Meatless Monday is becoming more and more popular as families try to lessen their meat-eating and amp up veggies. If you have dedicated carnivores in the family though, this can be a tough conversion. No one wants to feel as if he is eating “rabbit food” and missing out on a real meal. To ease your transition, this yummy taco bake uses TVP, textured vegetable protein, to replace the meat. Made from soy, it gives the texture and heft of using ground beef, but without any animal protein. If you can’t find TVP, not to worry — soy crumbles are readily available in your local grocery store in the natural foods section and can easily be substituted. And don’t be afraid to try a soy product! They’re fairly neutral in taste, and with all of the herbs and spices in this dish, all you will taste is yummy taco casserole.
Vegetarian Tortilla Bake
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup mild salsa
- 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) chili beans (do not drain)
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP), dry (or soy-based “crumbles”)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded Mexican-style or cheddar cheese
Optional garnishes: sliced tomatoes, olives and avocado
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Coat 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add vegetable oil, then add onions and bell pepper. Cook until tender, 6-8 minutes. Add salsa, chili beans, tomato sauce, TVP, corn, water, garlic powder, dried oregano, and chili powder to the saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spread about one quarter of chili mixture on bottom of prepared baking dish. Top with six tortillas, overlapping or cutting to fit as necessary. Top with another quarter of chili mixture and a third of cheese. Repeat for two more layers each of tortillas, chili mixture and cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with tomatoes, olives and avocado, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 240 calories; 12 g protein; 36 g carbohydrate; 8 g dietary fiber; 6 g fat; 494 mg sodium.
Recipe adapted from the Soyfoods Association of North America