Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Welcome to the enchilada casserole – the perfect busy girl’s Mexican comfort meal. By turning the enchiladas into a casserole, you save tons of time that you would have spent rolling each enchilada individually and can better use that time to do homework, do your hair, vacuum the living room….all those things I wish I had more time to do. Basically you take all the ingredients, layer them in a baking dish, and throw it in the oven. So easy and relatively mess-free. This is also a great vegetarian meal; since it’s so hearty and filling, you won’t even miss the meat! But don’t worry, there’s plenty of cheese. You always need cheese. 🙂








Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Adapted from: Cooking Light Magazine


  • 20 oz enchilada sauce
  • 18 small corn tortillas
  • 1 1/4 lbs butternut squash, peeled and sliced into small cubes
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can green chilis, diced (not drained)
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Salsa, hot sauce, and sour cream for toppings, if desired


1.) Heat oven to 375 F. Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and top with 6 tortillas, evenly spaced (might overlap). Top with one more cup of the sauce, a third of the squash, a third of the beans, and 1 cup of the cheese, spreading all evenly. Repeat this layering two more times, saving the final cup of cheese. The baking dish might be full but that’s ok!

2.) Cover with foil and bake for one hour or until squash is tender. Then uncover, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, and broil for about 2 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving, then top with desired toppings.


BBQ Chickpea Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing

I love my salads, and while I do have a favorite (hello, feta and avocado), I still like to switch things up every now and then. So since summer is right around the corner, I decided a BBQ salad would be perfect for the hot days ahead. I’ve also been trying to cut down my meat intake, so I liked that this was a meatless twist on the usual meat-centered BBQ dishes. The chickpeas take on the smoky flavor of the BBQ sauce, and the avocado dressing adds a fresh taste to the salad. I didn’t do a good job of stretching the dressing (oops) so it only made enough for 5 salads, while the chickpeas made 6 servings. But you can use more or less dressing as you please, or double the batch! I bet it would make a yummy veggie dip as well. I am including the recipe for the BBQ chickpeas and avocado ranch dressing, but I’m leaving the salad part to you – make it with whatever your favorite ingredients are!











BBQ Chickpeas

  • Servings: 6 servings
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Adapted from: The Garden Grazer


  • 2 cans chickpeas (15 oz each)
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce

1.) Drain and rinse chickpeas. In a saucepan over medium-low heat,simmer the chickpeas with the BBQ sauce, stirring frequently. Add any spices you’d like, or more BBQ sauce!

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 165
Fat 2 g (0 g saturated)
Fiber 7 g
Carbs 31 g
Sodium 473 mg
Protein 7 g

Avocado Ranch Dressing

Adapted from: The Garden Grazer


  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (plain, unsweetened)
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
  • 1 tsp dried onion
  • 1.5 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste (I used about a tsp)

1.) In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more seasonings to taste. Will last about 3-5 days in the fridge.

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 58
Fat 5 g (1 g saturated)
Fiber 1 g
Carbs 2 g
Sodium 233 mg
Protein 1 g

Mexican Fiesta Salad

We all know how much I love Mexican food. Basically an obsession. If I were to ever turn down a taco (or a margarita), be worried, because the world may be ending. So when I needed to switch up my salad routine, I naturally decided to add some Mexican flair. Nothing is better than the combination of avocado, salsa, corn, black beans, cumin…yum! I bet some ground turkey or chicken with taco seasoning would have stepped this salad up a notch, but since it was my first week in the apartment and I didn’t have a lot of time to cook, I made it meat-free. That’s what I love about salads – so versatile, yet such a great way to get your veggies in! This is an entree-sized salad, so it’s enough to keep you full for a meal, but you could also make it as a side dish to go along with other Mexican favorites. Enjoy this colorful and delicious salad, margarita optional 😉



Mexican Fiesta Salad

  • Servings: 6 entree servings or 12 side salads
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  • 1 lb spring mix
  • 1 can reduced sodium black beans, drained
  • 1 can roasted corn, drained
  • 1 container grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp  ground cumin
  • 3 small avocados, sliced
  • 4.5 tbsp cilantro lime ranch (found it at Walmart!)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1.) Top spring mix with black beans, corn, tomatoes, green pepper, sunflower seeds, and cumin. If serving the salad right away, top with rest of ingredients and toss. If eating one serving at a time, top each serving with 1/2 an avocado, 2 tbsp salsa, 3/4 tbsp cilantro lime ranch, and 1/2 tbsp oil. Enjoy!

Nutrition Info (Per serving, from My Fitness Pal):

Calories 466
Fat 31 g (4 g saturated)
Fiber 14 g
Carbs 39 g
Sodium 555 mg
Protein 14 g