We all have our fallback dishes. The things we know how to make, and know will turn out pretty much every time we make them. It's a huge bonus when those dishes yield many Tupperware containers full of leftovers for evenings when cooking is most super definitely not going to happen. I am a major fan of cooking as much food as possible on my day off to have more free time during the week, and this recipe is wonderful for creating a lot of meals with little time and few ingredients. This recipe is from the Looneyspoons cookbook, and is a clever and easy twist on classic lasagna. Though I have added ground beef in for a heartier dish, the original recipe is vegetarian and the bean mixture is very flavourful on its own. Also melted, gooey cheese. Lots of cheese makes for a popular dish in my house. For this recipe, you'll need:
2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 1/2 cups chopped sweet green pepper
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, undrained, cut up
1 cup salsa
2 tsp ground cumin
1 can (19 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (19 ounces) red kidney beans, dried and rinsed
1-2 lbs extra lean ground beef (optional)
12 6-inch corn tortillas or 8 7-inch flour tortillas
1 - 1/2 cups shredded cheese
Prep your vegetables and garlic.
2. If you're choosing to use ground beef, brown in a large saucepan on medium heat until cooked through. Add in onions, garlic and green pepper and cook until vegetables are soft, about five minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, salsa and cumin and give a quick stir before bringing to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in black beans and kidney beans and remove from heat.
5. Using a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, layer one-third of the bean mixture over the bottom. Cover with half of the tortillas, overlapping as needed, and half the cheese. Add another one-third of the bean mixture on top of the cheese, followed by the remaining tortillas and the last of the bean mixture. Finally, top with the rest of the cheese.
6. Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Of course, this dish is best served fresh, when the cheese is still oozing over everything and the tortillas are still hot and crispy along the edges, but the flavours still hold even after a couple of weeks in the freezer. I like the combination of the different beans with the fresh green pepper and garlic. Served with sour cream or avocado it's a perfect taco, quesadilla, fajita combination. My boyfriend has even cooked an egg and put in on top of the leftovers for breakfast. So, a wealth of options with this one.
What are your favourite make ahead or large quantity dishes?