Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Right around Christmas time, my friend Julie hosted a group of college girl friends for lunch at her new house in Grapevine before we hit Main Street and local wineries to enjoy the day together. She served a wonderful casserole full of squashes, black beans, spices and tortillas. As I was looking for some healthy additions to my "new year, new cooking" attitude, I received this recipe from her at Cara's Cravings blog.

It's full of nutritious veggies, a great spicy kick of flavor and topped with my love, cheese. I made this in an 8x8" casserole dish so there were leftovers to spare. This one gets big approval from my meat and potatoes man - Mr. Max went back for thirds and requested a container for his lunch tomorrow!

Special thanks to Julie for introducing me to this delicious dish and Cara's blog!

Grocery list:
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium summer squash, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened and cut into small cubes
  • 2-4 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese (I used a Monterrey Jack and Cheddar blend)
Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat your onions on medium-high heat. Next, add your bell pepper and cook about 5 minutes until softened.

Add your garlic, squash and zucchini. Cover your skillet and cook for about 8 minutes to allow the rest of your veggies to soften.

Season with salt and pepper, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Stir well to coat all your veggies.

Add the black beans and tomato with green chiles. Bring this to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Add your cream cheese cubes and stir until it is melted in and combined with the veggie mix.

Spray your casserole dish with a light cooking spray. Spread about 2 large scoops of your veggie mix on the bottom of your casserole dish, then top with a layer of tortillas. I baked mine in an 8x8 dish, so I cut 2 tortillas in half and puzzle pieces them together to cover the mixture.

Now the original directions are two layers of tortillas and three layers of veggie mix but I decreased that and only had one layer of tortillas, two layers of the veggies. Top the tortillas with either 1/2 of your remaining veggie mix or the rest of it and top with cheese (or repeat tortilla/veggie mix process for three layers, then top with cheese).

Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve!

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