Monday, June 21, 2010

Super-Easy Mexican Bean and Corn, (Empty-The-Refrigerator) Bake

This is a lifesaver casserole on busy nights with starving kids.
Make it ahead of time and set in the fridge, then pop in the oven when you get home. Pretty much anything goes here, I LOVE how super-flexible this dish is!

Get creative (or desperate!) empty out the 'fridge, use up the leftovers, change the ingredients as you like; add vegetarian taco meat, use lentils or red beans or chili instead of black beans, leftover rice instead of corn, canned tomatoes instead of salsa, more or less or no peppers and onions and garlic. trust me, it all works.

Super-Easy Mexican Bean and Corn, (Empty-The-Refrigerator) Bake

* 1 Tablespoon oil
* 1 mild onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, minced (or garlic powder if you're lazy like I can be some nights)
* 1 red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
* OPTIONAL: 1 - 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
* 2 roma or other smallish tomatoes, chopped, (use their juice too!)
* 1 cup mild-to medium salsa (your choice)
* 2 15-ounce can black beans, or 3 cups home-cooked - drained
* 1 can or 1 1/2 cups fresh, corn kernels, well drained
* 8 soft corn tortillas (aprox)
* OPTIONAL: 1 cup grated vegan "cheese"

* 1 cup shredded lettuce
* 2 green onions, sliced
* 1 small can sliced black olives
* chopped fresh cilantro
* OPTIONAL: Vegan sour cream

Preheat oven to 350º. In a medium saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add bell and jalapeno pepper and cook for 3 minutes more. Add tomatoes and juice, and salsa. Heat to bubbling then remove from heat and add beans and corn.

In an 8- by 12-inch baking dish, spread 1/3 of the bean mixture over the bottom. Top with 3 - 4 tortillas, overlapping and tearing tortillas to fit as necessary. Add another 1/3 of the bean mixture and top with remaining tortillas. Spread the last 1/3 of the bean mixture over the top. Cover the dish and refrigerate at this point, or bake for 40 minutes, or until heated through.

If it's been in the 'fridge, start the pan in a cold oven, heat to 350º and bake 1 Hr and 10 min or until hot and bubbly all the way through.

Remove from oven, uncover and top with cheese (if using - but it's very good without. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes until the cheese melts). OR top with crushed corn chips.

Top each serving with lettuce, green onions, cilantro, olives and/or sour cream to each person's preference.


Carrie said...

Looks great! I make something very similar when I need something quick and want to empty out my fridge. :)

Matt (My Veggie Kitchen) said...

You were awarded a Sunshine Blog Award at my blog! Thanks for the inspiration!

My Veggie Kitchen