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Easy Refried Bean Casserole

I came up with this Easy Refried Bean Casserole when I was looking through my pantry to see what I could make for dinner. At first I was going to make taquitos, but the corn tortillas kept falling apart. It was just not going to work. That is when I came up with this casserole. It is basically refried bean taquitos in a casserole form. It  can be ready in about 30 minutes, is easy to assemble and requires very few ingredients. It turned out to be a winner.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Layer tortillas into an 8 inch pie plate. Spread a layer of the Shortcut Refried Beans on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle half the corn on top of the beans. Sprinkle some Smokey Southwestern Seasoning on top of the corn. Repeat 1-3 more times It just depends on how deep is your pie plate.

Bake until it is hot, about 20-25 minutes.

You can use a number of different toppings: Guacamole, your favorite salsa, or my Creamy Cilantro Sauce/Dressing.

Serve with a salad or your favorite green vegetable.

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Note: Make sure you get Non-GMO corn products.

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Southwestern Bean and Rice Casserole

This is a great hearty meal when you have some veggies you want to use before they go bad. It is easy to vary by changing the kinds of veggies you use. This recipe has a Southwestern flavor profile, yet with a few tweaks you could change it to Italian or Asian.

The “cheese” sauce adds an ooey-gooey goodness that is sigh worthy. Top with some chopped cilantro and some fresh guacamole – Yum.

  • 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c carrots, shredded or diced
  • 1 tbsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 2 c brown rice, cooked
  • 2 zucchini, medium, diced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 2 c corn, kernels
  • 1 batch “Cheese” sauce
  • Cilantro, fresh, chopped, garnish
  • Guacamole, garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large dutch oven over medium heat add onion, red bell pepper, garlic and carrots. Stirring occasionally until veggies are softened. Add vegetable broth as needed keep veggies from sticking to pan.

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Add Smokey Southwestern Seasoning, stir until veggies are covered with seasoning.

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Stir in brown rice, zucchini, tomatoes with chiles, corn and “cheese” sauce. Stir until well mixed. Spoon into large casserole baking dish.

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Bake for 30 minutes and casserole is bubbling.

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Garnish with Cilantro and Guacamole.

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Big Cooking – Chicken Part 3 – Chipotle Shredded Chicken Tacos

These tacos are a smokey and spicy dance for the tongue. Remember this chicken started as a sheet pan of roasted chicken breasts with some roasted tomatoes and green beans.

In Big Cooking – Chicken Part 2, I made some chicken salad. Now in Big Cooking – Chicken Part 3, I have made for you Chipotle Shredded Chicken Tacos. These tacos only took thirty minutes to make, and that includes making the Plantain Tortillas from scratch. Oh, I adore these tortillas. They counterbalance the smokey and spiciness of the shredded chicken to make the perfect bite.

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I am excited for you to try these. They are just so good.

This is the time to make the plantain tortillas. I highly recommend these tortillas.

While the tortillas are baking (15 minutes) in the oven, shred the chicken with two forks into a large bowl.

This is the fun part. Squeeze the cherry tomatoes into the chicken. Be careful, they are really juicy from when you roasted them. Break apart the tomatoes. Add peppers, Smokey Southwestern Seasoning, salsa and lime juice. Stir well.

In a non-stick pan, over medium heat warm chicken until heated through.

Build your tacos. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I actually had some of this chicken leftover. Plus, I still have 1 1/2 chicken breasts to use for at least one more meal.

 

 

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Guacamole

We used to have an avocado tree in our back yard. We would watch and see what kind of harvest we get for the season. I learned a lot about avocados, some by hear say, and some by observation. Hear say – Avocado trees are male and female. I don’t know if it’s true, but ours did well all on its own. Observation –  Squirrels love to take your avocados. They are tricky little rodents. We would find avocados on the ground with gnaw marks on them. That meant one less bowl of guacamole – very sad.

I used to avoid guacamole because of the “fat”.  Not anymore. It is one of my favorite dips, toppings, fillings, oh my. The avocado is so versatile, you can have savory, sweet, creamy, and smooth. Like I said, versatile.

Here you can see the makings of a truly delicious guacamole. Make it your own, add mango for some sweet, or jalapeno for some heat. It’s gonna be good. The thing about guacamole is that you really don’t have to measure. If you want more lime, or cilantro go for it. Less, that’s okay too. Taste it as you go, then it’ll be perfect.

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Here are the ingredients I used for this batch.

  • 3 haas avocados
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • cilantro
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 onion (I had a red on hand)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • pinch of sea salt, and pepper