Black Bean Mexican Casserole

Black Bean Mexican Casserole


I love an easy week night meal. And, honestly, it is the key to survival these days. They may not be able to read a clock just yet, but somehow my little ones seem to intuit it is 6 o’clock and thus begins that tenuous dance to keep everyone calm, fed, and happy all as bedtime nears (and around here it involves some literal dancing).

This dinner is a no-fail, budget-friendly crowd-pleaser. It comes together in about 15 minutes (depending on how fast you chop) and then bakes in the oven for another 20 minutes. I’ve been known to assemble it at naptime then pop it into the oven for a quick and easy dinner that only needs a side of fruit or a big salad to round out your meal.


Black Bean Mexican Casserole
Adapted from A Cup of Jo.

1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1.5 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 14.5 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1.5 c frozen corn
2 15.5 oz cans of no salt added black beans, washed and drained
5 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
8 corn tortillas
2 c mexican blend shredded cheese
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by greasing it with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and sauté until onion begins to become translucent. Add spices and continue cooking until the spices are fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, and beans to pan. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and continue cooking until the spinach wilts. Turn off the heat on your stove.

Spoon 1/3rd of black bean mixture into the bottom of your baking dish. Top with 4 corn tortillas (they will overlap a bit). Spoon another 1/3rd of the black bean mixture on top of the corn tortillas then sprinkle with half of the cheese.

Place the last 4 corn tortillas on top, then add the remaining black bean mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.* Remove from oven and sprinkle your fresh cilantro over the top.

Serves 6.

*If you made this ahead, cover the casserole with aluminum foil and heat in the 400° oven for 15 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered.

Vegan Tortilla Soup

Vegan Tortilla Soup


It has been a cold and rainy few days here (although today feels very balmy for late October!), so I thought I’d share a great vegan soup recipe a dear friend passed along a few years ago. I love how this soup is chock-full of veggies, but also has a depth of flavor that is sometimes harder to cultivate in a vegan soup. Like most of my soup recipes, you can edit the amount of veggies and variety of toppings (feel free to come up with some new ones and pass on your favorites!) and for those of you who aren’t actually vegan, we like a little bit of cheese sprinkled over the top. I tend to serve this soup with cornbread baked in a cast-iron skillet and straight out of the oven.


Vegan Tortilla Soup
Adapted from Oh She Glows

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 c frozen yellow corn
1/2 c green onion, chopped
1 jalapeño,  seeds removed and diced
3 T cumin
1 can no salt added, diced tomatoes
2 c vegetable broth
2 T chia seeds
1 can no salt added kidney beans
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 6″ round corn tortillas
chopped avocado
cheddar cheese (if not making this a truly vegan meal)

In a 3-5 qt. soup pot, heat your olive oil. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté until just tender. Add zucchini through cumin and heat through. Add tomatoes through kidney beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a pizza cutter, cut your tortillas into 1/4″ strips. Place on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray on both sides. Broil in oven for 1-3 minutes depending on the intensity of your broiler and how crispy your like your tortillas.

Taste soup and season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortillas, avocado and cheese.

Serves 4-6.