Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Celebrate Las Posadas - Countdown to Christmas - Day 19

Today we celebrated Las Posadas by trying some new recipes that I found on Pinterest. The first one was for a Mexican Breakfast Casserole that I saw pinned from Self magazine's website.

A piece of Mexican Breakfast Casserole
that we made.

It is different from some other breakfast casseroles in that it doesn't need to sit overnight. It also doesn't have very many eggs or milk, so the casserole is actually quite thin. That being said, the flavor is delicious and there are a wide variety of textures and flavors which make this casserole worth having again.

The casserole in the pan.

This is the recipe for the Mexican Breakfast Casserole:


3 ounces uncooked chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage) (we used pork sausage)
6 ounches ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup baby spinach
4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
4 eggs
2/3 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated reduced-fat jalapeno cheddar cheese (we used cheddar cheese instead)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" by 13" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place the bread cubes in a single layer in the bottom of the pan. Whisk the eggs, milk, ground mustard, salt, and black pepper together, set aside.

In a skillet, brown the chorizo and ground turkey until cooked through then add the onion and bell peppers and saute until tender. Add garlic and saute a minute more and then add spinach and cook just until spinach wilts.

Layer half of the meat and veggie mixture over the bread, then half of the egg mixture, then half of the cheeses. Repeat the layers once more until all ingredients have been used.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until cooked through, uncovering for the last 5-10 minutes so the cheese will brown slightly on top. Enjoy!


For lunch, we made individual seven-layer dips. The pin for the recipe leads to The Girl Who Ate Everything.

One of the individual servings of seven-layer dip 
that we made.

The recipe makes eight servings and is very easy to prepare.


1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
1 cup guacamole or make homemade guacamole (we used a package of dry guacamole seasoning with 1 1/2 avacados which was delicious)
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup chunky salsa or pico de gallo
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of green onions, sliced
1 (2.25 ounce) can of sliced olives, drained
8 (9 ounce) plastic tumblers
tortilla chips

Note: All measurements are approximate. Depending on whether you want thicker or thinner layers you will need more or less.


In a small bowl mix taco seasoning with refried beans. Then assemble the layers as follows:
Layer 1: beans and taco seasoning
Layer 2: sour cream
Layer 3: guacamole
Layer 4: salsa or pico de gallo
Layer 5: cheese
Layer 6: tomatoes
Layer 7: green onions and olives

In each plastic glass, layer about 2 Tablespoons of the beans, followed by 2 Tablespoons of sour cream, 2 Tablespoons of guacamole, 2 Tablespoons of salsa or pico de gallo, and 2 Tablespoons of cheese. Make sure you drain your salsa or pico to get the excess liquid out before you pour it on.

Then top with about 1-2 teaspoons of tomatoes, olives, and green onion (If making ahead of time, wait to add these toppings until shortly before serving). Garnish with one tortilla chip. Store in the refrigerator until serving and serve with chips. Makes around 8 individual dips.


The last thing we made were Red Grape, Black Bean, Cilantro, and Jicama Tacos. The original recipe is vegan, but we adapted it to be a standard recipe (e.g., replacing the vegan cheese and sour cream with regular cheese and sour cream).

We also didn't use the tortillas as suggested. Rather, we used tortilla chips and created tacos using the ingredients that we each wanted. The items available from which to choose included:

2 cups Cilantro Jicama, and Red Grape Salad (recipe is below)
4 corn tortillas, warmed in the oven (wrap in foil and rub with butter on one side)
1 cup fresh chopped tomato salsa
1 can black beans, drained and warmed in microwave or stove top
1/2 cup cheese
1 avocado, diced and folded with fresh lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons sour cream


Assemble your tacos any way you'd like. Add a few sides for a more substantial feast.

Cilantro, Jicama, and Red Grape Salad

The salad was such a fresh and delicious addition to tacos. We had never tried jicama before, so it was interesting to see what it tastes like. On its own, it is a sweeter vegetable that has the texture of an apple or potato. 

We peeled it with a vegetable peeler which was a bit tricky (it doesn't peel as easily as potatoes or carrots, for example).

In a salad, the jicama takes on the flavor of the other ingredients.

Cilantro, Jicama, and Red Grape Salad that we made.


1/2 large jicama, peeled, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped
1/2 cup organic red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 teaspoon fine black pepper + salt to taste
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp olive oil (optional)
dash of cayenne or chipotle powder for heat – or finely diced jalapeno (we did not include this ingredient)


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well. Chill for at least a half hour to allow flavors to marinate and mix. Serve chilled.

Uses: Side salad, for tacos, burritos, toss into a larger green salad, taco salad, or eat as is.

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