My husband is a giant pain in the butt. [Sorry Paul, but you know it’s true!] Whenever I ask him for meal suggestions I get the same response. Every. Single. Time. He tilts his head, puts a finger to his lips/chin, and stares off into the distance thoughtfully… Then he shrugs. SHRUGS! I read somewhere that their pesky Y chromosome makes males less likely to crave one food over another but come the eff on. I practically run on cravings! [and Dunkin!] It baffles me. Fascinates me. Oh yeah – and it frustrates me to no end. Luckily he’s pretty darn cute and he helps me in the kitchen, so while I have fun publicly shaming him for not helping me meal plan, I kind of love him. Gross.
Fiesta Enchilada Casserole and Healthy Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 3-4 cups enchilada sauce [use the recipe below!]
- 1 lb ground sirloin [or equivalent; I use local/pasture-raised/grass-fed]
- ¼-1/2 cup of diced peppers [bell pepper and/or jalapeno]
- ¼-1/2 an onion, diced
- ¼ cup of your favorite salsa or taco sauce
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 1-2 tsp dried cilantro or parsley
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- one 12oz package of egg noodles [or your favorite pasta!]
- 2 cups of your favorite grated/shredded cheese
- extra cilantro and/or chopped green onion for topping
- healthy homemade enchilada sauce:
- 2 [15 oz] cans of tomato sauce [I use this a BPA-free, organic sauce]
- 1 [16 oz] can of vegetarian refried beans
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 2-3 TBSP of your favorite hot sauce
- 1 + ½ TBSP chili powder
- 1 + ½ TBSP garlic powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- paul's pico de gallo:
- ½ cup diced onion
- ½ cup diced tomato
- ⅛-1/4 cup diced jalapeno
- fresh cilantro and hot sauce, to taste
- a squirt of lime juice, if you have it!
- a pinch of salt to season
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- First start on your sauce: you can blend the ingredients beforehand with a blender or food processor or wait until your components have had time to soften and simmer to blend, process, or immersion-blend. Entirely up to you!
- In a medium pot, combine all the ingredients listed above for the sauce recipe and simmer on medium-low, with the lid partially on, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After the sauce is hot and the flavors have had time to mingle, taste test with a tortilla chip [or a spoon!] and adjust the seasonings and hot sauce to taste. I always add a little extra garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder and sometimes even a little extra hot sauce for a kick!Some of you may be a bit sketpical about the beans in the enchilada sauce, eh? While they're not a typical component you'd find in this sassy red sauce, it adds a richness that I simply adore. It also adds fiber and protein too! No one will know it's there - do it! =)
- While the sauce simmers away, get to work on sauteing or caramelizing your veggies and browning/cooking your meat. I used grass-fed ground sirloin, onion, and jalapenos [seeds and center removed to nix the extra heat]. Season with your sauce of choice [taco sauce or salsa work great!] and add in the chili powder, garlic powder, parsley/cilantro, cumin and salt.
- At the same time you can start your egg noodles too. They boil fairly quickly and should only take 7-11 minutes to reach perfect tenderness.
- Combine the sauce, meat, veggies and noodles in a large casserole dish [or two smaller ones!] and cover with cheese.
- Bake on the center rack at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Top with fresh cilantro and all your favorite toppings [pico!!!] and dig in!
Garnish with cilantro and green onion and serve with a dollop of greek yogurt or guacamole…
As for the pico? Uber easy! Dice your veggies and drizzle a little hot sauce over the top [optional but yummy!]. Season with a pinch of salt and fresh cilantro with a little bit of lime juice and you’re good to go! I love the bite of raw, refreshing pico de gallo over this hot and bubbly casserole. You can even serve this alongside a few crispy tortilla chips to round out the meal with a little crunch! Anything goes =)