Kitchen Creations

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tex-Mex, Yes-Mex!

This post will fly in the face of many previous posts.  I have posted countless meat-less dishes, favorites of our mostly meatless family.  Recently, however, in an attempt to figure out what my body and stomach like and don't like, I embarked on the "Whole 30" journey.  Woah!  HARD!  I did find some absolutely terrific recipes and they have quickly become family favorites.  We tend toward the vegetable heavy meals, of which there are many.  I discovered this little gem at Popular Paleo while searching for a recipe for my friend and her family.  It was a large group and most of them were Paleo people.  I, of course, made a few alterations.  I just can't help it.  It looked and smelled so delicious I immediately made it for our family too.  What a winner!  Paleo or not, this meal will satisfy in EVERY way.  Lots of veggies, lots of flavor and it fills your tummy with good nutrition that keeps hunger at bay for a long, LONG time.

Flex your Tex-Mex muscle tonight with this casserole.  You won't be sorry!

PaleoTex-Mex Casserole   

1-2 lbs. of lean ground turkey
2 cups kale (you can also use spinach)
2-3 carrots, diced (about a cup)
1 parsnip, diced (about a cup and a half)
1 zucchini, diced (6″ zucchini/one cup)
2 cups diced bell peppers
1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes
3 TBSP preferred coconut oil (Paleo), olive oil (non-Paleo)
1/3 cup taco seasoning (or make your own)
1/2 tsp sea salt
5 cups shredded sweet potatoes (I have also used Yukon Gold and Russets on top).
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
For Garnish: fresh cilantro, green onions, avocado slices and/or hot sauce

1.)  Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
2.)  Prepare (chop/dice/mince) all vegetables
3.)  Melt the 1 1/2 Tbsp of the coconut oil (or heat the olive oil) in a large, heavy bottomed skillet or pan.
4.)  Add the kale, carrots, parsnip, zucchini, bell peppers, onions,and garlic.  Mix in sea salt and cook vegetables down until you are able to pierce them with a fork.  Remove from pan and set aside.
5.)  Heat the other 1 1/2 Tbsp of coconut, or olive oil, and add the ground turkey, combining it with the taco seasoning.  Mix and cook until brown.
6.)  While the meat is cooking, grate the sweet potatoes.  This task is a cinch with a food processor!  Three large sweet potatoes should give you 5 cups of grated.  Place grated potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
7.)  Melt the 1/2 cup of coconut oil and pour over the shredded potatoes while it is warm.  Waiting too long will allow the oil to cool and begin to solidify again.  
8.)  Sprinkle the potatoes with the onion powder, chili powder and ground coriander and mix in.

9.)  Now add the cooked vegetables, diced tomatoes and ground turkey back into the pan and heat for 3 minutes.
10.)  Transfer the mixture into a 9X13 baking dish and cover with the shredded sweet potatoes.

11.)  Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
12.)  Remove the foil and broil on low for 5-10 minutes, or until potatoes are browned.

***Hint:  As mentioned at Popular Paleo, this casserole is amazing when added to a fried egg in the morning!!!!!

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