Taco Casserole

This recipe is a winner. Ask my husband, he is crazy about this one.  I have to admit it is one of my new favorites too, it is creamy and a little spicy and fulfils that need for Mexican food without making you feel gross afterwards.  Now, because I don’t eat dairy or buy processed products, I made my own nacho “cheese” sauce.  It looks and sounds like it will taste really gross, but I promise you it tastes phenomenal.  If you don’t want to use the sauce I used you can use store bought nacho cheese sauce, but I don’t recommend it.  Also, give yourself some time to make this recipe, this is a really good weekend meal.  Ok enough talking, let’s get to it!

Taco Casserole

photo (36)

For the Nacho “Cheese” Sauce

  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast (do NOT use baking yeast, you will be very unhappy with the results)
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili spice (more if you want a spicer cheese sauce)
  •  2 tbsp tapioca starch (cornstarch or arrowroot powder would also work)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

 

 

 

 

For the filling

  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 jar salsa (I make my own, but there are plenty of good store bought brands that work)
  • 6-8 tortillas (I use corn, but flour works too)

1. About an hour or so before you want to eat, dissolve the salt for the cheese sauce in 2 cups warm water.  Add in the cashews and let them soak for an hour.  After an hour, place cashews and water into a blender or food processor.  Add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.  You want to get the consistency really smooth with no cashew chunks in it.

2. Transfer the cheese sauce to a medium saucepan and heat on medium-high until the sauce is nice and thick.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in the black beans and corn kernels.

3. While cheese sauce is heating, turn oven to 400 and heat some olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add in the mushrooms, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Cook the mushrooms until they are a nice golden brown and have released their moisture.  This takes about 7 minutes.  Add the mushrooms into the cheese sauce with the beans and corn.

4. Now it’s time to assemble everything.  In a large casserole dish, spread a thin layer of salsa on the bottom.  Layer a few tortillas on top of this.  My casserole dish usually fits 3, but if yours is bigger or smaller use however many.  On top of the tortillas add a layer of the cheese sauce, then another layer of salsa, then more tortillas.  Keep layering until all your stuff is gone.  Cover the dish with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes.  When it’s done let it sit uncovered for 5 minutes before you cut it up

Like I said, this meal takes a little more time to put together which is why it’s a good meal to make for the weekend.  You can also sub in ground beef or turkey for the mushrooms, just make sure to brown the meat first.  I also really like to top this with guacamole or my avocado cream sauce.  This dish gets even better the next day and makes for really good lunch leftovers.  Again, ask my husband 😉 Enjoy!

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