Foodie Friday! Santa Fe Casserole


Photo by Angela Liddon, "Oh She Glows"
Photo by Angela Liddon, “Oh She Glows”

Formerly known as “Crowd Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole” from Angela Liddon’s super amazing “Oh She Glows” cookbook.  I made this recipe last night – DELICIOUS!  We had it with home made mango-yellow tomato salsa and plain Greek yogurt (to tone down the mega jalapeno!  I made it with a jalapeno from the garden, but also with a can of diced “tomatoes & jalapenos” which may have been jalapeno overkill….  Sam2 LOVED it, but it was a little spicy for me 🙂 )  I guess I should qualify changing the name – it’s SO like the Santa Fe Beans and Rice Smart Ones frozen meal I used to love!  But making your own from all fresh magical ingredients is SO MUCH MORE WONDERFUL!!!!

Santa Fe Beans and Rice

Look at all that amazing veggie color!  Garden bounty!  I also used a bunch of sliced fresh tomatoes and a green pepper from our garden.  One other note – the spice blend is fantastic.  I’ve recently discovered the amazingness that is grinding your own spices – completely by necessity – I needed ground cardamom last week, but only had seeds, and then last night I found we were out of ground cumin, but again, I had seeds.  I used my Nutribullet milling blade in both instances and was SHOCKED by how much more fragrant and AMAZING fresh ground spices are….  I mean, I KNEW that, but I was still BLOWN AWAY by how much more amazing those spices smelled compared to bought grinds….  ANYWAY….  If you have something that you can use to grind spices – DO IT!!!

The Recipe…..

For the Tex-Mex spice blend

  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chili powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons (7 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) smoked sweet paprika, or 1⁄2 teaspoon (2 mL) regular paprika
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon (1 mL) cayenne pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoons (6 mL) fine-grain sea salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground coriander (optional)

For the casserole

  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons (7 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and diced
  • Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 (14-ounce/398-mL) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce or tomato puree
  • 2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL) chopped kale leaves or baby spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce/425-g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 1⁄2 cups (875 mL) cooked wild rice blend or brown rice
  • 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) vegan shredded cheese, such as Daiya (I used cheddar actual cheese…  I don’t really use vegan soy-“cheese” products)
  • 1 to 2 handfuls corn tortilla chips, crushed

Optional toppings

 Make the Tex-Mex spice blend: In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, and coriander (if using). Set aside.

Make the casserole: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Oil a large (4-to 5-quart/4- to 5-L) casserole dish.

In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeño and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, until softened. Season with salt and black pepper.

4 Stir in the Tex-Mex spice blend, corn, diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, spinach or kale, beans, rice, and 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) of the vegan shredded cheese. Sauté for a few minutes and season with more salt and black pepper, if desired.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the crushed chips over the casserole mixture along with the remaining 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) cheese. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes.

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