Meatless Monday: Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

December 4, 2011 · 22 comments

in mexican/tex-mex,vegetarian

I get that whole wheat and “natural” products cost more. I don’t like it, but I get it. Once, I was in a grocery store and wanted to buy a bottle of iced tea. The unsweetened kind (aka the one that has tea leaves and citric acid) cost $0.40 more than the sweetened kind (which has like 10 ingredients). They were the same brand, of course.

Grumble grumble.

Brown rice? Costs more than white. Whole wheat bread? Costs more than the enriched kind, even though the “enrichments” add like 50 ingredients.

But what really kills me is when the product is not only more expensive, but smaller, too.  For the love of God why is it SO HARD to find a box of whole wheat pasta that weighs a pound? I am sick of this 12.5 and 13.5 oz. bullshit. If you’re going to charge me extra, fine, but can you at least give me the same amount? Have you ever seen a recipe that calls for 13.5 oz. of pasta? NO.

This time, though, those puny “large” tortillas made with whole wheat were actually beneficial. You see, with a 10 inch tortilla, you need to trim it to fit a springform pan. But with one that’s only about 8.5″ if you’re measuring generously? No trimming necessary. I’ll just pretend the extra money I spent on them was a trade-off for my time.

I realized just as I was about to make this that I didn’t  have anywhere near the amount of corn called for (honestly, I just assume I always have at least 1 full bag of corn in the freezer. My bad.) I ended up using what I had (about 1 scant cup) and then added about another cup of frozen tricolored peppers.  I would just make it this way again next time, because it adds some more flavor (and color) and also cuts down a bit on the starchiness of this dish, which already has the tortillas, beans, and corn.

This is a filling dish that’s just a bit different from your standard “Mexican lasagna” (or “enchilada brick” as Tom so hilariously refers to it). It’s easy to make and fairly quick, especially if you make the bean mixture ahead of time.

(By the way, if you live in IL, or want to order online, check out Majave habanero hot sauce. It’s quickly become one of my favorites!)

 

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin December 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm

This reminds me (again) that I NEED to make this again soon. We made it several years ago and loved it, and I’m pretty sure it would be a big hit with Annie. Good idea to put in some peppers – might try that variation next time.

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Ivy December 5, 2011 at 12:44 am

A great way to make tortillas, much easier and sounds delicious.

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banana wonder December 5, 2011 at 1:24 am

mmmm this is calling me (and i second that grumble grumble with healthy stuff costing more). And is that Goose Is beer? just heard about them doing a case study on Widmier (they are all part of the CBA).

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elly December 5, 2011 at 8:10 am

It is Goose Island. It’s local, but I’d actually never tried the mild winter ale before. What’s the case study?

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Ann P. December 5, 2011 at 1:30 am

A medican black bean PIE is so ingenious, major props! and you cracked me up with your disgruntledness over organic/healthier food options, because i totally feel the same way! :)

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Joanne December 5, 2011 at 5:35 am

I’m always super frustrated by the 13 oz of pasta thing…who has time for such shenanigans! I buy the Garofalo brand since it gives you the full pound…or bionaturae…but they are pretty expensive for pasta.

This tortilla pie looks delicious! Like enchiladas but WAY easier to throw together.

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elly December 5, 2011 at 8:29 am

Bionaturae is definitely my favorite. I try to stock up when I go to WF, but generally forget. Hah.

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Cara December 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

Nice work, Elly! Can I just say, these are very pretty pics considering we all know how hard it is to photography casseroles nicely!

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Laura December 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Oh Elly, this looks divine! I’m getting ready to order some black beans from Rancho Gordo…this is definitely on my list to make once they arrive! I agree on the smaller amounts too, it is bullshit! :P

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Jenn @LeftoverQueen December 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm

This looks really good and welcome to your new space!

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branny December 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Yeah, at my store wheat products are more expensive AND stale since I’m the only one in a 30 mile radius that actually purchases them.

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Josie December 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm

You know, I never noticed about the pasta, but I checked my box today when I made dinner, and wouldn’t you know – 13.5 oz!! And of course I’ve made something similar to this before – probably an adapted version of this recipe because it sounds really close! Great pictures, too!!

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Tara @ Smells Like Home December 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm

You know I’m a sucker for Mexican/Tex Mex but this post does an ordinarily ho-hum tortilla pie SO much justice! Such great photos, Elly!!

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Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul December 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Mmmm…Love the idea of stacking the tortillas and making a oie. Oh! and I love the beer in the recipe too. In regards to healthier foods being more expensive, it’s the “cost” of being healthier (mad isn’t it?).

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Joan Nova December 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Your grumbles are well-taken…and I’m loving this tortilla pie. Have to try it.

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raquel December 7, 2011 at 11:55 pm

This looks wonderful! I’ll definitely have to give this a try soon! Even though I do eat meat, I really appreciate good vegetarian dishes.

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Jessica December 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I totally feel you on the odd weights of whole grain pastas. In general I prefer regular pasta, but my waist does not. I do however LOVE whole grain tortillas, and this looks soooo good!

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Kristy December 17, 2011 at 2:11 am

This was an OK dish on the first night, however, I originaly hoped this would re-heat well for leftovers. It did not. Not a good dish for singles who may invest lots of time chopping and mincing only to be left with dry leftovers. I will not be making this again. This is 1 of 2 recipes I decided to try from this blog. Here’s hoping that the 2nd turns out well and that I didn’t waste $100.00 in groceries.

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elly December 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. We enjoyed this the same night and subsequent days. The leftovers did get a bit soggy, but not dry.

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Kevin (Closet Cooking) January 1, 2012 at 9:27 am

This is one of my favourite kinds of pies! :)

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