I found a wonderful new thrift store a couple days ago, called Frank & Betty’s on Higuera. I’m not a big shopper, and rarely do I actually buy anything of the shelf. If I do, it’s one small item that costs less than $5. However, I found thrift-store heaven yesterday, and walked out with a whopping 14 items in my arms (including the dishes you see above), which all rattled and clanked the whole way home because I refused in the name of saving trees to let the nice employees wrap all the china. It was Earth Day, after all. My big shopping spree cost me a total of $21.08. Big spender.
And then came dinner time. Despite my weekly menu planning, I often screw it up and have to scramble in the middle of the week to find something to eat. Enter: Mexican Lasagna. Not a lasagna at all, but for lack of a better description this is what I came up with. It’s really just an organized pile of Mexican-inspired ingredients that ends up rather tasty after you pull it out of the oven.
If you’re short on time, do nothing more than make the rice. It is incredible, and I could eat the whole batch with a spoon straight out of the pan. It’s a bit spicy, so decrease the amount of cayenne if you’re sensitive.
A casserole-style dish with flavors and ingredients inspired from Mexico, including spicy rice, refried beans, and sautéed veggies.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan, Gluten Free
For the rice:
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup short-grain white rice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1/3 cup cooking sherry
- 2 cups hot veggie broth
For the veggies:
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
- 3 small carrots, shaved into ribbons
- 4-5 corn tortillas
- 1 can refried beans
- 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 large tomatoes
- Cotija cheese, optional
- Sour cream, optional
- Guacamole & cilantro, for topping
For the rice:
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice just barely starts to brown. Add the minced garlic and spices and stir vigorously until evenly distributed.
- Add the cooking sherry, mix, and let simmer 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 20 minutes, until tender.
For the Veggies:
- While the rice cooks, prep the veggies. Heat a bit more olive oil in a skillet. Add the veggies all at once and cook about 5 minutes, until they just lose their shape but are still a bit crunchy.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a small (1 qt) casserole dish.
- Arrange tortillas on the bottom of your pan so that they do not overlap too much (you may need to cut them in half). Spread half beans over the tortillas and top with 1/4 cup enchilada sauce. Place half the veggies on top of this and cover with a layer of tomatoes. Cover the tomatoes with some rice
- Repeat the previous step for another layer, finishing with tomatoes. Top with melting cheese, if using, and bake for 15 minutes.
- To serve, top with sour cream, guagamole, and cilantro, if using.