Monday, March 17

Good Eating Monday: Tortilla Casserole

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Many ladies in the Zumba class this morning were wearing green shirts. I never bother. I lost interest in St. Patrick's Day years ago, back when I was a kid in school, when forgetting to wear green resulted in pinching. It didn't find that tradition very much fun.

There was a down-pour over the weekend. Perfect for checking water flow and pooling in my yard. Sometimes, it's helpful to work with the problem while the water is present, so that was what I was doing today.
Also I had herb seedlings that needed planting.

Today's Good Eating recipe is one I make often in winter during baking and Cilantro season: Tortilla Casserole.
 It's great for a crowd or a family and easy to double for more then one pan.
This recipe can easily be made vegetarian by just omitting the meat and increasing beans from 1 to 2 cans.
Really, this recipe is basically a Mexican style lasagna.
It calls for picante, but if you have salsa on hand feel free to use it instead! 

1 lb ground chicken or beef, browned (and drained if needed)
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen pepper strips (or you can use fresh if desired)
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes (can be mexican or salt-free)
3/4 cup bottled picante sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz can black beans or red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
Nonstick cooking spray
20 7-inch corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican cheeese (reduced fat, if you can find it.)
Optional Additions:
* Chopped cilantro stirred into meat/bean mix.
* Chopped peperoncini peppers or a can of chopped green chilies.

In a large skillet add meat & onion. Brown meat & onion, then drain if needed. Return meat and onions to skillet. Add peppers, undrained diced tomatoes, picante sauce, cumin & garlic. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer, uncovered for 10 min. Stir in beans.

Spray a 10 x 13 pan with oil cooking spray. Spread 1/3 of meat/bean mix over bottom of pan. Layer 10 corn tortillas over top, overlapping as needed. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over top, then add another 1/3 of meat/bean mix. Add another layer of 10 overlapped tortillas on top of that and remaining meat/bean mix.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle on last cup of cheese. Return to oven for another 10 minutes to melt cheese and crisp edges. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares suited to crowd you're feeding and serve with low-fat sour cream, salsa, chips and a salad!
Makes great leftovers, too!
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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