A few weeks ago I thought I’d switch things up a bit and make Spanish rice to go with Pat’s favorite Mexican Crockpot Chicken. He liked it a lot and made a comment about it being tasty in a Mexican casserole or something. My first thought was Enchilada Casserole. My mom made this a lot when I was growing up. She has this easy recipe for Sour Cream Enchilada Casserole. It’s good, but when I investigated the recipe I decided I wanted to do something a bit different. Sour cream is obviously not a WFPB diet friendly item, and while I have found dairy-free alternatives, I was wary of using it as a key ingredient for a dish.
When I went grocery shopping the first round, I completely forgot to get chicken (Pat’s requested protein) and a jar of enchilada sauce. This forced me to do 2 things:
- Make it vegetarian! Yay!
- Make my own enchilada sauce. Easy!
Let’s be honest, why buy something if you can make it for cheaper (or just make it easier…)? So I did a quick search and found this simple enchilada sauce recipe. It doesn’t take a lot of time and the recipe makes enough for 2 casseroles. If you were making regular enchiladas, you would probably use the whole recipe, but the casserole allows for leftovers.
Anyway, the enchilada casserole turned out so good! We all enjoyed it, and the only criticism was that I didn’t dice the bell peppers small enough for everyone’s liking. I remember thinking what a shame it was that I didn’t take photos for a blog post. Lucky for all of you, Pat requested it again this week, so here we are!
I went ahead and made it vegetarian again. If you wanted it to be vegan, you’d just have to leave off the cheese. Instead of adding an animal protein, I used re-fried beans and black beans. I saute onion, bell peppers, and corn in chili powder and cumin for extra veggie-ness and seasoning, though you could probably nix the seasoning on the veggies if you find the sauce to be strong enough.
I’m not actually sure if the Spanish rice is actually Spanish rice. It tastes pretty similar, but I use a specific seasoning packet for it and it doesn’t specifically say it’s for Spanish rice. I just whisk it into the water before cooking the rice. It’s not a strong flavor, but it is yummy. The box indicates that you can use this seasoning in a variety of dishes and ways, but I usually just stick to rice. Unfortunately my local grocery stores don’t seem to carry this seasoning anymore, so I am hunting around for it. I’d rather not order it online, but if I have to….
You can layer this casserole however you like. I made 2 layers the first round, but tried to use a smaller dish this time so only did one. I recommend using corn tortillas but you could use flour tortillas if you prefer. I’m sure it’s tasty either way.
So get this dish going, pour the margaritas, and enjoy!
Currently obsessing over: my new dreads! I had them done yesterday and while they need a good wash to soften them up, I am in love!
Currently watching: The behind-the-scenes footage from The Hobbit trilogy… I almost enjoy that stuff more than the movies themselves. Gah, such a nerd!
1 packet of Goya Sazon seasoning
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 cup corn (canned/frozen/fresh)
drizzle of oil
chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste
1 can of black beans (or homecooked)
1 can re-fried beans
salsa – optional
- Start the rice, either on the stove or in a rice cooker. Whisk the seasoning into the water before cooking.
- Start the chili sauce. Once it is simmering, you can start on the veggies.
- Dice the onions and bell peppers. Add them to a skillet with a drizzle of oil. Saute for a few minutes. Add the seasonings and corn. Saute for another minute.
- Add a heaping spoonful of salsa to the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread thinly. Line the pan, including the sides, with tortillas.
- Layer beans, veggies, and rice as desired. You can add another layer of tortillas if your pan allows and repeat the other layers again.
- Top with cheese and bake at 350° until bubbly, approximately 30 minutes.
- Serve with chips and salsa or topped with sour cream and guacamole.