Vegetarian Mexican Casserole

November 28, 2012

I love when I can put my spin on a dish and it still tastes good.  I know it sounds like I don’t have much faith in myself, but I tend to shy away from making changes to a recipe cause it can often turn a good dish into a flop.  But the meal I made on Sunday night…it was just as delicious as I believe the original recipe would have been.

Instead of rolling this delicious filling into tortillas, I layered it.  Ok, not all that big of change, but I loved this Mexican casserole so to speak.  This dish was originally vegan, but I couldn’t resist sprinkling on some cheese.  But overall, this dish is healthy and hearty.  Both swanky boyfriend and I loved it!  (Sorry for the not-so-great after photos-I didn’t have time to take them again in good lighting.  You forgive me, don’t you?)

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Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Spinach, and Pepper Casserole

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Makes 9 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 handfuls spinach, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Enchilada sauce (about 2 ¼  cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-2 tablespoon fresh lime juice, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Green onion & chopped cilantro, to garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and medium sized baking dish (I used a 9 by

9 ). Pre-cook the chopped sweet potato, by simmering it in a small pot of water for about 5-10 minutes until just tender. Do not overcook.

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Drain and set aside.

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In a large skillet or pot, add 1 tablespoon oil and bring to medium to low heat. Add in the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Add in garlic and reduce heat to low and cook for a couple more minutes.

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Now add the chopped pepper, pre-cooked sweet potato, drained black beans, and chopped spinach. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes on medium-low heat.

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Now add in your enchilada sauce. Stir well, and add in your seasonings: cumin, fresh lime juice, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, red pepper flakes- all to taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir well.

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Scoop about 1 cup of the mixture onto the bottom of your casserole dish and spread out in a thin layer.

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Top with corn tortilla slices.  Layer with mixture and repeat. 

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Finish off the casserole with the top layer being tortillas.  With brush, spread one teaspoon of oil over the top layer of the corn tortilla. (It will help it to crisp up!)

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Bake casserole at

You can buy in out pharmacy.

400F for 18-20 minutes. With about 5 minutes left of cooking, remove casserole from oven top with remaining 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and cheese. 

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Put back into oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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I loved the addition of sweet potatoes in this recipe.  It just works. 

Now the only thing we are wondering is if this will taste good reheated.  The crispy bits on top really made this dish stand out, but I am hoping it will still be delicious!  I highly recommend you make this!  Next time, I would love to make the cilantro avocado cream sauce to add on top that was originally part of the recipe.

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I am working on getting back in the swing of things after being off for 4 days.  It takes some getting used to, doesn’t it?  The highlight of my week was enjoying my year anniversary with swanky boyfriend on Monday.  He took me to dinner where we had our first date.  It was such a special night!

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It has been one great year and I think this next one will be even better! Smile

P.S. Stay tuned for my next post!  Giveaway to come!

What is your favorite spin on a classic dish?  Do you enjoy changing up recipes or following them step-by-step?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Where's the Beach) November 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Happy anniversary! I almost never follow a recipe LOL. I started layer my enchiladas. So much easier. This sounds perfect. I absolutely love the combo of sweet potatoes and black beans.

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Nikki November 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Happy anniversary! This looks amazing!!!! I wish I had more people than just myself to feed because I always want to make big dishes but don’t want to be wasteful! I can only stand leftovers for a day or two!

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Swanky Dietitian November 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I know exactly what you mean. We do pretty good with leftovers for a couple days, then we are done! ;)

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Beth @ 990 Square November 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Congratulations on one happy year!

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Swanky Dietitian November 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Thanks Beth! :)

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ea-the spicy rd November 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Love layered casseroles {so much easier than rolling} and this one sounds delicious! Happy Anniversary to you and Mr. Swanky Boyfriend & many more to come :-)

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thehealthyapron November 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm

1. Going to Vegas next week! Staying at the Venetian! SO excited!

2. Oooo let’s swap mexican recipes! I’ll definitely be making this SOON!! Writing it down now! Looks delish!

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Brandi November 29, 2012 at 12:01 am

Ahhh! Happy Anniversary! :)

Holy cow, I am totally making this! :)

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teri@managedmacros November 29, 2012 at 12:12 am

Happy 1 year!! woot woot! I LOVE this dish, totally making and def. pinning! Gotta love Oh She Glows! I’m a creative cook, (my words :)) where I piece, sub and create rather than follow…more fun that way! Happy rest of the week to you!!!

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Rach November 29, 2012 at 2:56 am

Wow, there is so much good stuff in this and it looks yummy to boot! :) And hey, happy anniversary, friend! :)

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Michal November 29, 2012 at 3:15 am

that looks fantastic to me! i pretty much love anything with sweet potato’s, throw a mexican-y twist in there and you’ve got me sold

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Swanky Dietitian November 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Hi Michal!
I wouldn’t have thought sweet potatoes work, but they just do! :)

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Katie @ Balanced RD November 29, 2012 at 4:28 am

That dish looks delicious! I usually end up making changes to recipes when I don’t have one of the ingredients…haha :) Happy Anniversary!!!

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Swanky Dietitian November 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Thanks so much, Katie!

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts November 29, 2012 at 7:33 am

This sounds great! I love the inclusion of sweet potato too. And happy anniversary :)

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Amanda @FancyOatmeal November 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

Happy Anniversary!!!

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Laurie @ Love, Laugh, Laurie November 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Wow amazing timing, I was JUST looking for a vegetarian dish! And happy anniversary to you!

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Roz@weightingfor50 November 29, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Happy First Date Anniversary to you and Swanky Boyfriend!!!

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Jessie November 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm

First of all, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! You and swanky BF are just the cutest couple ever :) What a great highlight to the week!

I know what you mean about being hesitant to change recipes. I usually play with seasonings rather than the whole recipe, so I’m super impressed with how you pulled off this casserole! Layering the tortillas is such a great idea!

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Biz November 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I can’t believe its been a year already!! Congrats! This looks delicious – and I think I have everything to make it – winning!

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Mary Carr June 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Made your recipe for a big dinner that included a friend who is vegetarian and gluten-free – DELICIOUS! We doubled the recipe and paired it with guacamole, rice & beans and it fed 10 people with a few second servings. Great recipe!

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Swanky Dietitian June 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Hi Mary!!
I’m do happy to hear that!! Thank you! :)

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