Sunday, October 3, 2010

Casserole Comfort

When it's a cloudy and chilly, and fall is in full force, a girl just needs a warm, veggie-licious casserole to complete her day.

Bonus: blue corn tortilla chips are mixed right in. Definitely a winner in my book.

Casseroles frequently get a bad wrap in the world o' health food, likely due to recipes loaded with cheese, butter, sour cream, and endless cans of "cream of fill-in-the-blank" soups. Not today though! I crave a warm casserole on a chilly day as much as the next girl, and I knew the Moosewood would provide a health-ified, flavor-rich, oven-baked dinner.

The Moosewood's Black Bean Chilaquile has a vibrant color that comes from it's plethora of veggies: fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, corn, salsa, and blue corn tortilla chips. Add a little guacamole and we've got quite the Rainbow Bright dinner on our hands. It may not be the most photogenic dish, but the splendid taste makes up for its lack of "cover model" qualities.

This dinner is definitely an old favorite in our house--it satisfies my need for old-fashioned casserole comfort, but with a brilliantly unique and ethnic twist that only the Moosewood can provide. We served ours with some homemade cornbread, and plenty of extra blue corn chips n' salsa.

Are you cooking up any comfort casseroles lately?

Black Bean Chilaquile

Blue corn tortilla chips make the world go 'round. While we all love them with salsa and guac, you can only imagine how magnificent they taste crumbled into a Mexican Casserole. Be sure to serve this baby with plenty of fresh guacamole and salsa.

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (one 15 oz. can, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 ground black pepper
  • 2 cups rinsed, stemmed, and chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 cups baked blue corn tortilla chips, crushed
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (reduced fat)
  • About 1 cup of your favorite red salsa
  • Guacamole (we mashed up an avocado and added 2 cloves minced garlic, a splash of lime juice, a little salt n' pepper, and some fresh cilantro leaves)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the onion for about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, black beans, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Continue to saute for another 5 -10 minutes, until heated through.

2) Meanwhile, in another saucepan, blanch the greens in boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes, until just wilted and still bright green. Drain immediately and set aside.

3) Spray an 8 x 8 casserole dish or baking pan with cooking spray. Spread half of the crushed tortilla chips on the bottom. SPoon the sauteed vegetables over the tortilla chips and sprinkle about 2/3 of the grated cheddar on top. Arrange all of the greens evenly over the cheese and spoon the salsa on top. Finish with the rest of the tortilla chips and top with remaining cheddar. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and starts to brown. Serve with guacamole, if desired.

4) If it's also a cool, cloudy fall day where you are, you may want to consider eating your Chilaquile while you're wrapped up in a Snuggie. Or perhaps just a blanket. With your favorite book nearby :)


  1. Oh god, I just LOVE Mexi-Casseroles - this one looks fan-freaking-tastic (probably because black beans and I are BFF).

  2. I can totally get on board with this casserole, it has all of the thingies I love :)

  3. It's still a little warm in Phoenix for casseroles, but I'm holding onto this recipe for when it finally does cool down. I love good-for you casseroles. They are quick go-to dinners and always leave me with leftovers :)

  4. Oh boy, I need to make this recipe because I love to be wrapped up in my Snuggie :)

  5. how perfect is it that I have all the ingredients? yum!

  6. I love casseroles like this. So warm and filling. And who doesn't like Mexican food??

  7. Kylie,

    I just found your blog and I am drooling over your eats! Thanks so much for sharing :-)

    Mexican casseroles are the best in my opinion!

  8. Mexican food and casseroles- my favorite! Thanks for sharing the recipe- we posted it on our Facebook page for all our fans to enjoy!

  9. i've never tried chilaquiles but have been wanting to ever since i started seeing them in restaurants... i love all the veggies in this recipe!

  10. Mmm I made something like this the other night and my hubby LOVED it. He loves mexican food though, so he really isnt hard to please lol

  11. I love love LOVE chilaquiles. This looks like a great recipe! The use of tortilla CHIPS is cool.

  12. I've always associated chilaquiles with breakfast, but that's only because I've only had the kind with scrambled eggs. This sounds like it's right up my alley! :)