Spicy Mexican Casserole

mex casserole plateI like spicy, flavorful foods and I love making things from scratch.  So when you combine the two… you’re bound to get something wonderful.  This recipe works great because you can spice it up or tone it down and substitute with your favorite veggies.  This casserole is easy to make and includes a ton of really yummy ingredients!

The Veggies:  Cut 1 medium sweet onion and 1 medium zucchini into small pieces.  Rise and drain 1 19-oz can of black beans.   Drain 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes and lightly  squeeze juices from tomatoes.  Measure out 1 1/2 cup sweet corn.

mex veggiesHeat oil in a large skillet and cook onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add all veggies and stir for about 5 minutes.  Add 2 tsp ground cumin.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Layer 6 corn tortillas on the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with half of the veggie mixture, 1 cup of red enchilada sauce and then 1/2 cup of your favorite cheese.

mex pre bake

Repeat with the final layer of 6 tortillas, 1 cup enchilada sauce and 3/4 cup cheese.

mex layers Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes until the edges are bubbly.

Serve with Dos Equis. 🙂  Ok this is optional but you will definitely need some liquids because this is spicy!

If you need to reduce the heat, don’t add the cumin and try a green enchilada sauce.  Need more spice?  Add jalapeno to the veggie mixture or on top of the casserole.

Bon Appetite!

Zucchini + Chocolate go together like PB + J

zucc cocoHave you ever put zucchini, or any veggie for that matter, in a dessert? Well after making these chocolate-zucchini cupcakes, I’m convinced that if you add anything to chocolate, it’s bound to taste good!!

Another WeightWatchers recipe success! I’m a huge fan of portion control. I’m a fan but I might not be a committed follower when it comes to portion controlling desserts which is why I LUV CUPCAKES. Have you ever eaten another piece of cake to “take the last cut piece” or “fit it in the container” or “even it out”? Well.I.am.Guilty. Being an accountant, things need to equal, to balance, so it’s only natural for me to want the cake to be cut straight or evened out, right? This is why I love cupcakes. You really can’t make excuses to having to eat more since they are already portioned out! 🙂

So here’s my attempt success with chocolate-zucchini cupcakes, a 4 PointsPlus value per cup. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes/servings.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat four
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb zucchini finely shredded (2.5 cups)
1 tbsp confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper and lightly coat with cooking spray. Whisk together flours, sugars, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture and stir until just combined.

zucc coco4Shred zucchini. I used a cheese grater then cut it up even further (seriously, I was skeptical about this). Stir zucchini into chocolate mixture until just combined. Fill cupcake tins to a little over 3/4 full (they won’t rise that much) and evenly to fill all 24 cups.

zucc coco3

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until center comes out clean. Tops will look moist.

Sprinkle with confectioners sugar to follow the official recipe or add fat free cool whip or whipped cream and grated chocolate for decor.

I tested these out with some friends from church and they are approved!!

Again, I must say I was a huge skeptic on WeightWatchers recipes. They look good, sound good, but do they really taste good and are they filling and satisfying? Well after a few recipes (check on this one on brownie cups, and this one on cappuccino angel food cupcakes), I’m surprised and happy to say yes, they are filling and satisfying!! And WeightWatchers lifestyle approved!!

zucc coco5

Bon appetite!

Zucchini + Tomato Boats

zucchini

Hidden Valley was right… vegetables are delectable!!

I am not a big tomato fan.  Correction – I don’t like most tomatoes.  With that said, this is the year of trying new things, so tonight I’m being bold!  I found a picture on Pinterest (where all the good stuff comes from) of what I thought was pizza and it looked delicious.  I soon found out it was veggies but I still wanted to try it.  Since I only post my favorites, you know this one has to be good.  I hope you explore some new veggie combos and spice up your meals!

Zucchini ingredients

Blog note:  Have you ever gone in to Publix, bought more than what you needed and left the store leaving what you really needed behind?  I’ll admit, I have and I did that again tonight!  The critical ingredients – zucchini and tomatoes – were left behind (the ONLY things I really needed!).

Zucchini and tomatoes

So back to Publix I went!

Zucchini + Tomato Boats Ingredients (serves 4 – 1 boat each)

  • 2 Zucchini Squash
  • 2 small tomatoes OR grape tomatoes (your favorite will work)
  • olive oil to coat inside/outside of zucchini
  • bread crumbs
  • your favorite seasoning blend (I used garlic salt, pepper and basil)
  • mozzarella
  • parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Using a potato peeler, remove a portion of 2 sides of the zucchini so the halves with lay flat.  Cut the zucchini in half.

Zucchini prep

2.  Scrap out the center of the zucchini (to remove the seeds) to form the boat.

3. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning to taste.

Zucchini halves

4.  Cut tomatoes and place on zucchini.

5.  Top with a light layer of bread crumbs.

Zucchini tomatoes

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

7.  Remove from oven and top with mozzarella.

8.  Place back in oven for 8 minutes on BROIL, until the cheese is bubbly.  Top with parsley.

OMGoshhh this IS WAS so good.  Remember earlier when I said I thought this was pizza?  Well, it does has a pizza like flavor to it!  Tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, minus the dough!  This is a great healthy dish.  zucchini are a good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium. Read more about the benefits here.

But I’m not a health nut, I’m a sweet tooth.  While this was baking, I was thinking about the ice cream I bought at Publix (not originally on the list, but did make it home!)  I went to an amazing cycle class tonight at the Flagler Center YMCA so a small bowl is definitely a must!

sweet and savory