Category Archives: black beans

Mexican Tortilla Cassarole

My weeks either feel slow as a turtle, where I can feel every minute and second on the clock.  It’s terrible!  When Friday rolls around, you breathe a sign of relief!

Other weeks fly by and I don’t feel like I’ve had time to catch my breath.  The time goes by and I don’t know where it went or what I spent doing it.  I often think my coworker feels like this- she has an adorable little boy, a full time job, she commutes and still goes to school.  How does she do it all?

This is one of those recipes which is perfect for her, or for anyone with an upcoming hectic week.  It can be made over the weekend, and then baked right before a Tuesday night dinner.  Or just bake it on Sunday night and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week.

There are only so many tacos or enchiladas we can eat, so I like to mix it up a bit with various dishes.  I liked the idea of a baked dish with layers of Mexican flavors.  And don’t worry, it can be adapted to your favorite veggies.

Mexican Tortilla Cassarole
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (Jan/Feb 2012 issue)
6 Servings

6 10-inch tortillas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeños, chopped (optional)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 cups chopped fresh)
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup corn
2 cups black beans (or 15 oz can, rinsed & drained)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups cheese, shredded (your choice: Monterey Jack, pepper jack, Mexican)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Place tortillas on a cookie sheet, and bake them for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly brown.  I ended up using 2 cookie sheets, or you can do them in batches.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.  Then add the garlic and jalapeños.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder and cumin, cook the ingredients for another minute.  Then add the tomatoes, zucchini, corn and black beans.  Cook for about 5 minutes, when the zucchini becomes tender.  Finally, sprinkle in salt and pepper while mixing before turning off the heat.

Coat a 12′ baking dish with cooking spray.  Set 2 tortillas on the bottom (mine overlapped a bit).  Spread about 1/2 the bean-veggie mixture onto the tortillas.  Then, sprinkle a 1/3 of the cheese.  Then do another round of tortillas, bean-veggie mixture and cheese.  Finally, cover the top with 2 more tortillas.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top.

Bake the Mexican Tortilla Lasagna for about 30-45 minutes, the cheese should be bubbly on top.  Let it stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Squash & Bean Burritos

So this is a different take on a burrito.  Since the weather started getting colder in Washington, I’ve been craving rich, fall dishes.  This was a great dish that was very filling, full of texture and a seasonal take on a Mexican staple.

Feel free to omit certain ingredients, or add others that you like in your burritos.  This is definitely one we can all make our own, without taking anything away from the dish.

Butternut squash is definitely one of my favorite fall ingredients.  It’s very versatile in any fall dishes- from soups to casseroles.  Personally, I think it has the best flavor once it has been roasted.

Squash & Bean Burritos
Adapted from: Oh She Glows

1 butternut squash, peeled & cubed (1 inch pieces)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup of rice (white or brown)
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
15 oz black beans, drained & rinsed
4 tortillas or wraps
1 avocado, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp sour cream (optional)
1 cup of lettuce
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  Spray a baking dish or cooking sheet with cooking spray.  Place all of the butternut squash pieces in the dish.  Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and chili powder.  Toss and coat all of the ingredients on the butternut squash.  Roast it for 45 minutes, or until the squash is soft.

In a small pan, cook 1 cup of rice.  Once cooked, leave it to the side.

In a skillet heat 1 tbsp of olive oil, once warm add chopped onion.  Once the onion is translucent, add chopped garlic and jalapeño.  Then add the red pepper, black beans and cooked rice.  Sauté for about 5 minutes on low heat.

Divide the ingredients between the tortillas or wraps.  In ours, we added: roasted butternut squash, the rice-bean-onion mixture, avocado, sour cream, lettuce, cilantro and cheese.  But feel free to add extra toppings (these or others)- it all depends on your tastes.

Mexican Meatballs with Rice

When I was making our grocery list over a week ago, I mentioned to Sam that I was planning to make meatballs.  To his surprise, they were Mexican-flavored meatballs.

These were a great alternative to enchiladas or tacos.  Something a little different, but still having the spicy, Mexican flavors.  Rather than using breadcrumbs, I used oats (the same one’s we use of oatmeal)- and it was still just as tasty.  Feel free to play around with the heat items (jalapeño, habañero or red pepper flakes) to your preferences.  We didn’t have fresh cilantro, which definitely would have made this dish better, but I used some dried cilantro and it worked out fine.

Mexican Meatballs with Rice
Adapted from: Branny Boils Over
Serving: 5 (5 meatballs; 1 1/2 cups of rice)

1 cup of dried rice
1 lb ground turkey
2 eggs
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup oates
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
6 tbsp olive oil
14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1 habañero, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 can of 12 oz black beans
juice of 1/2 lime

In a small pan, heat up water and add rice.  Heat up the rice until it is soft.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, eggs, onion, garlic and oates.  Then add 1/4 tsp of each: chili powder, cumin, cayenne and red pepper flakes.  Then add 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.  Mix all of the ingredients well, and shape them into individual meatballs.  I had made about 25 of them, each were the size of golf balls (or smaller).

In a cast iron skillet or large saucepan, heat up about 4 tbsp of olive oil.  Add about 10 meatballs at a time (if you have smaller pan, don’t add as many meatballs).  Let them sit on each side until they brown, for about 3 minutes.  Cook it on all sides until they feel firm.  When you take them out of the pan, place them on a plate with a paper towel (soaks in the extra olive oil).

In a separate saucepan, heat up about 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Add the tomatoes, cilantro,  habañero, jalapeño, black beans and rice.  To give it some flavor, add 1/4 tsp of each: chili powder, cumin, cayenne and red pepper flakes.  Then add 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.  Heat it up for about 3-5 minutes, until most of the tomato juice is absorbed.  At the end, add the lime juice and stir it into the mixture.

Finally, serve the rice mixture on a place, and add some meatballs on top.  Feel free to add cheese if you’d like, although we enjoyed it without.

Black Bean, Corn and Cheese Enchiladas

As you read many of our blog entries, you’ll know that we’re fans of spicy food.  And although we loved the food in Europe, there was a lack of spiciness in all of the meals that we had eaten there.  So, once we were back we definitely needed something with a good kick.

I really enjoy going to Mexican restaurants- for the chips and salsa.  Although there are great dishes on the menu, too many of them lack the extra bold flavor that resides in Mexican food made at home.  So when trying to make-up for the lack of spiciness, we turned to a great enchilada recipe.

Black Bean, Corn and Cheese Enchiladas
Adapted from: Cooking Light (October 2011)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1-3 jalapeños, chopped (optional)
2 cups of water
2 tbsp oregano, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 oz can of green chilies (optional)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 15oz can of black beans, drained & rinsed
2 cups of Mexican cheese, shredded
1 cup of corn (frozen, canned or fresh)
1/8 cup of cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
6 12-inch tortillas

Heat olive oil in a pan.  Add onion, garlic, jalapeños and sauté for 3-5 minutes.  Once the onion is translucent add water, oregano, tomato paste, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor.  Blend/process until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine black beans, 1/2 cup of cheese, corn, cilantro and green onions.  I also added jalapeño, but that’s always optional.  Mix the ingredients together.

Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Then spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom.

Spoon about 3 tbsp of the bean-corn mixture down the center of the tortilla (pictured below).

Roll each of the filled tortillas and place them seam-side down in the baking dish.  Continue to do this with all of your tortillas and filling.  Once they are all completed, pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Bake the enchiladas for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is lightly brown.

Black Bean Citrus Salad

Corn is just overflowing at our farmer’s market.  This summer we’ve been trying to eat mostly fresh ingredients (lots and lots of tomatoes!), and corn is a summer-must-eat on my list.  So when I was browsing the Eat, Live, Run blog, I noticed Jenna posted a great lunch salad and it had corn- I was excited.

Naturally, I assumed you’d have to cook the corn, and then add it to the salad.  Boy, was I wrong!  Yes, you can eat raw corn- I never knew that.  And it’s so delicious, clearly I’ve been missing out.

If you’re like me, you might ask how this is possible.  What you have to do is peel of the corn husks, peel of the silks (the hairy stuff) and wash the corn.  Cut off an inch off of the pointy side of the corn, so you can set it down on a flat surface.  Grasp the stalk end holding it vertically over a cutting board, and carefully slice downward over the cob cutting off the kernels.

Great salad that incorporates the fresh vegetables available this month, and it’s very healthy!

Black Bean Citrus Salad with Quinoa
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 15oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large grapefruit, divided into segments & chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 ears of fresh corn, kernels chopped off
1 jalapeño, optional
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 large avocado, diced

Cook quinoa per package directions.  Once cooked and cooled, add to a large bowl.

Into the bowl, add the: black beans, red onion, grapefruit segments, bell pepper, corn kernels, jalapeño and cilantro.  Toss well to combine.

In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and salt.  Pour dressing into the bowl, and toss well to combine.

Once you divide the salad over bowls or plates to serve, top off with avocado pieces.