the kitchen arts

Daddy’s Mexican Casserole

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Our never ending quest to find gluten free recipes for our large family is, well, never ending. It’s a constant thing, no? And we’ve found quite often our favorite recipes haven’t come from a book but from Necessity, the mother of invention. Isn’t that the way of it? This one came about one night when we realized there was only a smattering of leftovers and no full meal in the pantry. James dived into the refrigerator and came up with this, and it’s fast become a favorite, made from other nights’ leftovers. (We now make sure to make a bit extra on the normal nights.) It has become our “pizza night”- when we’re too tired or too low on pantry or funds. Fast, easy, yummy.

One of the amazing gifts God gave this summer: an eighth of a grass-fed beef share- some 25 lbs of free organic grass-fed super healthy ground beef from a local farm. We rarely buy beef because it has to be grass-fed (grain-fed has enough gluten to trigger) and it is so stinking expensive. It’s been a tremendous blessing!


Daddy’s Mexican Casserole

Serves 8.

soft GF safe/corn tortillas (enough to cover a 9 x 13 pan twice)**

8 oz  of your favorite salsa

1 lg can refried beans (or 2 cups home made/pre-cooked)

1 large bag of stirfry veggies (peppers and onions- sometimes this is called fajita mix)

1 large bag frozen corn**

2-3 cups leftover cooked rice

leftover taco beef (seasoned) around 2-3 cups (1/2 to 2/3 lb.)

2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Layer the ingredients like lasagna, subbing the tortillas for the “noodles”. It’s fine (and especially helpful) if your soft taco shells are getting a bit dry. This is a great way to use them up. We cover the top layer of corn tortillas with just shredded cheese, making a nice crusty, nacho like top when cooked. Cook at 350 F for 30-35 minutes. Since all of the items have been pre-cooked or frozen, you’re basically looking to warm it up and melt the cheese. If you don’t have leftover taco meat or rice, you’ll need to cook that up separately and then layer it in to the casserole. When it’s done in the oven, we top with sour cream and diced green onions, if we have them, sometimes some torn up fresh spinach. The great thing about this? Choose your own fillings! We’d add black olives and etc if it was just us older people- the younger kids don’t like them. It stretches a bit of meat and a bit of tortillas really far.


**Just a note, as we explore more of the auto-immune protocol diet, and from what we already know, we try to limit corn for Ellianna to only once or twice a month. There are some studies showing that corn is causing many of the same problems for Celiacs, and Elly’s dietician recommended this approach. We will often make her something “safer” if we’ve already had this a couple of times that month. We rarely cook separately for her, but it does happen sometimes. All of our main meals are gluten free to prevent cross-contamination. 

One Comment

  • elizabethroosje

    that’s really a nice meal! My husband has fond memories of his Mom frying up all the leftovers into one thing as it were, different than what you are doing, but same concept of ‘use what you got’. 🙂

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