June 19

Tex-Mex Casserole

OK, I’ll be completely honest. This recipe took a little more time to make than I anticipated. So, I’ll tell you up front this is not one of my “omgthisissosuperfastandeasyenjoy!” recipes. However, if you have 45 minutes to put it together, it’s large enough to feed you for a couple of days – making it the perfect Sunday night dinner.

Casseroles are one of my favorite things to make. I love the combination of so many ingredients, the hearty nature, and of course how they always (almost) produce leftovers. Hopefully you’ve tried out my sweet potato bacon chicken casserole.

This can too be yours.

This can too be yours.

Mexican food is definitely one of my favorite cuisines, so when I saw this recipe on Popular Paleo, I was like, say what!! Mexican food AND it’s a casserole?! Yes….yes, I will be making that right now. With a few small tweaks to the original recipe (the original serves 6-8, plus I eliminated a couple of ingredients to make it more simple), I was on my way.

Does Tex Mex have a hyphen? Tex-Mex? Nevermind.

It may seem like an odd combination of veggies, but when combined with the other ingredients and taco seasoning, the veggies pick up the flavors really well. It’s a great way to pack in a lot of nutrition if you’re a person that normally falls a little short in the vegetable department. Also great for sneaking veggies in a meal if you have picky mini-humans!!

meat + veggies = heaven

meat + veggies = heaven

TEX MEX CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted, diced tomatoes
  • 3T taco seasoning – if you want to make your own, I love this recipe
  • 1 large shredded sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • For garnish: fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado and hot sauce

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop, dice and mince all the veggies and garlic. You might need to watch a TV show or listen to a podcast while you do this. This podcast is my favorite (until of course, Serial is back in season).
  3. Melt a few tablespoons of fat of your choice in a large skillet, and add in all your veggies and garlic.

    Gorgeous colors.

    Gorgeous colors.

  4. Season with sea salt to taste, toss together and cook these down until they are just about fork tender – about 4-5 minutes. Remove veggie mixture from the pan and set aside for later.

    Fork tender.

    Fork tender.

  5. In the same pan, crumble in the ground beef, top with taco seasoning, mix and brown.
    I like to make a big batch of the taco seasoning and save it in a plastic bag.

    I like to make a big batch of the taco seasoning and save it in a plastic bag.

    Sssteamy.

    Sssteamy.

  6. Put your shredded sweet potato into a large mixing bowl, and melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Pour the coconut oil over the shredded sweet potatoes and toss immediately! The coconut oil will start to solidify again as it cools, so mix it up right away. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with the onion powder, chili powder and ground coriander. Mix and set aside.

    Sweet potato + coconut oil

    Sweet potato + coconut oil

  7. Add the cooked vegetables and your can of diced tomatoes back into the pan with the browned beef, mix carefully to bring everything together and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  8. Transfer your meat & veggie combo to a large casserole dish. Top with the seasoned, shredded sweet potatoes, cover with foil and pop this in the oven.
    photo 4

    layers of meat + veggies

    Top with a layer of the shredded sweet potatoes.

    Top with a layer of the shredded sweet potatoes.

  9. Bake at 375°F for 20-30 minutes, then remove the foil and broil on low for 5 minutes — or until the sweet potatoes have browned and crisped up a bit.
  10. To serve, top with fresh cilantro, sour cream (if you’re cool with dairy), and with some avocado and hot sauce on the side!

    Hot sauce + avocado

    Hot sauce + avocado

ENJOY!