It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Black bean enchilada bake

This one can be as basic or as fancied-up as you wish. I had a recipe once, no idea where I got it any more, but I’ve made it so many times I no longer use the recipe. Instead, I think in terms of component parts, and go from there.

I’ll give you the parts, I’ll suggest variations, and you can take it from there! Obviously, the ingredients will vary enormously depending on how you decide to whip it up. I’ll give you a basic list.

This is a layered dish, containing:

the tortilla layer
the protein layer
the veggie/sauce layer — this is the layer where you can really go to town, if you’re so inclined.
grated cheese on top


Tortilla layers: 3 large tortillas

Protein layer:
black beans (I like to smoosh these a bit. It’s strictly a texture thing. If you don’t mind eating little round smooth things, no smooshing required.)
tofu (I use extra-firm, crumbled)
Any combination of the above, totaling a cup, to a cup and a half. I rarely use hamburger, but when I do, never more than 200 grams. (A bit less than half a pound.)

I rarely use hamburger because I’m mostly vegetarian by inclination, and because you have to brown the meat first, which adds an extra step, and an extra pan to clean! Seems I’m lazy by inclination, too…

Veggie/Sauce layer:
2 onions, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced thin
Sautee the vegetables until soft.

Now, this is the very, very basic ingredient list, and me, I never stop there. You can add anything here, just keep them thinly sliced or finely diced. I’ve used mushrooms, diced (previously cooked) carrots, grated fresh carrots, zucchini, eggplant, squash, finely chopped kale… Really. Whatever you like!

I don’t measure, but I suspect that if you go much over two-three cups total, you might have trouble squeezing it all in the two layers. (Oh, well! You’ll just need an extra tortilla for the extra veggie layer! This is a very flexible dish!)

Sauce: Generally I use whatever jarred spaghetti sauce we have on hand, but a large can of crushed tomatoes will do just fine, and will likely have less sodium! Mix half a cup in with the veggies; save another few tablespoons for the top tortilla.

Grated cheese
. Cheddar, usually, as much as seems reasonable, though I’ve used hard, sorta dried-up feta in the past with good results. I tend to grate directly on to the dish as I prepare it, so I can’t tell you how much I use.


Preheat oven to 375F.

Put one tortilla in your baking dish. (Anything with a bit of an edge, as it will seep a bit. I use a quiche dish or a pie dish.)

Spread half the meat mixture on the tortilla.

Spread half the veggie mixture on top.

(You can sprinkle on a wee bit of grated cheddar, if you like.)

Another tortilla, followed by the rest of the meat mixture, and the rest of the veggie mixture.

Top it with the last tortilla, smear the tortilla with sauce, and top with a generous amount of grated cheese. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted.

We cut ours into pie-shaped slices with a pizza wheel. Along with a salad and a hot vegetable, this serves our family of four — which includes a 19-year-old (female) and a 23-year-year old (male) — without difficulty.

January 5, 2013 - Posted by | food | , , ,


  1. This sounds delicious! I’m definitely going to try it.

    Comment by dmalmq | January 8, 2013 | Reply

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