Vegan/Gluten-Free Enchilada Casserole

(Or non-vegan if you swap for the real stuff)

One of the many things I enjoyed about being single and childless was that no one could ever complain about eating the same meal for a week. I worked a lot and although I do enjoy cooking, I don’t always love how long it takes and how many dishes it makes. I developed a lot of “one-pot” meals that I would make in a large amount and then eat the leftovers all week. The meals would take anywhere from 1/2 hour to a few hours depending if it had to bake in the oven but then I didn’t have to cook the rest of the week so I felt like it was worth it! I really didn’t mind eating the same thing for many days in a row, and I actually feel like my stomach kind of liked the routine also, as long as it was full of nutrition. I also am always budgeting my finances and am not ashamed to make easy meals that consist of canned goods. They are cheap and still nutritious and delicious. I think it’s a shame they get a bad rep, and let’s face it, we can’t buy organic and directly from the farmer’s market all the time, even if that’s the goal (and even if we haven’t been to a farmer’s market in 5 years). Some of my weekly meals were Veggie Lasagna, Kitchari and sautéed veggies, Pasta Salad, Mexican Quinoa Salad, and today’s recipe: Enchilada Casserole. I am no chef and what I tend to do a lot with recipes is just use them as a base to go off of until I make it enough times as to where I can tweak the recipe to my own liking by adding different spices, vegetables, etc. So, with that being said, here’s your basic recipe base to make Enchilada Casserole!

  • You Will Need:

1 Pack Corn Tortillas (16 oz)

1 Can Black Olives

1 Can Black Beans

1 Can Sweet Corn

1 Jar Enchilada Sauce

1/2 Jar Salsa

2 packs Shredded Vegan Cheese (I usually use Daiya Cheddar) (or the real stuff)

1 Red Bell Pepper

1/3 Large Sweet Onion

  • The first step will be to sauté the chopped bell pepper, onion and corn in a pan with a little oil (I usually use olive but whatever you prefer to cook with is fine). You can add some spices here if you want, like cayenne, chipotle, cumin, garlic powder or chopped garlic, etc., but if you don’t have those handy, the flavor will still totally be there with the enchilada sauce and salsa, so don't trip.

  • When you're finished sautéing, start layering the ingredients in layers in a large glass pan. It doesn’t really matter what order you put everything in in the middle, but make sure to start with sauce on the bottom and tortillas next for a sturdy base, and then no tortillas on top because they will dry up and burn. Cheese is always nice to have on the top layer.

  • Cover with foil and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 425 ish, but check often, as ovens vary. I like to uncover the foil and let the pan sit in the oven for a little extra even with the oven off is fine, just to melt the cheese on top a little extra.

  • Let cool for 15 minutes and then dig into your homemade vegan/gluten-free enchilada casserole yumminess! Then pack up the rest of that bad boy and eat leftovers for a week!

As you might be able to tell, I like to wing it in the kitchen. Usually my meals come out ok though. I’ve even received some pretty good reviews on this dish as well as others from friends and family whose names will remain anonymous.

I like to keep things simple, but go ahead and feel free to change it up if this feels too bland for you. You can make it fun by adding different veggies like broccoli or spinach (always nice to add some greens in), zucchini or yellow squash, butternut squash (that one takes a lot more prep to cook), jalapeños, or by adding fun spices etc etc.

Disclaimer: Do not use recipe for the first time if you have a fancy party to go to and have to bring a dish. (Just buy something.)

Song of the day: “Querer Mejor” by Juanes ft. Alessia Cara

This batch had spinach and real dairy cheese.

This batch had fresh tomatoes on top, salsa verde, and vegan cheese! YUM!

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