Ok, so I confess, I've been reading a lot of food blogs lately. And they're addicting. I mean, why has it taken me all these years to discover the sheer joy of blogs with their banks of tantalizing recipes? Oh wait, it might have something to do with having hours upon hours of time on my hands that I've never had before. Or something like that. And it might have something to do with the excitement of having someone to cook for, to share meals with (though he does not have a sweet tooth, so when it comes to baked goods, I'm on my own).
But yesterday was one of those not-so-rare days, for this season, where the joy of being creative in the kitchen was palpable. From kale chips (I added smoked paprika) to fruity greek yogurt pops, washing fresh blueberries to stash in the freezer, to prepping for dinner. Fun, fun, fun.
That said, I just can't resist sharing what we had for dinner last night, in case it lights up anyone else's taste buds. I adapted the recipe to add a few of my own touches to it. It's really ideal for those who like to get creative or use up whatever they have on hand.
Zesty zucchini enchilada casserole
4 zucchinis, quartered and diced
1 small onion, diced (any color will do)
8-10 white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup corn (frozen, fresh or canned)
1 can diced green chiles
1 can diced jalapenos (or if you don't like spicy, sub 1 can green chiles)
1/2 cup flour
2 cups shredded cheese (1/2 cup set aside)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
5-6 corn tortillas
1 jar salsa of choice (or approx. 2 cups fresh salsa - I used Ricardo's homemade salsa verde)
1 shallot, sliced in slivers
1 avocado, sliced (optional)
salt to taste
I'm not a food photographer, but my photos are usually better composed than this.
I was balancing on one leg and in a rush to get to dinner.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat the bottom of a casserole dish (9x13) or dutch oven with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, mushrooms, onion, corn, chiles, jalapenos, 1/2 cup of cheese, black beans and salt. Coat with flour and toss. Pour salsa into a bowl, then dip tortillas in the salsa. Place 2 or 3 tortillas on the bottom of the baking dish of choice, then pour half of the mixture on top. Layer with 2 or 3 more tortillas. Top with the rest of the mix. Cover with foil (or lid) and bake for 25-35 minutes. Pull out and top with the remaining salsa and shredded cheese, then bake uncovered for another 20-30 minutes, until cheese is lightly brown and sides are bubbly. Garnish with shallot slivers and top with avocado. This dish makes enough to feed a family AND have leftovers, so be prepared to have it most of the week if you're only two people, like us!
Oh yes, and don't forget the fresh fruit water. I used oranges this time, but you can use whatever sounds tasty to you. It's simple and easy to experiment:
1 orange, peeled (or other fruit: cantaloupe, pineapple, limes, cucumber, strawberries, apples and mangoes are a few faves)
sugar or sweetener (if desired)
Place the fruit in a blender, fill with cold water about 2 inches above the fruit. I add about 2 TB of raw cane sugar or 1 TB agave. Blend until creamy and frothy. Pour through a strainer (the mesh kind is the best) into a pitcher. Fill blender pitcher 2/3 full with cold water and pour through strainer. Adjust the water or sweetener amounts as needed, and add more fruit to make a larger serving. Serve over ice.