Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

This is a wonderful, completely filling No Meat Monday.  What makes this even better, there are so many things you can add, adjust.  The possibilities are endless! Add a touch of enchilada sauce to each layer.  Or, add a thin layer of refried beans. Can’t hang without your meat?  Go ahead, add some!  Use corn tortillas.  For an extra fresh, crisp taste, top with sour cream, shredded lettuce and diced tomato.  Don’t forget the avocado!

Ingredients:

4 10″ flour tortillas (or slightly smaller, see below)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp Mexican Blend seasoning (Such as Morton & Bassett)
Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed (always check sodium levels, even “low sodium” can be quite high)
12 oz beer, or 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I used Corona, but any would do)
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen corn
1 jalapeño chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat) optional
4 scallions, thinly sliced, optional
2 ½ cups Mexican blend cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400.  While oven heats, drain and rinse beans.   If using 10″ tortilla, grab a paring knife and trim down to fit spring form pan.  Use the bottom of the pan as a guide.  I used a slightly small tortilla because it’s what I had on hand.  Even though there was some extra space on the sides, the smaller tortillas worked just fine.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic, jalapeño (if using), and Mexican blend seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (5-7 minutes).

Add beans, beer (or vegetable broth), bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, simmer until liquid has almost evaporated (8-10 minutes).  Stir in corn and scallions (if using) and remove from heat.  Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

Place tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with ¼ of bean mixture and ½ cup of cheese.  Repeat three times, using 1 cup of cheese on top layer.  Bake until heated through and cheese melts, 20-25 minutes.  Remove side of pan, sprinkle with scallions (optional).  Slice into wedges to serve.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Albariño
Zinfandel

Tortilla & Black Bean Pie

Tortilla & Black Bean Pie

*Derived from Everyday Food


Mexican Black Bean Pizza

Remember Taco Bell pizzas?  Anyone who has ever had a love of fast food knows Taco Bell pizzas.  There was something so good about them.  Maybe it was the flour tortilla crust, all crunchy and munchy.  What was not so good about them?  How truly bad they are for your body.  Probably not such a big deal when I was in my 20’s.  Certainly an issue now that I’m in my 40’s.  From the perspective of my thighs, if nothing else.  And, I’d like to keep my kids as far away from fast food as I can.  It’s such a horrible habit to get into and such a difficult one to break.  Try this lighter, healthier version and I promise, you’ll forget about your Taco Bell days!

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tbs olive oil
8 (6″) flour tortillas
1 small onion chopped (or buy the pre-chopped from the produce section)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
½ cup salsa, mild or spicy
*Optional – 2 oz canned chopped mild green chiles
*Optional – You can add about ½ a cup of any meats you may prefer, pulled pork, chorizo (casing removed), shredded chicken, etc.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix half the Cheddar cheese with the Monterey Jack in a bowl and set aside.
Brush a baking sheet with 1 Tbs olive oil (or line with parchment paper) and arrange tortillas in a single layer.  Using a fork, puncture each tortilla a few times.  Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese evenly over 4 of the tortillas, then cover each with a remaining tortilla.  Bake 5-6 minutes or until browned slightly.

While tortillas bake, heating 1 Tbs olive oil in a skillet and cook onions until browned.  Add beans and partially mash with a potato masher or the back of a fork.

Remove tortilla pizzas from the oven and top each with bean mixture.  Top with salsa, green chiles (if using), meat (if using), and cheese mixture.  Return to oven and back until cheese melts, about 10-20 minutes.  Serve with sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, avacado.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc
Bonarda
Pinotage

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 25 minutes

Mexican Pizza

*Derived from Bush’s Beans

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Risotto with Beans and Vegetables

Oops I did it again! I played with your heart . . . Oh wait,wrong sentiment. Well, a little. I did do it again, I made a wonderful risotto in the rice cooker!  It’s almost daily now that I am looking at the rice cooker and thinking, “Hmmm. . . ”  I wonder if I stuff some laundry in there it will magically be cleaned and folded.  Oh, oh, oh!  I’ve got it!  Can I shove my computer in their and all of my scopes of work and subcontractor matrices come out DONE!!  Bim Bam!  Because that’s how I am viewing my wonderful little rice cooker now, it’s this magical little pot.  I’m not sure how it does what it does.  I don’t even care.  Just as long as it keeps bubbling away and turning out amazing food.  (The laundry would help, too, though.)

Ingredients:

3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (I bought presliced cremini)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup finally chopped zucchini
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 15 oz can low sodium cannellini, pinto, or black beans; rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (plus about a handful more for topping when ready to serve)

Rice Cooker Preparation:

Turn rice cooker on, once it’s heated add 2 Tbs olive oil, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add uncooked rice.  Cook and stir about 5 more minutes or until rice is golden brown.  Add 3 cups of broth, zucchini and carrots, stir to combine all ingredients.  Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 20 minutes, rice should be slightly creamy and just tender.  Stir in beans and Parmesan cheese; cover and heat through.  Sprinkle with additional cheese for serving.

Non-Rice Cooker Preparation:

In medium sauce pan bring broth to boil.  Reduce heat; simmer until needed.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook mushrooms, onion, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add uncooked rice.  Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until rice is golden brown.

Slowly add 1 cup of broth to rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Add another 1/2 cup of broth, zucchini, and carrots to rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Add another 1 cup broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until broth is absorbed. (THis should take about 20 minutes).

Stir remaining 1/2 cup broth into rice mixture.  Cook and stir until rice is slightly creamy and just tender.  Stir in beans and Parmesan cheese; heat through.  Sprinkle with additional cheese for serving.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

White Burgundy,
Chardonnay,
Nebbiolo,
Pinot Noir,
Sangiovese,
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 30 minutes

photo (3)

*Derived from BHG

Quesadilla Casserole

Meatless Monday brings us a wonderful casserole! What I loved about this dish: it came together so easily, filled the house with the most amazing smell as it cooked, and you serve it WITH the enchilada sauce; it’s not incorporated into the dish. This is great because my kids are just starting to really explore spicy foods and the enchilada sauce being IN the dish would have been a little overwhelming and the meal would have been a “Fail” (as Daniela has become so fond of saying). What I did not love about this dish: it cooks at 400 for 30 minutes. Turning an already warm day hot. But that is more a testament to my menu planning and nothing with the recipe itself. I cooked this in my cast iron pot and the edges were crusty. When the spoon hit that edge and I heard the crackle, I almost needed a moment! If you’re not in the meatless mood, you could easily add chicken, steak, or carnitas. Hey, you could make my carnitas in the slow cooker and then with the leftovers, make this one! Serving with a cool, crisp salad is the perfect accompaniment.

Before Cooking

Ingredients:

3 Tbs olive oil1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 (29 oz) can black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
5 white corn tortillas 
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup prepared enchilada sauce (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium skillet, heat oil to medium. Add onions, cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Add 1 1/2 cups black beans and mash into a chunky paste. Stir in reserved liquid.

Spray a heavy oven proof skillet with cooking spray. In medium bowl combine corn, parsley, and remaining black beans. Place a tortilla in skillet and spread with 1/3 cup mashed black bean mixture. Top with 2/3 cup corn, bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Press to compress layers. Repeat with remaining tortillas, mashed black beans, corn-bean mixture, and cheese.

Bake until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes. If needed to brown (I did not need this step), transfer to broiler a d cook for 1 minute. Serve with enchilada sauce (optional).

Serves 6

Prep time: 25 minutes, Bake time: 35 minutes

After Cooking

*Derived from Rachel Ray mag