Tasty Tuesday Taco Bake

Hi there! Its another Tasty Tuesday, and boy do I have a hearty, tasty dish for you and yours today!

Taco Bake! Can we please Taco bout it?

But before we do, I want to thank the incredible Maribeth Schmidt for her help with these photographs. She truly is amazing, and so much fun to work with! If you would like to contact Maribeth for an inquiry or to simply see more of her work, you can visit her site at Maribeth Schmidt Photography. Thanks again, Maribeth!

So what is it about Mexican food we all love so much? Its really not complicated to prepare, but it always has this magical taste, I find myself craving it! I think its the combination of flavors and the heartiness of it! I always think of energizing latin music too, when I begin preparing it, and it just feels like a party! Its just fantastic fun food! Way to put a crown on Tuesdays! Ok, lets begin! Tasty Tuesday Taco Bake, here we come!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef (can use lean if preferred) (vegetarian option, drain 1 15 oz can each of black beans, kidney beans and pinto beans for a protein packed treat)
  • 1 -2 envelopes (or 3-4 Tbsp) taco seasoning (can use low sodium if preferred)
  • 1 pkg large round tortillas
  • 1 large can Refried Beans (can use low fat or fat free if preferred)
  • 1 small can Diced Green Chilies
  • 1 small can Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 pkg shredded Colby Jack Cheese
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1 bunch of green onions sliced
  • Optional, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 can of chopped tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 350ΒΊ

In a large skillet, brown your ground beef. *NOTE* If you prefer a vegetarian option, you could substitute for the beef with a combination of beans simmered with a little olive oil in the pan- drain 1 can of kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans in substitute for the beef,

Add in the onions.

Drain the fat, add taco seasoning and water and let simmer.

Drizzle some enchilada sauce on the base of a 9×13 pan so that the tortillas won’t stick.

Place tortillas in pan making a layer on the base. Its ok if they overlap a bit. You can cut or tear tortillas to fill in the gaps.

Spread a layer of refried beans on the tortillas.

Add a layer of the cooked ground beef.

Add half the green chilis

Add some chopped tomato. (could be canned chopped tomato, could also add in a 1/2 cup frozen corn if desired)

Drizzle with a little more enchilada sauce, then add a layer of cheese. If your pan is deep enough, you can repeat all these layers. Cover with foil and bake about 20 minutes. Remove and add a layer of cheese on the top.

Bake until cheese is melted, and casserole is thoroughly heated.

Add a fresh layer of chopped tomato, green onion, and white onion.

Serve with chips, salsa, hot sauce, and sour cream.

Its a super hearty dish, and reheats the second day extremely well.

Pardon me while I drool over the keyboard!

I make my portions a little on the large side, usually a double decker and I use an extra large pan.

The pan feels like it weighs a ton… and it smells so deliciously savory!

This is a great meal for really hungry people!

My son Jake keeps a pretty active schedule, including working as a server at a large banquet and conference center, school, and usually running and working out at a gym every day. He comes home starving. When I made this a few weeks ago, he loved it. And then we had enough leftovers for the next day, and he got up in the morning talking about how after his long day, he was going to come home and “destroy” the rest of that casserole! That is like a weather forecast but for food! It makes me feel good to see people enjoy things I’ve made.

Its also a great option for potlucks or game day!

Trust me, if you bring this for a potluck, you will be invited to every potluck in town!

So lately I’ve been really inspired to pack every day chock full of flavor… like this recipe! I have a number of dreams that I am pursuing right now, and I’m investing in them as wisely as I can. I can’t tell you how good it feels to start acting on your dreams. Sometimes you have to step back and survey the situation and say to yourself, “OK, so what is the important stuff left on your list you really want to fill your time with?”

For me, there are people I care deeply about, so I make time for them. There are goals I have and things I want to try in this lifetime. I am taking steps to make them happen. And there is margin for the totally new and unknown yet… I love this. Acknowledging that at any time I may discover and try something totally new! Its like the Wild Card in Uno. Sometimes that is hard, we may feel we can’t make time in our day or room in our heart for anything new, but I will tell you, its refreshing and I think its good for us!

Plus, you will get a whole lot of laughs as you stumble through things the first time (trust me on this- you should see me experiment with make-up, new clothing, a new craft, new recipes or technology! If I had a dime for every time I’ve said, “Ok, that didn’t work,” I’d be a rich lady! But you know what? I follow up right away with “Let’s try this!” Sometimes a week of various failures can be one of your best ever because it means you are learning and trying new things! I often think back to when I was very young and learning to jump off the side of the pool into the water. There was my mom encouraging me, with a big smile on her face! “Come one! You can do it!” Her smile gave me courage and finally I would take that leap! The exhilaration! And that amazing feeling that you did it! That hasn’t changed… I am so glad I can still try new things!

If you have ever felt like your days of discovery are over, that simply could not be farther from the truth! You just have to open your mind and your eyes to it!

This is true no matter where you are at in life. You could be facing some new challenge you never saw coming. You could be a new parent with a brand new precious baby, or you could be just waving goodbye as the last baby bird leaves the nest. You could be transitioning to a new phase in life, and wondering what will it be like. Whether you are 23 or 103… each day can hold some beautiful new opportunities for all of us even in the middle of tough times. The power of seeking the good, the unexpected ray of sunshine, the silver lining! Embrace it! Each day is such a treasure wrought with potential miracles! Allow yourself the gift to marvel at it, like a kid at Christmas!

Ok, I’m off to work! I hope you enjoy this recipe! I hope your week is fantastic! I will see you Friday for another Fashion Friday!

Love Always,

Amy

“Every moment of our existence holds an infinite number of possibilities.” Β ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

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