One of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Gracias Madre, is closing * cries*. But you can still make this fantastic dish at home. Start on the salsa char first, and then bake your sweet potato while the oven is … Continue reading
I remember my Mom making this type of casserole in the 70′s,though her version had cans of condensed soup and some sort of dead animal in it. When my bag of organic corn chips went stale after being open for a mere 48 hours, I couldn’t bear to chuck the chips into the Bokashi bucket, so I got down with this spicy comfort food instead.
The reluctant cooks can make this with store-bought vegan queso (my favorite is the Food for Lovers Original),canned beans and/or pre-seasoned grain/soy meat. For the slightly more ambitious, cook your own legumes and whip up my quick ‘n dirty queso. While you’re at it, you can even make your own un-chicken broth with this recipe that my friend Chanelle (the genius behind these Sticky Buns) shared over on The Vegan Virtuoso blog.
This dish is best served with a cold beer …and more cowbell. Original SNL skit HERE
Tortilla Chip Queso Casserole
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients (6-8 servings)
For the Casserole
- 1/2 bag organic tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup vegetable broth (divided)
- 1 1/4 cup vegan queso
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1/4 cup diced green chiles
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 cup sliced black olives
- cilantro,green onions,red onions,salsa,bell peppers for garnish
- Olive oil spray
For the Crema(Tofu Sour Cream)
- 1/2 package silken tofu
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 tsp agave
For the Vegan Queso
- 1 cup soaked raw cashew pieces
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- optional- pinch of turmeric for color
For the vegan queso
Combine all ingredients in a Vitamix.Blend on high-speed for 2 minutes.Set aside.
For the Casserole
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
In a medium size pan over high heat,cook onions in 1/4 cup vegetable broth until they soften,about 2 minutes. Add green chiles (with the liquid),roasted garlic,taco seasoning and beans. Reduce heat to medium and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Spray a 6×8 casserole dish (an 8×8 works fine with the addition of a few more chips or double the recipe in a 9×13 pan)with olive oil and place a layer of chips on the bottom of the dish. Drizzle one-third of the vegan queso on the chips, then add half of the bean mixture. Add a layer of tomatoes,sprinkle with black olives. Add another layer of chips and repeat the layers of queso,bean mixture,tomatoes and olives. Top with a final layer of chips,vegan queso, tomatoes and black olives.
Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and gently press down on the casserole with a spatula.Slowly pour 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth over the top of the casserole,try to distribute the liquid evenly. Bake for an additional 20 minutes,the liquid should all be absorbed.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Top with crema,cilantro,green/red onions,salsa and enjoy.
For the Crema
Add all ingredients to a mini food processor and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. Refrigerate unused portion in an airtight container for up to 3 days.