4 Tips for Getting Meals Ready for School & Enchilada Casserole Recipe to Get You Started

Enchiladas Casserole

Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion, small dice

1 bell pepper, small dice

12 corn tortillas

2 cups enchilada sauce

2 cups Mexican cheese or cheddar

1 cup black beans

1 cup corn fresh off cob, canned or frozen

2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded, optional

 

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan and sauté onions and peppers until soft.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 9X13 pan with cooking spray. Lay 4 tortillas on the bottom of the pan.

  3. Evenly spread ¼ cup sauce on top. Then sprinkle ¼ of the vegetables, chicken and cheese.  Repeat until you have 4 layers.

  4. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes until casserole is hot.  Cool and freeze at this point, if desired.

  5. Garnish with your choice of sour cream, cilantro or parsley, salsa, guacamole, green onions or black olives.

  6. Serve with yellow rice and a salad.

Make it vegetarian or kosher:  Omit chicken and use 2 bell peppers, and 2 cups other chopped vegetables of choice, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli florets, fresh or frozen spinach.

Keep it dairy free:  Omit cheese or use vegan cheese.

Allium free is delish!  Omit onion and use 1 small fennel bulb.

Before you know it, school will be here. Now’s the time to prepare ahead for dinner to save time during those first busy weeks. Here are 4 easy tips.                                                                  

 

1.  Freeze ahead:  There are days you don’t feel like cooking, days you are just coming back from a vacation or a work conference. And the beginning of school, just around the corner, is usually a hectic time.  Now is a great time to cook ahead. Whenever you are cooking, get in the mind set for thinking ahead how to make another meal from the same ingredients.  Make some sauces ahead of time and freeze to pull out and top pasta, vegetables or chopped meat. Marinara sauce, with vegetables, cheese or meat, works so well with any pasta.  Sautéed vegetables or meat can be frozen in small zip lock bags and when you need it, added quickly to make frittatas or tacos.

2. Double what you are cooking:  Start doubling what you are making for dinner. Put the extras in the freezer, ready to pull out, as the schedules get hectic when the kids return for the first day. Try chili, lasagna or enchiladas. See free enchillada recipe below. Any baked dessert can be frozen. Double recipes or try easy to make banana bread, brownies or coffee cake. Cut into squares and freeze to use as you need.

 

3. Soups are great for easy dinners: Just add a salad and you are all done! Homemade soups are easy to make and you can be as creative as you want with vegetable or pureed soups.  Use small containers or zip lock bags to freeze, making it easier to defrost and portion out.  If you're not sure if a dish can be frozen, email us at everydayhappyfoods@gmail.com.  We will be happy to let you know!  And of course, remember to label any frozen container or bag.

 

4.  Stock Up:  Stock up on your favorite frozen vegetables for easy to make side dishes, such as broccoli, green beans, corn or spinach. Glitz up broccoli a bit with buttered bread crumbs or green beans with crumbled onion rings.  Frozen corn can be quickly added to black beans and rice or frozen spinach to stir-fry.

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