Veggie Taco Stack

taco-stack-2.jpg

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.

taco-stack-beans

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.

taco-stack-spinach

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.

taco-stack-stack

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.

 

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