Mexi-Style Casserole

Mexi-Style CasseroleIt was time for something more substantial.  Something that could stick to your bones.  Soups were becoming blah, even though flavorful.  I needed something that was bursting with flavor and different than I’ve had for awhile.  I totally missed the Cinco De Mayo memo, but yummy mexi-goodness is never a wrong time of the month.  Here is my Mexi-Style Casserole.

My casserole style meal came from the obvious…Pinterest, but not.  I find so many things on Pinterest that are amazing looking but totally wrong for a vegan meal or clean eating.  When I see the recipes, I try and think of ways to veganize them (making them clean usually is easier I find).  I mean you see a casserole, full of meat and cream sauce, and sometimes I get a mind block on how to make it vegan, besides the obvious of taking out the meat…it’s the sauce that I block on.

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I decided a total change up was in order.  Make it mexican style.  Not an enchilada with lots of sauce or a taco style with no sauce–needed a balance.  I orginally was looking at a shepards pie recipe and wanted to remake that, but even though I wanted substantial, I didn’t want a carb overload.  I think this turned out the best. And oh, so, good.

I had bought some Nasoya Black Soybean Tofu that needed to be used, so I new that was going to be my protein source for this casserole.  I sometimes find tofu hard to flavor when sauteing if I am doing anything other that asian-style seasonings.  I mean, pour some soy sauce or tamari and there is the flavor.  Anything else, and it doesn’t always taste right to me.  For this, I call myself genious! 🙂

I made up my spicy rice and tofu at the same time.  I seasoned the rice with just a small can of spicy tomatoes and some chili powder and let it go.  The tofu got simple seasonings of black pepper, chili powder and cumin and I just sauteed that up in the pan.  Then I got the veggies going, which really does take more time than the rice and tofu.

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All the chopping and everything.  Though first I wanted to get my sauce going to get all ingredients blending together.  Then I just chopped or drained everything and dropped them into the pot.  Keep stirring everything and let simmer for about 30 minutes before putting together the casserole.

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I started by getting out the two casserole dishes – one a long cake one the other a pie one.  Next came the rice; put a very thin layer on the bottom of the cake dish-the other didn’t get any rice in it.  So here is where I became my own genious.  My tofu went on next-a thick layer of tofu in each dish.  Next carefully spoon or pour the sauce / veggie mixture (it will be super hot so be careful) over the tofu and or rice.  As the baking happens the tofu sucks up all the spices and seasonings in the sauce and after baking turns out amazing!  Next smooth the rest of the rice over the large baking dish.

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To finish the goodness off and make a true casserole comes the cheese.  Go Veggie Dairy Free Mexican Shreds gets sprinkle over both dishes…the whole bag!  Yum.  Then olives finish this off.  You will bake for about 45 minutes then let sit.  Enjoy.

Also, this make a ton of servings and they freeze really and defrost really well.  You cannot tell the defrosted portion from the fresh one.  Very good.

Mexi-style casserole ingredientsMexi-Style Casserole, 12 servings

Mex Rice
2 C Brown Rice
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Chili Powder
1 10oz Can Diced Tomatoes w/Green Chilies
Seasoned Tofu
2 Blocks Nasoya Firm Tofu
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
Veggies

1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Tomato Sauce
1 Can Corn, juice and all
1 Tsp Parsley
1 Tsp Cilantro
1 Tsp Chives
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp chili Powder
1 Tsp Pepper
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 Cans Black beans-drain 1 Small or 1/2 of Large  Onion, chopped small
1 Pkg Button Mushrooms, sliced
1 Green Pepper, chopped small
1 Pkg Frozen Spinach
1 Can Whole Olives, diced
1 Bag Go Veggie Dairy Free Mexi Style Cheese
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Mexi-style casserole1.  Start by dumping all rice ingredients in a small to medium size pot.  Cook as directed on packge.
2.  Open tofu package and press out or drain moisture.  Pour about one tablespoon olive oil in pan; chop tofu and drop in pan.  The moisture left in the tofu will help keep calories from the olive oil down.  Sprinkle spices over tofu and saute.
3.   On medium-high heat, drop all sauce ingredients into a large pot.  Let simmer for 30 minutes.  May need to turn down to low-medium heat.
4. Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
5.  Layer half the rice on the bottom of one baking dish.  Layer tofu in both dishes.
6.  Pour or spoon carefully the sauce mixture into both dishes.  Layer rest of the rice on top of mixture.
7.  Sprinkle cheese over both dishes; spread olives over the cheese.
8.  Bake both dishes for 45 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes.
9.  Enjoy!
Stats:
Calories: 302
Total Fat: 10g
Sodium: 559mg
Total Carbs:  38g
Protein:  14g

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