Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz Boca crumbles, thawed
  • 1 ¼ c cheddar, Jack, or Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • Half of a small yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ c lite sour cream
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 2/3 c water
  • 1 T chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground oregano
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 large (or 4 small) whole wheat tortillas, torn/cut into 1” pieces

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degress.
  • In a large bowl, combine Boca crumbles, 1 c cheese, onion, sour cream, and pepper. Mix until well-blended, then set aside.
  • Put a large sauce pan on the stove. Combine the tomato sauce, water, chili powder, oregano, cumin & garlic powder, and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Once boiling reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • Spray a 9×7” pan with non-stick spray. Put a very thin layer (~ 1/4 c) of the cooked tomato sauce over the bottom of the pan.
  • Layer half of the tortilla pieces on the tomato sauce base. Then gently spread all of the meat/cheese filling over the tortilla pieces. Pour half (~ 3/4 c) of the remaining tomato sauce over meat/cheese filling.
  • Layer the remaining tortilla pieces on the casserole, then pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top tortilla layer. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ c cheese over everything.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Can garnish with sour cream, black olives, and/or green onions if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates, does not include any optional garnishes): 200 calories, 7 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 4.5 g sugar, 19 g protein.

(Note: I used high-fiber and high-protein whole wheat tortillas; if you choose to use “standard” tortillas, the nutritional information provided here will likely be inaccurate.)

The finished casserole

One piece of the dish (I tried to show the inside layers)

My notes:

  • Initially I thought I would purchase a ready-made enchilada sauce to save time with this recipe. However, when I read the labels of the sauces available to me and saw the MSG and corn by-products included in nearly all of them, I just couldn’t do it. The sauce for this recipe only takes 5 minutes to make, and uses ‘standard’ pantry spices; I’m willing to invest the small extra time for the large health benefits.
  • For the tortillas, I used two full-size Flatout slices (Multi-Grain variety).

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low (most standard grocery stores sell both Boca crumbles and Flatout slices)
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Medium-low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Medium-low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4

The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?

I first made enchilada casserole many years ago, when I was newly married, and wanted to cook fun meals for my sweetie, and had extra time on my hands. My husband adored the recipe, as did many friends and family I have since cooked it for over the years. However, the original version of this recipe was 1) not vegetarian, 2) not terribly healthy, and 3) very “putzy” to make. (The original recipe called for hamburger, lots of extra cheese, sour cream, and fat; and required dipping individual tortillas in the enchilada sauce, then rolling a quarter-cup of filling into each individual tortilla – ugh. What a time-suck.) So despite the taste-success of this recipe, I filed it away, and pulled it out only when company came over and my husband *really* wanted me to make this meal for the visitors.

But it’s a darn tasty meal; and I had a craving for some decent Mexican food…. So I decided to see if I could construct a healthier, easier version of the original recipe – without losing most of the good flavor that makes the dish so delicious. This approach certainly is healthier, and easier…but it’s missing a little something that I just can’t put my finger on. Maybe I’m trapped by trying to make this dish a perfect copy of its original. If I never had this meal before, I might think it’s really good, and a keeper. But I *have* had a different version of this dish before; and while the recipe I made today was good, it wasn’t as good as what I remembered it to be.

So, I probably won’t be making this one again any time soon – unless my husband asks me to. In which case, I will. :)

Stef

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About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
This entry was posted in "hamburger", casserole, enchilada, mexican, postaweek2011, soy crumbles, tortillas, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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