You know what’s no fun? Growing out a pixie haircut. 90% of the time you just have to deal with looking stupid. The other 10% is the two days right after you get it trimmed (because you have to get it trimmed like every other month so all your layers can catch up) when you look fairly decent. Then day three hits and you’re back to looking stupid again. And there are only so many ways you can hide your stupid-looking hair. It’s too short to really do much with and the things you can do with it require 5,498 bobby pins, half of which you lose throughout the day causing you to wonder if your body is absorbing the bobby pins and if at this point you are made up of 50% bobby pins. You could always wear hats and scarves and bandannas unless of course, you are one of those people who look stupid wearing those things so you get to pick between looking stupid in a hat or walking around with stupid-looking hair.
Can you tell I’m having some emotions about growing out my pixie?
You know what else isn’t fun? Soupy casseroles, which my first attempt at this casserole turned out to be. With a few adjustments, I managed to come out with a pretty tasty dish that my husband called a winner. This casserole does take some time to put together, so keep that in mind. It isn’t a whip-it-up-in-30-minutes meal BUT you could definitely prep this on the weekend when you have more time and then store it in the freezer for a quick whip-it-up-in-30-minutes meal.
Maybe that should be the name of my cookbook: Whip-It-Up-In-30-Minutes: Weeknight Meals. Hmmmm…
Mexican Bell Pepper Casserole
- 3 bell peppers (I used red, yellow, and orange), sliced into strips
- 1 cup onion, sliced into strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup cooked quinoa (you can do this beforehand)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 1/2 cup favorite salsa
“Cheese” Sauce- based off my Fusilli N’ Cheeze recipe
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch (you can also use corn starch)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp tahini (you can also use sunflower seed butter)
- 1 tsp miso
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried onion
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- If you haven’t made the quinoa, do that now. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until completely mixed and smooth. Set aside. Once the quinoa is done set that to the side to cool.
- Cut up the bell peppers, onions, and garlic. In a large pan, heat a little olive oil over medium high heat and saute the pepper and onions until they are just starting to get soft. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and add the garlic and saute for another minute or so. Move the peppers and onions to a large mixing bowl and add the quinoa and corn. Stir everything to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly oil a casserole dish. Pour the sauce into a large saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the black beans and salsa.
- Pour half the sauce over the peppers and quinoa and stir everything together. If things seem a little dry, add some more sauce but keep in mind the peppers will release a little more moisture while cooking in the oven. (You can save the leftover sauce as a nacho cheese dip. You’re welcome)
- Spoon the peppers and quinoa into the casserole dish, cover the top with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the casserole is bubbly and a little brown around the edges. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
So, yes, it does take a little extra time to make but you can freeze a few of these and have meals ready to pull out during the week. You can also exchange the black beans for cooked chicken or ground beef/turkey or even cooked steak. It also tastes amazing topped with guacamole, salsa verde, and crushed tortilla chips.
Just sayin’. 😉