The other day while dining in the teachers' lounge, my colleagues asked me how in the world I ever had time to prepare my meals. I prompted them to take a look at this week's menu post (as well as others) for an inside look at how I get prep for the week. Trust me, this does take a little time. It can be very overwhelming and one might think, "OMG! I have to make all this stuff for one week in a day? Forget it!" The way I see it is that I have my work life and I have my home life. There has to be a balance between the two. I get my work things done at work. I get my home life ready while I am at home and have more time on the weekend so when I come home from my work life I can relax. That is how I am able to blog these recipes, keep my sanity without starving in a gluten-free world, and above all enjoy my life. It may require a little work on the weekend, but most items are grab-and-go (mainly breakfast and lunch) or require minimal preparation on a week night. Someday I might even create a video for how I accomplish this. Would you be interested?
Alright, now that I've discussed this, here is a make ahead recipe that really only took me 15 minutes to prep this weekend. Once it was prepped, I used one of my handy-dandy Pyrex dishes that came with a resealable lid and stored the dish in the fridge. Then all I had to do was pull that puppy out of the fridge, uncover the dish, pop in the oven, set the oven to 375 degrees, and let it all bake for 45 minutes. You could probably even make this dish in a disposable foil dish and store it in the freezer. Really there is nothing culinary genius about this dish. It required me to open some packages and cans. Not too tough and it was very tasty at that.
Here is what the entire dish looks like. While this lovely enchilada casserole looks like it would be totally unhealthy, it makes eight hearty veggie packed servings for only 7 Weight Watchers points. Not only is it a dish you can make ahead it is good for you and tastes amazing.
Veggie Enchilada Casserole
Makes 8 servings, 7 Weight Watchers Points per serving
Nonstick cooking spray
1 10 oz. bag frozen chopped butternut squash, thawed
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with chilies (such as Rotel)
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if you do not prefer the heat)
1 28 oz. can enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso as it is gluten-free)
18 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded 2% cheddar cheese, divided
1 bunch green onions, chopped (to garnish if you choose)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (to garnish if you choose)
Spray an 8-inch by 12-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the butternut squash, diced tomatoes, green chilies, black beans, corn, onion, salt, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper until combine. Set aside. Ladle and evenly spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into the bottom of the casserole dish. Arrange 6 of the tortillas on top of the sauce. Pour and evenly spread 1/2 of the vegetable mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over the vegetable layer. Arrange 6 more tortillas over the top of the cheese layer. Repeat with 1/2 cup more enchilada sauce, the remaining half of the vegetable mixture, and 1/2 cup cheese. Top with the last 6 tortillas. Ladle and spread the remaining enchilada sauce. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. This can be made ahead and frozen as well, just be sure not to use a glass baking dish as I did and thaw before baking. When you are ready to bake, uncover the dish. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Place in the oven and set the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble in the middle and brown around the edges. Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro if you desire.