Makeup Casserole — vegan goodness

Now that I’ve made my way to my new home, I actually will be making and photographing the food that I talk about making. First up is Makeup Casserole. The name comes from the fact that it’s basically a really amazing marriage between Breakup Soup and Pockets Full of Gold.

In short: Breakup Soup is crushed tortilla chips and salsa. Pockets of Gold will be referred to as tofu and black bean tacos, as that’s just what they are.

So, this is a recipe I adapted from one I cooked for my sister, Sarah. She’s on bed rest for her second pregnancy, so I’m going to be showing up at her doorstep ready to cook whatever she tells me too (meat eaters, check out the note at the bottom of the post).

After I got home from making this for her on Saturday, I took a stab at vegan-izing it and it went great, but made WAY too much. So, I would use less tofu or less beans or something. Or you can do it just like I did and have a new-and-improved version of the tofu tacos to make with the leftover filling…

Here goes…

Ingredients
2 pkgs. tofu (any firmness, you’re going to be demolishing it)
2 pkgs. soy cheese (or regular if you’re not vegan)
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 16 oz jar hot salsa
1 bag of your choice of tortilla chips (I went with blue corn)
1 small red onion
1 hothouse or beefsteak tomato
1 pepper (color of your choice)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
cilantro
green onions
sour cream (if you’re not vegan)

1. Crush chips (eyeball the amount) into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

2. After draining all the water you possibly can from the tofu* smash it up with a fork or your hands or let the cat go at it — whatever gets the job done — and place it in a separate bowl. Drain and rinse beans and add to the bowl, along with the drained corn.

* This time, I simply squeezed the tofu in my hands over a strainer to drain it. If you’re just not as barbaric as I am, you could place it between towels, between two pans/bowls/plates and put something heavy on top of it for a while.

3. Dice the onion and green pepper and add to mixture. Now’s a good time to add the cumin, salt and salsa. You can throw some chopped cilantro in there too, or just save that to use as a topping at the end.

4. Put half (or less if you made a crapton of it like I did) on top of the chips and then put half of the cheese on top of that. (In the non-vegan version, the recipe suggests a mixture of Monterrey jack and cheddar cheeses. I, personally, think pepper jack would be awesome too).

Repeat. So it goes: chips/filling/cheese/filling/cheese.

5. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 35 minutes.

When I took it out, the top was kind of a crunchy cheese crust but the inside layer of cheese was melty. I wonder if this would have been different, if I had used my favorite soy cheese.

6. After you remove it from the oven, take a big ol’ slab of it, top it with a slice of tomato, chopped cilantro and chopped green onion. Add a dollop (yes, a dollop) of sour cream if you’re not vegan. I also served it with corn muffins. Yum.

7. Eat your face off. Impress your loved ones.

I made this Saturday, had it for leftovers on Sunday and leftovers right this very moment on Tuesday. I think it’s better and more flavory after hanging out for awhile, so make a ton and eat it for a few days.

FOR THE MEAT EATERS: Replace tofu with 3-4 cooked and shredded or cubed or otherwise cut up chicken breasts.

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