|Having this Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole in the fridge can really help you with Phase One!|
This Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Tomatoes is a new recipe for our A Month of Daily Phase One Recipes. I'm a card-carrying member of The Casserole Fan Club, partly because casseroles usually mean leftovers in the fridge for easy meals later in the week. And although lots of my Casserole Recipes contain rice, quinoa, or pasta, for the last few years I've been working on more casserole recipe ideas that will work for Phase One. This recipe was definitely inspired by the Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese, but if you've tried that one I think you will find this recipe is quite different. I do warn you that this casserole is definitely spicier, which is one reason it tastes so great with a dollop of low-fat sour cream, but if you're cooking for a family I'll share how to tone down the heat.
I also want to share how excited I am that my blog is being featured this week on Edamam's Fresh Picks, where they're sharing one recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen every day. (A few of the recipes they selected are "oldies but goodies" which of course makes me want to start re-shooting the photos as soon as I see them!) All the recipes featured by Edamam are sent to mobile devices as part of the Fresh Picks program and then added to my profile on Edamam.com.
One reason this recipe is spicy is because there's a double dose of green chiles. If you're cooking for kids, use MILD green chile enchilada sauce. You can also omit the extra layer of green chiles in the middle of the casserole and use those extra green chiles to make something else with green chiles. (And be careful to buy mild whole green chiles and not whole jalapenos to make this. If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn't contain wheat. One is La Victoria.)
Dump the whole green chiles into a colander and let them drain while you start cooking the filling. When the chiles are drained, remove to cutting board and rinse and drain the black beans.
Remove the onions, add 1 tsp. more of olive oil and brown the ground beef, breaking apart with the turner. When beef is brown, add the Taco Seasoning and cook a couple of minutes more.
Then add the petite dice tomatoes with juice, drained black beans, and browned onions and simmer on low until all the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Open each whole green chile with your fingers; then use a paper towel to wipe away any seeds and blot the green chile dry. Arrange in 3 stacks. (This will take 6-8 paper towels to get all the chiles dry. Don't leave the seeds in unless you want it to be much spicier.)
I used my favorite new Anchor Hocking 12 Cup Bake-and-Store Glass Casserole Dish. If you're making the layers you need a dish with high sides, but it doesn't have to be this exact one. Spray the dish with non-stick spray and then make a layer of 1/3 of the green chiles.
Then make a second layer of green chiles. (This is the layer you could skip if you're making this for kids. Just make a thicker layer of ground beef if you want to do that.)
Beat three eggs and then whisk together with 1/2 can (1 cup) of the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce. (You can freeze the extra sauce to use later.) Pour the sauce over the casserole and then use a fork to move the ingredients aside so the sauce will run down.
Sprinkle on a layer of Low-Fat Four Cheese Mexican Blend and cover the casserole with the lid or foil. Bake at 375F/190C for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Then remove the lid or foil and bake another 20-25 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling. If you like your cheese nicely browned (like I do), turn to broil and broil the top for a few minutes. Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream if desired.
(Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn and Jake with inspiration from Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese.)
1 can (26 or 27 oz.) whole green chiles, drained (be careful not to buy whole jalapenos, which look similar)
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed well with cold water and drained
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
1 T taco seasoning (I use my homemade Taco Seasoning, but a purchased seasoning will work.)
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
3 eggs, beaten well
1 cup Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (from a 15 oz. can, freeze the rest for another use. If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn't contain wheat. One is La Victoria.)
1 1/2 cups Low-Fat Mexican Four Cheese Blend (I use the blend from Costco which has 6 grams of fat in 1/4 cup)
low-fat sour cream for serving (optional)
I used my favorite Anchor Hocking 12 Cup Bake-and-Store Glass Casserole Dish for this recipe, but you can use any dish that's 8"x8" or 9"x9" with high sides. (If you don't have a dish that size, I think a rectangular glass casserole dish would work to make a flatter casserole, although you might not be able to make an extra layer of green chiles in the middle.)
Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Dump the whole green chiles into a colander placed in the sink and let them drain while you prep the filling. When the green chiles are drained, move them to a cutting board and then put the black beans in the colander, rinse with cold water, and let drain.
Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large heavy non-stick pan, add the onions, and saute over medium-high heat until onions are browned, about 5-6 minutes. Remove onions to a small bowl. Add the other teaspoon of olive oil and the ground beef and cook 6-8 minutes, or until the beef is well browned, breaking it apart with the turner as it cooks. Add the taco seasoning and cook 1-2 minutes more.
Add the diced tomatoes and juice, drained black beans, and onions and turn heat to medium low. Cook until the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated. (When you use the turner to push the mixture aside, the bottom of the pan should look nearly dry.)
While the meat mixture cooks use your fingers to open each of the whole chiles and then use a paper towel to wipe away the seeds and blot each chile as dry as you can get it. (You will need 6-8 paper towels to do all the chiles, but don't skip this step. If you don't remove the seeds, this dish will be extra spicy.) Divide the chiles into 3 piles as you dry them.
Spray the casserole dish with non-stick spray and make a layer of 1/3 of the chiles in the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/2 the meat mixture. Make another layer of chiles on top of the meat mixture, and top with the other 1/2 of the meat mixture. Finish with a top layer of the last 1/3 of the chiles.
Beat the eggs and then whisk in the cup of Green Chile Enchilada sauce. Pour this over the casserole and then use a fork or knife to gently push the ingredients aside so the egg/sauce mixture can run down into the layers. Top with the grated cheese and cover the casserole dish with the lid or foil.
Bake covered for 30 minutes, or until all the cheese is melted and the casserole is starting to bubble. Remove the lid or foil and bake 20-25 minutes more. If you want the top well-browned, switch to broil the last few minutes and brown the top. This is easier to serve if you let it sit for about 10 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream on top if desired.
South Beach Suggestions:
This casserole is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients like green chiles, lean beef, black beans, and tomatoes. Remember that beans are a limited food, and that it's important to use lean beef (less than 10% fat) and low-fat cheese if you're making this for South Beach. The Green Chile Enchilada sauce does have a very small amount of modified corn starch, but using that ingredient only adds 2 carbs per serving to this dish, so I consider this to be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Phase One Casseroles from Kalyn's Kitchen:
Baked Pesto Chicken
Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin
Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole
Grilled Zucchini "Lasagna" with Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce
Stuffed Peppers with Turkey Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella
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