Anyway, I also know that I write about way too many of Smitten Kitchen’s recipes, but they always look and sound so amazing on Deb’s blog that I can’t help myself. So you’ll have to forgive me if I post about another one now– a recipe that’s going to become a weeknight staple at my house for sure. I could’ve put off posting about it until I’d had the chance to make a more photogenic version, but it’s so good I knew you’d want to try it ASAP.
Deb calls it a Taco Torte and she adapted it from the Mom 100 Cookbook, but “torte” just sounds too fancy for what is actually a very homely, comforting dish. And it doesn’t just have a bunch of vegetables in it (enabling me to call it “healthy” despite the cheese all over it)– it’s actually vegetarian and full of flavor, making it a great dish to serve to any audience!
I did some minor adaptations of my own, mostly to make it more pantry-friendly. Now I can just pick up a few cans of veggies, a bag of spinach, and I’m well on my way to a healthy and tasty meal!
Veggie Taco Stack (adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen)
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small can diced mild green chiles (about 4 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can (14 ounces) or 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, drained, with 1/3 cup juice reserved
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black, red or kidney beans (or a mixture of any two), drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh (from 1 to 2 ears), from 1 15-ounce can, drained, or frozen and thawed
5 cups (about 5 ounces or one small pre-packed bag) rough-chopped spinach leaves
6 medium-size (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray it with a nonstick spray. The original recipe calls for a cake pan or springform, but a sheet pan works just as well.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chile peppers, cumin, chili powder, and and cook until you can smell the spices and the onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes with the 1/3 cup of reserved juice and the tomato paste, then stir in the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the bean mixture simmer until everything is hot, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the corn and spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted and everything is well blended and hot, about 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or pepper as necessary.
6. Place 1 tortilla on the prepared sheet pan. Spread one-sixth (just eyeball it) of the bean and vegetable mixture evenly over the tortilla, then sprinkle 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Repeat with 5 more layers, ending with the last of the bean mixture and shredded cheese.
7. Bake the tortilla stack until it is hot throughout and the top is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let the it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. I like to have it with sour cream.
*Note: I’ve seen that some other people lightly fry the tortillas before stacking them, to keep the liquid from soaking in and making them soggy– someday I may try it, but for now it’s just too much trouble for a weeknight meal.