little spicy, and can keep for a long time in the refrigerator. Play around with it to find a taste you like the best.)

2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 cup of onions, diced
1-2 green chili peppers, diced
1 spring of mint, chopped up
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped up
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoons of vinegar
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
3-4 tablespoons ketchup
salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until you have a smooth, but chunky mixture, place in a sealed container and refrigerate. Enjoy whenever!

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