Adulting doesn’t have to be boring. There’s always room for some play and exploration in things that, on the outside, seem very square and buttoned up. Food waste, for example, just feels so technical, so not fun. …
I say this every year, but I’m not into making resolutions. You don’t need it to be January to bring change to your life, it can be in any month, at any time. Change that truly comes from within has no schedule, when it wants to happen, it will happen….
As 2017 has been starting, I’ve been seeking a lot of comfort and coziness. There’s been enough excitement on all fronts, and I’m still holding on to the quiet days and pine forests of my winter holiday.
It’s finally started raining in Southern California, which is pretty rare, and feels pretty magical. The rain and yearning for comfort and coziness mean one thing: soup….
In the busyness of this season, I’ve been turning to my trusty baking dishes to keep things going. In making one meal with an 8×8″ or 13×9″ pan, I’ve just made a handful of lunch and dinners for N and myself. For most of the lunches and dinners after that, the hemming and hawing of what to eat while poking around the fridge is gone.
To keep it interesting, I like to make our favorite kinds of foods in these baking dishes so it doesn’t just sit in the fridge untouched or avoided until other meals are gone. For us, that’s comfort food like lasagna and Mexican food, with my veggie twist.
In searching for easy casserole takes on Mexican food, I came across this recipe from trusty Martha and started playing it. First order of business, as always, to add greens! I added kale, and with the cooler months ahead, you can add collard greens, Swiss chard, or trusty spinach.
After adding more greens, I beefed up the amount of beans and mushrooms in this dish to make this a taller stack of Mexican veggie goodness. Last change was a favorite for N, topping this casserole with queso fresco, one of his favorite cheeses. With organic chipotle salsa layered in with the beans, veggies and cheese, it makes a combination so worth grabbing for a few meals.
You can make this more you by changing out the greens, using your favorite salsa (could be spicier, sweeter, greener), or even adding more vegetables! Depending on what time of year you make this, you could add bell peppers, zucchini, different seasonal greens, some leeks… the possibilities are endless.
What’s your go-to casserole/one dish meal to make when things get busy?
It’s become a big game for me. How can I take this dish and make it meatless? How can I make it taste great, be filling, and have no meat in it? That meat eaters will happily gobble up and never even ask, “Where’s the meat?”…
Sometimes, I can speak better through food. I’ve been doing it for years, but only recently have I really realized that it’s another language I’m pretty fluent in. All of the words and emotions I want to tell someone can so easily be channelled into a dish, a treat, a food gift. The happiness I’ve received from serving a meal, surprising someone with a treat or gifting anything from cookies to pickles to lasagna runs so deep. For me, good, nourishing food can do more than a card or regular birthday gift….