Stack & Bake Mexican Meal-in-One

     We had our first Mexican Meal-in-One is a restaurant in Salina, Ks. It started with a fried shell that was topped with refried beans, seasoned beef or pork, lettuce, tomatoes, and lots of cheese. 
     It an attempt to create a healthier version that captures similar flavors, I experimented with this baked version, cutting down on the cheese in the process. Of course, all of the amounts are variable. 
     I stacked it all up in a springform pan for easy cutting. By the way, I  wrote the recipe for a standard size springform pan . . .  but for the two of us I actually used a smaller size that I fitted with 6-inch tortillas, and I halved the amount of ingredients  listed below.

Stack & Bake Mexican Meal-in-One
1 lb. lean ground pork or ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or use a 1.25 oz. commercial pkg.) + ½ cup water
3 large (8-inch size) flour tortillas
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 cup salsa
¾ to 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Topping could include: chopped tomatoes, cubed avocado, shredded lettuce, sour cream

1.  Add ground pork or beef to a hot Dutch oven or skillet. Also add diced onion and pepper and cook over medium heat until meat has browned and vegetables are tender. Drain excess grease if needed.

2.  Add in taco seasoning + water and let mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
3.  Spray an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. While an 8-inch round cake pan will work, the springform pan with removable sides, makes it easy to cut the finished dish.
4.  For the 1st layer, add ingredients in the following order:
a.     Place a flour tortilla on the bottom of the pan.
b.     Spread about ⅓ of the refried beans.

c.     Add about ⅓ of the taco meat filling.
d.     Add about ⅓ of the salsa.

e.     Sprinkle with ⅓ of the cheese.

5.  For 2nd & 3rd layers, repeat layering listed above.

6.  Bake in a preheat 350° for 20 to 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, and cheese is nicely browned.
7.  Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting. Add toppings of your choice, such as chopped tomatoes, cubed avocado, shredded lettuce and sour cream.



Recipe without photos . . .
Stack & Bake Mexican Meal-in-One
1 lb. lean ground pork or ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or use a 1.25 oz. commercial pkg.) + ½ cup water
3 large (8-inch size) flour tortillas
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 cup salsa
¾ to 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Topping could include: chopped tomatoes, cubed avocado, shredded lettuce, sour cream

1.  Add ground pork or beef to a hot Dutch oven or skillet. Also add diced onion and pepper and cook over medium heat until meat has browned and vegetables are tender. Drain excess grease if needed.
2.  Add in taco seasoning + water and let mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
3.  Spray an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. While an 8-inch round cake pan will work, the springform pan with removable sides, makes it easy to cut the finished dish.
4.  For the 1st layer, add ingredients in the following order:
a.     Place a flour tortilla on the bottom of the pan.
b.     Spread about ⅓ of the refried beans.
c.     Add about ⅓ of the taco meat filling.
d.     Add about ⅓ of the salsa.
e.     Sprinkle with ⅓ of the cheese.
5.  For 2nd & 3rd layers, repeat layering listed above.
6.  Bake in a preheat 350° for 20 to 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, and cheese is nicely browned.
7.  Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting. Add toppings of your choice, such as chopped tomatoes, cubed avocado, shredded lettuce and sour cream.


Multigrain goodness . . . Seven Grain Bread

Even before multi-grain breads were popular, Pauline Sims shared this recipe with me. The seven grains create a hearty, compact and dense bread that is full of  texture and flavor. Great for toast  especially with Crabapple Jelly.





Seven Grain Bread   Makes 3 standard sized loaves
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) butter
⅓ cup honey
2 cups scalded milk (heat to about 150°)
1 tablespoon salt
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour (I often use part white whole wheat flour which helps gives a higher volume & less dense bread than regular whole wheat flour; like regular whole wheat, it boosts the nutritional value of the bread)
½ cup cracked wheat (bulger may be used if cracked wheat is not available)
½ cup wheat bran (oat bran may be substuited if wheat bran is not available)
¼ cup sesame seeds
⅓ cup soy flour (if you can’t find this, use additional whole wheat or all-purpose flour in its place)
2 cups old-fashioned oats (uncooked)
⅓ cup sunflower seeds 

Cut up butter; put into large bowl with honey and scalded milk. 

Add the remaining ingredients (salt to sunflower seeds) and beat well. Cool 10 minutes.

Mix in another small bowl and let stand until foamy, then beat into above batter:
     ⅔ cup warm water (110°)
     Pinch of granulated sugar
     Pinch of ground ginger
    1 (¼ oz.) pkg. active dry yeast (or scant 1 tablespoon)
The yeast mixture is beginning to bubble.
I use the flat blade of the Kitchen Aid mixer for the initial mixing (above) but then change to the dough hook (below).

The original recipes then says to now add . . . 2 ½ to 3 cups all-purpose flour. However, I never need this much, so add just enough all-purpose flour to create a kneadable and soft dough; avoid adding too much flour at this point (amount may vary due to protein content of the flours used in this recipe &/or the level of humidity).

Knead 10 minutes (won’t be smooth and satiny as is typical of other kneaded doughs).
Oil the suface of the dough; then cover and let rise until double in bulk (1½ hours). 
Kneaded dough just added to the bowl.
Expanded dough after 1 1/2 hour rise time.
Divide dough into thirds and form into loaves, pulling seams to underside of loaves.
I use a Bench Knife to divide the dough into thirds.
Flatten and roll each piece of dough.
Roll up dough, pulling seam to underneath side of loaf.
Place shaped loaves (seam side down) in three well greased loaf pans. 
Cover and let rise again, for about 30 to 40 minutes or until loaves have about doubled in bulk. Then, cut slashes in tops of loaves.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.

Recipe without photos . . .
Seven Grain Bread       Makes 3 standard sized loaves
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) butter
⅓ cup honey
2 cups scalded milk (heat to about 150°)
1 tablespoon salt
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour (I often use part white whole wheat flour which helps gives a higher volume & less dense bread than regular whole wheat flour; like regular whole wheat, it boosts the nutritional value of the bread)
½ cup cracked wheat (bulger may be used if cracked wheat is not available)
½ cup wheat bran (oat bran may be substuited if wheat bran is not available)
¼ cup sesame seeds
⅓ cup soy flour (if you can’t find this, use additional whole wheat or all-purpose flour in its place)
2 cups old-fashioned oats (uncooked)
⅓ cup sunflower seeds 

Cut up butter; put into large bowl with honey and scalded milk. 
Add the remaining ingredients (salt to sunflower seeds) and beat well. Cool 10 minutes.

Mix in another small bowl and let stand until foamy, then beat into above batter:
     ⅔ cup warm water (110°)
     Pinch of granulated sugar
     Pinch of ground ginger
    1 (¼ oz.) pkg. active dry yeast (or scant 1 tablespoon)

The original recipes then says to add . . . 2 ½ to 3 cups all-purpose flour. However, I never need this much, so add just enough all-purpose flour to create a kneadable and soft  dough; avoid adding too much flour at this point (amount may vary due to protein content of the flours used in this recipe &/or the level of humidity)

Knead 10 minutes (won’t be smooth and satiny as is typical of other kneaded doughs).
Oil the suface of the dough; then cover and let rise until double in bulk (1½ hours). 
Divide dough into thirds and form into loaves, pulling seams to underside of loaves.

Place shaped loaves (seam side down) in three well greased loaf pans. 
Cover and let rise again, for about 30 to 40 minutes or until loaves have about doubled in bulk. Then, cut slashes in top of loaves.
Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.

Individual Fresh Peach Cobblers — perfect during peach season

     It’s peach season and we’ve been enjoyed fresh peaches and cream (actually Greek Gods® Honey and Vanilla Greek yogurt which as good as, or better than cream) almost every day.
    Then I started thinking about my Mom’s Cobbler Recipe and decided to downsize it to make just two individual servings.  Here’s what I did . . . 

Individual Peach Cobblers
½ cup granulated sugar
½  cup all-purpose flour
½ stick (4 Tbsp.) butter, softened
1 egg
Fruit – in this case fresh peaches, peeled and cut to cover bottom half of tart and sweetened to taste with sugar + a little cinnamon.                  
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Spray individaul tart dishes. (I used 4" dishes which made for large individual portion but fresh peach season is only once a year!)
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, butter and egg. 

  3. Arrange fruit in  prepared tarts; spread batter over the 2 tarts—it does not have to cover every surface.


  4. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown. 
  5. Serve warm or cold; great with Greek Gods® Honey and Vanilla Greek yogurt, ice cream or whipped cream.
Recipe without photos . . .
Individual Peach Cobblers
½ cup granulated sugar
½  cup all-purpose flour
½ stick (4 Tbsp.) butter, softened
1 egg
Fruit – in this case fresh peaches, peeled and cut to cover bottom half of tart and sweetened to taste with sugar + a little cinnamon.                  
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Spray individaul tart dishes. (I used 4" dishes which made for large individual portion but fresh peach season is only once a year!)
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, butter and egg. 
  3. Arrange fruit in  prepared tarts; spread batter over the 2 tarts—it does not have to cover every surface.
  4. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown. 
  5. Serve warm or cold; great with Greek Gods® Honey and Vanilla Greek yogurt, ice cream or whipped cream.