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Taco Casserole by Ashley Iovinelli

Taco Casserole by Ashley Iovinelli

I am a certified integrative nutrition coach, recipe developer, holistic mom, and the founder of Wheatgrass Warrior (@wheatgrass_warrior). I preach the “real food diet,” and I love working with brands to develop healthy recipes!

I also enjoy sharing my wellness and nutrition insights with media publications, and have contributed to The Today Show Online, Shape Magazine, Cafe Mom, and Buzzfeed. I am honored to have been named “Foodie Mom of the Year” by Glancer Magazine and a “Trailblazer to Watch” by Voyage Chicago. 

When I’m not in the kitchen or coaching my clients—I am practicing yoga, rocking out to oldies, watching re-runs of Friends, reading, cheering on Chicago sports and finding joy with my 4-year-old son, husband and our dog Prim (who is in fact named after the Hunger Games by the shelter we adopted her from). I'm also a Lyme disease and chronic illness advocate. And to answer the burning question of what’s my favorite food? Tacos, of course!! 

Taco Casserole

Ingredients

Casserole:

  • 2 packs of Grain Free Almond Flour Tortillas

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef

  • 1 can garbanzo beans

  • 1 can black beans

  • 2 bell peppers (color of your choice) diced

  • 2 large romaine lettuce leaves chopped

  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro chopped

  • 1 cup shredded dairy-free cheese

  • 1 container of Mild Nacho Cashew Queso

  • 1/2 avocado diced

  • 1 fresh lime or 1 tsp lime juice

  • 1 small jar of salsa (corn and black bean works great)

Taco Seasoning:

  • 1 garlic clove pressed

  • 1 tbs cumin

  • 2 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 tsp of pink salt + pepper

  • Traditional Hot Sauce (to taste)

  • 1/2 cup of water

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground beef in large pan on stove top, mix with taco seasoning ingredients (garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, onion, oregano, pink salt/pepper and 1/2 cup water) simmer 3-5 minutes on low. Then, stir in garbanzo beans, black beans and diced bell peppers; cook on low to medium heat until peppers begin to soften. 

2. Add a few drops of Traditional Hot Sauce and entire small jar of salsa to the meat/bean/peppers and mix well. Toss in a handful of chopped fresh cilantro. Stir and warm for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. 

3. Grease the bottom of a large glass casserole dish—pour some olive oil on a paper towel and rub it along the bottom and sides of the pan in order to make sure the entire dish is coated. 

4. Lay and stagger 3-4 tortillas on the bottom of the casserole dish for the first layer. Then, cover the tortillas with the meat/veggie/salsa mixture. Next, spoon and spread on Cashew Queso. Repeat on the next layer by adding another 3-4 tortillas, then the salsa mixture, then queso. Repeat one more time for the top layer, and instead of using the queso this time, sprinkle 1 cup of shredded dairy-free cheese over the top layer. Finish with any extra sauce over the top to taste.

5. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until tortillas are crispy. Let cool and top with chopped romaine lettuce, additional fresh chopped cilantro and diced avocado--can also drizzle on some fresh lime juice and extra hot sauce to your preference. Cut with a knife and serve with a spatula.

TIP: Add avocado until serving individual pieces, so it doesn’t brown. Preserve your avocado with a splash of lemon juice with the pit intact.

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