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Friday 5 September 2014
Smoky Mexican Nacholada Casserole
I made this casserole when Sylvia had been sick and dropping off to sleep with no effort. I avoided trying to eat this while managing a cranky kid who was not up to eating much in the evening. Instead I prepared all the layers, took Sylvia to bed and then layered up the casserole, baked it and ate it in peace. It deserved a bit of respect. It was that good!
The casserole was smoky and creamy with chewy chunks of tofu bacon and some crisp corners of tortilla chips. Ricki amused me by calling it Nacholada Casserole because it fell somewhere between nachos and an enchilada casserole. The black bean and chipotle salsa was excellent. E considered it spicy enough that his reflex reach for the tabasco was on hold. We will definitely buy the salsa again.
Next time I made this casserole maybe we will try the green tomatilla salsa and a tin of black beans. I am feeling quite content now that I have finally made the casserole. Now my hope is that it will appear on our table many times.
I am sending this casserole to Jacqueline's Bookmarked Recipes at Tinned Tomatoes.
More vegan tex mex recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Borlotti bean mole with roast pumpkin and silverbeet
Lentil and cauliflower taco filling
Mexican lasagne with corn tortillas
Mexican rice in the microwave
My breakfast burritos
Potato and kale enchiladas
Sweet potato, zucchini and olive quesadillas
Mexican Nacholada Casserole
Adapted from Ricki Heller
Serves 4 (or less)
230g packet of corn chips (I used Mission white corn)
250g jar of black bean and chipotle salsa, or salsa or choice
1 red capsicum (red pepper), diced
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 batch tofu bacon (see below)
400g tin of brown lentils (or black beans), rinsed and drained
1 batch “Vegveeta” cheese sauce (see below)
sesame and poppy seeds to scatter
Preheat oven to 200 C. Lightly grease a casserole dish (mine was about 22cm square).
Layer half each of the corn chips, salsa, red capsicum, olives, tofu bacon, lentils and cheese sauce. Repeat another layer with the other half of each of these ingredients, setting aside some red capsicum. Sprinkle with some seeds and the red capsicum.
Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. We kept ours overnight at room temperature and reheated for another 30 minutes the next night. It is best on the day of baking but quite yummy the next.
Slightly adapted from here
250g firm tofu, pressed
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1-2 tbsp rice bran oil, (or other oil) for frying
Cut tofu into small dice (about 0.5 cm square or even a bit smaller). Mix a marinade of the remaining ingredients (except oil). Add the tofu and mix until all pieces are covered in marinade. This can be done hours or even a day or two ahead of time to allow the tofu to soak up the flavours. Heat large frypan over high heat and swirl around about 1 tbsp oil. Fry the marinated tofu pieces over high heat until the marinade is absorbed and the tofu pieces are firming up. They should be chewy rather than crisp when they cool. You may need to drizzle in more oil if they are too soft. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
"Vegveeta" cheese sauce:
Slightly adapted from this one
125g cashew butter*
1 tbsp coconut butter*
1 cup soy milk, or milk of choice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1½ tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
¼ tsp yellow mustard powder
¼ tsp turmeric (for color)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp cornflour
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste to check and adjust seasoning as desired.
*NOTE: My little blender is broken and I know my food processor will not blend nuts well so I used cashew butter. If you have more powerful equipment you could use 1/2 cup of raw cashews instead of the cashew butter. I actually had almond, brazil nut and cashew butter because that is all I could find when preparing for this dish. I used the coconut butter instead of 1 tbsp tahini because I want to use up the coconut butter.
On the Stereo:
Protest Songs from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings: Various Artists