Minutes to Prepare: 20
Minutes to Cook: 60
Number of Servings: 6
5-6 medium corn tortillas
2-3 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 16-oz jars salsa (mild to hot, depending on taste)
1 16-oz pkg frozen corn
1 large onion, finely chopped and stir-fried until soft (use nonstick skillet)
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1 cup)
1 large tomato, chopped
Preheat an oven to 350F.
Chop and stirfry onion in a nonstick pan.
Layer half of the tortillas to cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. You will have to cut some of the tortillas to cover the bottom of the pan. Layer the following ingredients in the following order: all of the beans, half of the salsa, all of the corn, cooked onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Make another layer with the other half of the tortillas, then cover with the remaining salsa.
Bake uncovered at 350 for one hour. The longer it bakes, the better it tastes.
I followed the ingredients and directions exactly as written. Yes, this lazy slob actually went out and bought a load of red peppers (I needed 8 for all of this week's recipes) and chopped it by hand, as well as the tomato and onions. When Ann Crile Esselstyn says it takes 20 minutes prep work, it takes at least that long!
Here's a photo of everything but the tortillas, veggies already cut up. The tomatoes came out to 1 1/2 cups.
I could only get a big bag of smaller corn tortillas and used about half the bag, 12 in all.
I only used 2 cans of black beans. That was quite enough. Any more and the casserole would overflow when cooking.
I used Sabra brand mild heat salsa, found in the refrigerated section by the hummus. I looked by the fresh salsa in the regular produce section but all had added salt, and the one we bought last week, although it said mild, was way too hot for me. My husband didn't mind, but even he complained afterwards when an hour after dinner his tongue was still sweating.
I used regular Goya black beans. Nowhere in the book does Dr. Esselstyn say to use only no-salt added beans, just "canned" beans, and to rinse and drain to reduce the sodium. Our local store does carry the lower sodium Goya, but the prices run about 50 cents higher than regular beans. We don't like the consistency of home cooked beans, either, even though I know it comes out cheaper. On the McDougall forums people were saying to soak the dried beans in a salt water solution to get the canned consistency. Well that kind of does away with the no-salt advantage of making your own. I'll stick with well-rinsed regular beans.
Here's the pie put together, before the final container of salsa.
And here's how it looked fresh out of the oven.
It does make a lot, and we'll be having leftovers of this for lunch during the week.
Next time, I won't be using so many fresh ingredients. The approximate cost was $14.40 doing it this way. The taste wasn't that much different than Rip Esselstyn's Layered Mexican Casserole, and that contained spinach, something I was going to add to this but didn't because I wanted to do it as-written. If I ever do make this another time I'll use half a bag of frozen diced pepper and onion, a can of petite diced no-salt added tomatoes, and a cheaper jarred salsa. But I probably won't. I'll stick with Rip's fast food version.