Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! and Mexican Vegetarian Casserole

Happy Easter! Not only are we celebrating Easter today, but Mike and I are celebrating the end of Lent - which means we can eat meat again. When my hunter huband recommended we give up meat this year for Lent, I thought he was sick. While it was a sacrifice for us, it wasn't as hard as we had expected it to be. Yes, it was torture smelling people grilling on our night walks. It was hard to be the ones eating grilled fish at a cookout as our friends indulged in meat, but we made it and I'm proud of us! Needless to say, we will be enjoying a lot of meat over the next few days.

I'm shocked that through this meatless Lenten journey I've discovered that I like seafood, mushrooms, and cottage cheese. I found that I like mild fish beyond tilapia, salmon, and even shrimp! I also feel different; I feel better but I can't describe it. On the days that I did not get enough protein, I definitely felt bad. But overall, I felt better through this meatless Lenten season.

My husband and I both agree that we could keep going on this meatless quest (excluding seafood) if we wanted to. We don't want to, but we will definitely be incorporating more meatless meals and seafood into our weekly dinner plans. 

Here's a recap of some of my new favorite meatless main dishes that we had during Lent: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos with Chipotle Sauce, Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos, Spaghetti Squash, Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Aioli and Cornbread Hamburger Buns, BBQ Portobello Pretzel Burgers, Mike's Cornmeal Fried Shrimp, and this Mexican Vegetarian Casserole...

This Mexican Vegetarian Casserole is really, really, really good! The southwest flavors are tasty, the texture is creamy and cheesy, and meat lovers won't even miss the meat. This meal reminds me of Santa Fe Chicken, sans chicken.

Mexican Vegetarian Casserole
Recipe inspired by

·1 – 16oz bag frozen corn
·1 – 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
·1 – 8oz container sour cream
·1 cup salsa
·2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend, Cheddar, or Colby Jack)
·1 – 15oz can diced tomatoes
·6–10 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
·2 cups cooked brown rice
·½ tsp each – black pepper, cumin, dried cilantro, and onion powder

Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well and then spoon into a greased 13x9 baking dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips (optional).

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, This Week's Craving