Enchilada Casserole

This hearty casserole is easier to make than enchiladas since you don’t need to roll tortillas or make a separate sauce. Corn tortillas are added in with the beans and vegetables to thicken the casserole; a dish that everyone at the table will enjoy!

Enchilada Casserole from StraightUpFood.com

Ingredients
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (about 1½ cups)
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic (4 to 5 medium cloves)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (1½ cups), not drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans (1½ cups), drained and rinsed
1 medium zucchini, diced (about 1½ cups)
1 cup raw, frozen, or canned organic corn (drained)
5 cups roughly chopped chard leaves, (about 4 large leaves)
3 organic corn tortillas (6-inch) cut into 1-inch squares (to blend)
2 organic corn tortillas (6-inch) cut into 1-inch squares (to garnish top)

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375. Chop and prepare all ingredients before starting. Place 2 tablespoons of water into a large skillet or soup pot on high heat. When the water begins to sputter, add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, oregano, basil and chili powder, and cook stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, adding water as needed to keep things moving.

2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, beans, zucchini, corn, chard, and the 3 cut up tortillas, and cook covered for 5 more minutes, stirring halfway through. After 5 minutes, place 1 cup of this mixture into a blender and blend until smooth; add this sauce back into the pot and stir. Pour into an approximately 2-quart casserole dish (I use an 8×11-inch square dish. You do not need to prepare the pan with any oil or parchment paper).

3. Scatter the remaining 2 cut-up tortillas across the top, and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: stove top, 12 minutes; baking, 15 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

NOTES

Chili powder: Most stores carry a standard “chili powder,” which is mild in flavor; this is what I have used in this recipe. If you like things on the “hot-n-spicy” side, feel free to use a hotter chili powder of your choice instead, or add a ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a few chopped jalapeño peppers.

Corn and GMOs: In order to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods, including corn, only buy food labeled “100% organic.” By law, manufacturers may not label something “100% organic” if that food has been genetically modified. Also, just because something says “organic” on it does not mean that it does not contain GM ingredients; it can still contain up to 30%, so be sure the labels say “100% organic” if avoiding GM foods is important to you.

No corn? You may also leave the corn and tortillas out of this dish if you have chosen to avoid corn altogether; the casserole won’t be as thick, but it will still be filling and have great flavor.

No baking? The baking helps firm up the casserole, but you may also forego the baking step and just eat the vegetable-bean-tortilla mixture as a stew.

Before and after baking Enchilada Casserole

Above: Left, before baking and right, after baking. The tortilla pieces on top curl during baking, creating little corn chips.

Corn tortillas few ingredients

Above: When you shop for corn tortillas, look for an ingredient list with very few items, like the two above. Also look for “organic corn” (see Notes above). These do not contain preservatives and so will likely be found in the refrigerated section of the store.

Corn tortillas many ingredients

Above: Avoid corn tortillas with long ingredient lists, which often include ingredients to soften the texture and enhance the color. Corn tortillas may also contain wheat, salt and oil, so always read the labels on packaged foods before you buy.

Enchilada Casserole from StraightUpFood.com

This dish makes great leftovers, and is also a delicious and filling on-the-go meal, hot or cold.

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