It is 3 degrees here.  3.  My daughter can count higher than the current temperature.  WTF.  To be fair, this is the first time it has been this cold so far this winter.  And we’ve not had a lot of snow so I shouldn’t really be complaining.  But, wow, holy cow it is it cold!

photo 1

Work has been really busy, I’ve been really busy so I haven’t been cooking anything interesting.  Lots of soups, stir-fry and that kind of thing.  Quick, easy and filling.  Plus, I’m trying (again) to avoid baking so that there isn’t so much sugar in our house.  We’re somewhat addicted to sugar (should I be concerned that my daughter who is almost three can recognize both Dunkin’ Donuts (we almost never go!) and JP Licks (okay, we go there a lot) and knows what they sell??)?

Last night I got home a little bit earlier than usual and my husband was home which is something that almost never happens together.  My daughter spied a bag of tortilla strips and wanted that for a snack.  Since they were open, I thought perhaps I could use them in dinner.  So I pulled out a bunch of ingredients with no real plan and started cooking.  My husband joked that it could be an episode of Chopped and then he threw in some maple syrup and peanut butter and said, “NOW it’s Chopped.”

This is what we ended up with and it was pretty good.  I’m not sure what to call it, nor can I call it pretty but I can call it filling, delicious and pretty healthy.  I’ll give ballpark directions but I didn’t photograph the way I usually do, I apologize.

Tasty Sort of Mexican Casserole


1 onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 C frozen corn

Meat from one store bought rotisserie chicken (probably about 1-2 cups), shredded

1 can whole tomatoes

garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder, cumin

a whole lot of shredded cheese

crushed tortilla chips or strips, about 1-2 cups

tortillas (small), about three


In a large pan heat a bit of oil and cook the onions until soft and slightly brown.  Add the pepper and cook for a few minutes to let the pepper soften.  Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands and pouring in all the juice.  Let this cook over medium high heat for a few minutes so that it will thicken a bit.  Add the corn and beans.  Let this cook for another few minutes.  Add the spices and the shredded chicken.  Cook until heated through.  If you want to throw in other leftovers like cooked rice or crumbled cornbread, feel free– I did and it made it somewhat thicker, which was fine with me.

Preheat your oven to 375.  Spray or butter a casserole dish.  Place the tortillas on the bottom, sort of overlapping so they make a base or crust.  Spoon about a third of the tomato mixture on top.  Cover with cheese and crushed tortilla chips.  Spoon another third of the tomato mixture, top with cheese and chips and repeat until you’re out of space or filling.  End with cheese topped with crushed chips.

Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the dish is heated through.

photo 4Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt (what we use).

photo 3It’s not pretty but it’s yummy and filling and….

photo 5All gone!

Make sure to serve other things to those who won’t yet dig into a dish like this.

photo 2

4 thoughts on “Freezing

  1. Yes, I know. He was nice enough (clever enough since he’d be eating dinner too?) to put those away before I started. But if I’d had to use them, I’d have used the maple syrup to thicken the sauce and cut the acid from the tomatoes and I would have given the peanut butter to toddler G. 🙂 Cheating, I know, but it was still technically part of dinner!

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