Mexican Enchilada Casserole

My sweet, brave, and beautiful friend is pregnant with twin girls! She has always wanted to be a mother, and she now gets her wish, x 2. This is such a blessing, and I just couldn’t be happier or more excited for her. It is really beautiful to watch your friends achieve their goals, become who they have always wanted to be, and receive all the wonderful things in life that they deserve. It makes my heart swell. Life is so awe inspiring! I really enjoy supporting my friends and showing them love, and one way I can do that is by making them yummy food. She has been feeling a bit sick lately, so I decided to make something comforting for her, and what is more comforting than a casserole? This one is delicious, crazy flavorful, gluten free, and dairy free (of course!).

Mexican Enchilada Casserole

1 lb ground chicken

1 lb Mexican pork chorizo (casing removed—it’s not edible!)

2 cups enchilada sauce (I used La Victoria)

1 package corn tortillas

1 package Daiya cheddar cheese shreds

1 medium jalapeno pepper (most seeds removed, chopped finely)

1 tbs taco seasoning

*3 cloves garlic (smashed, only used to infuse the oil, then discarded)

Olive oil

For the topping

4 fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped

*1 bunch of green onion, chopped (green parts only)

*2 avocados, diced

2 handfuls of corn tortilla chips

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375F, and use a small amount of olive oil to coat a 9×11 baking dish. In a sauté pan over medium-low heat, squeeze the chorizo in and cook until brown and a little crumbly—about 15 minutes. Move chorizo to a plate, and add 2 tablespoons or so of olive oil to the same pan. Take the smashed garlic cloves (just crush them under a broad knife, using your hand to hit it), and cook in the oil for about 5-7 minutes, then remove garlic pieces and discard. Add the diced jalapeno to the pan and the ground chicken, with the taco seasoning, and cook until done—about 5-7 minutes (it will be very crumbly). Then, mix the chorizo back in the pan with the chicken until combined.

Place 4 corn tortillas in the prepared baking dish, and then ladle on 1/3 of the enchilada sauce. Then spoon 1/3 of the meat mixture on the sauce, and top with some of the vegan cheese. Do another 3 layers of that, making sure to save more of the cheese for the top!

Bake in oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through and bubbly. Top with fresh tomatoes, green onions, diced avocado, and crumbled chips. This had a good amount of heat, but you can still serve it with some tapatio sauce, or other hot sauce, if you wish!

 

*Garlic can bother some people with IBS, and so can the white parts of the green onion (as well as other kinds of onions). Discarding the garlic after infusing the oil is a great way to add flavor to any dish, and it shouldn’t bother your stomach. Only use the green parts of the onion, and use avocado sparingly, as it can bother many people as well. I just had a few chunks on top, and I felt great!

Other options:

-If you want to make this without the chorizo, just use the ground chicken (or other meat of choice), but use 3 tbs of taco seasoning.

-If you are not sensitive to dairy, you can use regular Mexican blend cheese, but the Daiya cheese was really good! It was also gluten free, soy free, casein free, etc.

-If you want to make the whole dish vegan, you can easily cut out the chicken and chorizo (or use soy chorizo!), and sauté up lots of great veggies: zucchini, bell peppers, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes or regular, beans, olives, etc. would all be great!

-If you don’t have a sensitive tummy, you can certainly keep the garlic cloves in instead of discarding; you can add 1 yellow onion (diced) before you add the garlic to the olive oil; you can add beans (black or refried).

-add any toppings of choice! Sour cream, olives, lettuce, etc.

 

Inspired by http://gluten-free-zen.com/2011/07/31/super-simple-enchilada-casserole/

 

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