Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole

I think Tex-Mex cuisine is one of those culinary categories that just about everyone loves whether you hail from Texas or not. The Hubs has even taken lessons in how to make homemade tortillas and guacamole. He will never turn down a burrito or taco. As you can guess, Tex-Mex food is a mix of Mexican and American cuisine. It’s a fusion that supposedly started with Texans who were of Mexican descent and you can easily identify Tex-Mex because of the heavy use of cheese.

The other night I had to give the little one and the Hubs a break from beans so we just had “brinner” (breakfast as dinner). Just in case you’re wondering why there wasn’t a post yesterday, that’s why.

I thought this casserole from the Oh She Glows cookbook would take a while to do, so I got started kind of early to prep all the vegetables and waited for the Hubs to come home from work. I had asked him to stop by the grocery store for some black beans because we used all of them in the Ten Minute Tomato Pasta the other night.

I made the Tex-Mex spice blend first. Let me tell you, now that I know I can make this from scratch, we’ll be using this spice recipe every time we have tacos or burritos. My only omission was the cayenne pepper. I didn’t want this dish to be spicy because the little one was going to have some too.

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Then I got to work on chopping up all of the vegetables and opening the canned ingredients that I would need. I paired vegetables together that needed to be sautéed together. For example, when a recipe says to sauté onions and garlic together, I would put those in a plate together. That way all I have to do is dump it into the pan.

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The colors just look beautiful don’t they? For me, I think, that’s one of the reasons why I like Tex-Mex food. It’s all of the vibrant colors that you see and makes it so appealing.

For the kale I just pulled the leaves off the stalks and chopped them up. I rolled the leaves up like I do with basil and then chopped.

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Even though kale is one of the super foods out there, I only recently developed an affinity towards this leafy green plant. I guess it just reminded me of collard greens too much. Which is understandable because they’re in the same family. We used to have collards every New Years Day dinner (or lunch in our house). We were always told that collards were god luck and would bring you money. I hated eating them. Maybe it was the way they were cooked? I don’t know. Sorry Momma or Daddy if you’re reading this. Now that I’m an adult, I think kale is ok. I won’t go out of my way to eat it all the time but I will eat it without drowning it in vinegar (something my Dad used to do) or turn my nose up at it.

Once you sauté everything together, you’ll put it all in a dish and bake it. I must mention that I didn’t add the cheese in before baking. Because I can’t and won’t eat dairy, I mixed the cheese in after. I grated some regular cheddar and mixed it in the little one’s bowl and didn’t add any vegan cheese to mine. Simply because I didn’t have any cheese. I did, however, use some crushed corn chips (after baking) and sliced up an avocado for mine.

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This dish was lovely and easy. She does say that the prep time is 30 minutes and the cook time is 20 minutes. I’d say that’s about right because I was done with everything in under an hour. You don’t notice the kale at all, the Hubs had seconds, and the little one put a HUGE dent in his bowl (I gave him a pretty big portion). I don’t think there’s anything different I would do with this recipe except for maybe add a spoonful of salsa and use cheese (for my portion) next time. This is an EXCELLENT dish to make and it would be perfect for a get together as well. And another thing, it was excellent for lunch the next day.

Tonight we’re going to have portobello mushroom burgers from Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows cookbook. I’m excited because we all love portobellos in this house.

I hope y’all all (yes, that is a proper way of saying it) have a wonderful Friday!

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