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Mexican Casserole

Some day’s I just don’t do quite as well on the whole cooking healthy thing.  Today is one of them… I was texting with the Rooms discussing dinner ideas and we settled on something Mexican themed, with chicken. Well that got me thinking about dinner ideas and wanting to create something new vs. the normal enchiladas or fajitas. Thus the Mexican Casserole was born!

Now I have no doubt someone else has created this before. But I must say, I felt quite creative coming up with this! So let’s all just pretend that I came up with genius idea of layering rice, cheese, peppers and onions, shredded chicken and creamy enchilada sauce. We topped it with some fresh sliced avocado for a fantastic, if not wildly healthy, dinner. Seriously, this was killer; it may take the place of my beloved enchiladas!

Oo, and by the way, I’ve stared incorporating some real dairy back into my diet. My lactose intolerance seems to have reduced in severity quite a bit! I’m still not drinking milk or pounding ice cream, but I am eating more cheese and being less careful.

Mexican Casserole

2 c cooked brown rice

2/3 c frozen corn

2 Tbs canned diced jalapenos

1 Tbs olive oil

½ large onion, sliced

1 colored bell pepper, sliced

1.5 lb chicken, boiled and shredded

2/3 c cheddar cheese

2/3 c pepper jack cheese

1 can tomato sauce

2 Tbs minced onion

½ bunch cilantro, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

Healthy dash cumin, coriander, and paprika

2 Tbs lime juice

5 Tbs sour cream

 

Pre heat oven to 400°.

In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and bell pepper for 10 minutes or until onion begins to brown slightly.

While that cooks, mix together the rice, corn, and jalapenos in your medium-large casserole dish. Gently press the rice mixture into the bottom of the dish.

Top the rice with the sautéed onions and peppers, and then layer with the pepper jack cheese. Set aside.

In the same skillet you sautéed the peppers and onions, simmer the tomato sauce, minced onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and spices for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream.

Pour half the sauce over the first 3 layers in the casserole. Tope that with the shredded chicken, then the cheddar cheese, and finally pour the remaining sauce over top.

Bake for 30 minutes. Serves 5 to 6, top with sliced avocado.

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