I remember the first night living in a small village in Thailand (no, I didn’t have a Mexican Corn Tortilla Casserole). Normally in small villages in Thailand there are at least noodle stands in someone’s front lawn (think ‘lemonade for sale’ but on a slightly bigger scale). However, when I landed in Ban Chaleang, there was nothing but dusty roads for as long as I could see.
What the hell was I supposed to eat for dinner? I remember my Thai mother (we just met 3 hours earlier, and I was already calling her ‘mom’) brought her friends over and some vegetables, and they stared as I tried to make dinner. They didn’t really know what to do with a vegan, or else they would have had me over for some ant eggs, fish heads, or how about this… yes, that’s dinner.
I’m sure they still laugh about it today. Let’s just say from that moment forward I made it my mission to learn how to cook during my 2 years in Thailand. I spent lots of time in the kitchen (or outside on the patio) with a notepad watching my friends cook and taking notes furiously.
The beauty of Thai cooking is that nothing is really measured; they cook by taste. There are no recipes, cookbooks, or blogs to cite. They throw things in a wok or pot and taste till they get it just right.
This is how Thais “bake” …. in bamboo and in the ground.
What I learned in the Thai kitchen has really helped me in the comfort of my kitchen back in the states. Although I might need to move to France to learn how to bake. I didn’t master the bamboo in the ground “baking” method.
From Thailand to Mexican Food….
Tonight’s dinner, though inspired from two different recipes, was not one that was preciously measured and calculated. Through the skills and confidence I learned in the Thai kitchen, I can now cook. I don’t just follow recipes, I am confident to throw things together, taste as I go, and normally they turn out pretty good.
At least Dave approves. Lucky too!
Mexican Corn Tortilla Casserole
Since this was a throw together type of meal, there really are no precise measurements. I’ve listed things with approximates.
12 6-inch corn tortillas (I used Food for Life’s Sprouted Corn Tortillas)
1/2 onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained
2 cups Spinach (approximately)
3 T Hummus (approximately)
1 cup Nutritional Yeast
1 cup Salsa (approximately)
1 cup Enchilada Sauce (approximately)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease an 8×8 casserole dish, and layer with four corn tortillas.
3. Build your first layer:
- spread 1/3 the amount of hummus
- sprinkle 1/3 the amount of nutritional yeast
- lay 1/3 the amount of spinach
- sprinkle 1/3 the amount of onion
- sprinkle 1/3 the amount of black beans
- and top with 1/3 the amount of salsa
4. Lay four more corn tortillas and repeat step 3.
5. Repeat step 4, so you have three levels and then top with enchilada sauce.
6. Cover with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes.