The Best Dinner of Your Life

Do you ever have one of those moments where you are eating something so good that you keep eating, even though you know you should stop? You keep going until you feel like you have to burst, almost wanting to feel guilty, but you know that it is so worth it? I had that moment last night after eating the best dinner that I have ever made. Ever. And that’s saying a lot!

The other night I was researching how to make a casserole because I have never actually made one before and wanted to have a good casserole recipe to add to my repertoire. I wanted to make some kind of casserole with brown rice and black beans since we like the combo. I also knew that I wanted to sprinkle tortilla chips on top of my casserole because I remember having that when I was brought a meal from a friend after Kesara was born. Thus, a perfectly, spicy, cheesy, flavor-loaded, addictive taco casserole was born.

Here is what I discovered when I searched ‘how to make a casserole’. There are five things that always go into a casserole. I have listed them below, along with some vegan suggestions.

1. Starch – potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. Two cups cooked.

2. Protein- beans, tofu, seitan, tempeh, etc. About 2 cups.

3. Veggies – onion, carrots, cabbage, peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, whatever you love. Again, about 2 cups.

4. Moisture- milk or sauce of some kind, diced tomatoes, veg stock, etc. I would say it depends on how moist you want your casserole to be and the type of flavor you are adding to the casserole. About 2 cups.

5. Topping – breadcrumbs, chips, croutons, etc. As much as you like.

So there is a breakdown of a casserole. With those simple steps, I got out a pen and paper and went to work creating what I would like to see in my casserole. I knew what ingredients I wanted and figured out the amounts when I got in the kitchen. What happened was pure magic and left me smiling all evening. I feel so awesome now that I have this recipe. I kept telling Autumn, people are going to love this! I also couldn’t sleep well last night, because all I wanted to do was blog about this recipe today.

And eat the leftovers. 😉

Awesome Vegan Taco Casserole

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Makes one yummy casserole, serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili powder, depending on how hot you like it
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 (650 ml) jar of salsa of your choice (2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 (540 ml) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups crushed multigrain tortilla chips (I used Tostitos)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add the sunflower oil. Add the diced onion, peppers, garlic, chili powder and lime juice and saute 5-8 minutes, until soft.

Next, add the nutritional yeast and salsa. Finally, add the cooked brown rice and black beans and continue to cook 3-5 minutes more, until mixture is hot.

Pour the mixture into a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.

Top with the crushed tortilla chips and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Serving suggestion: When we ate this last night we also chopped up some romaine lettuce and added some extra salsa, just to jazz it up. It is crazy delicious as is though.

So that is my best dinner recipe. And since I posted it this early, you have time to make it tonight! 🙂

See how nice I am?