In my supremely naïve effort to sneak ANY moderately healthy food into my family, I decided to try a new, yet bizarre recipe that I found on Southern Living’s website. This Hearty Tex-Mex casserole contains many ingredients that my husband actually likes, such as chicken, cheese, sour cream, salsa and tortillas. However, the recipe also sneaks in a substantial portion of squash and spinach, which I have to say, was pretty well concealed in the final product. While Mr. “I-have-X-Ray-Vision” spotted the healthy stuff right off, he eventually gave this casserole a fair try (after much melodramatic protest), and lo and behold, he liked it! The heathens ate a decent amount of this as well, and frankly, I thought it was dang tasty.
Hearty Tex-Mex Casserole
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 3 medium-size yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
- 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of celery soup, undiluted
- 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
- 1 (8-ounce) jar picante sauce or salsa
- 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
- 1 (1.4-ounce) envelope fajita seasoning
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Sauté squash, bell pepper, and onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, chicken, next 6 ingredients, and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x9-inch baking dish. At this point, I worried I screwed it up, because the mixture was VERY thick. However, as it cooked, it loosened up and the consistency was right on. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and bake 5 more minutes.
While making this recipe, I also stumbled onto something awesome. I am not a fan of most store-bought salsas. They always seem to taste too sour, vinegary or overall weird. While at the Wally-world, I grabbed a jar of this stuff to use in my casserole prep:
Hands down, this was perhaps the best store-bought salsa I’ve ever had. I liked it so much, I ate the other half of the jar yesterday with a handful to tortilla chips…although I DID let my mom have a bite or two, so quit looking at me like that. All that was missing was a margarita, but I had enough wine to make up for it.
So, if you’re brave enough to sneak your own vegetables-of-doom into your family, give this recipe a try.
But if your husband has X-Ray vision too, you’re on your own, sister.