Jon and Hannah are both fans of most things Mexican, as long as you leave out the onions and peppers & you make the tomatoes undetectable. They love nachos, quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas, Mexican pizzas and burritos. The thing I love about them loving the previous mentioned items is that they are easy to prepare and most are naturally gluten-free. The only sub I have to make is for the tortillas in the quesadillas & burritos. I could make the quesadillas with smaller corn tortillas, but we prefer the larger ones. For the tortillas I either use La Tortilla Factory Light or Dark Teff Tortillas or Food for Life’s Brown Rice Tortillas. If I don’t have one of the above items on the menu each week, boy do I hear about it!
I am going to share some of our favorite ways to eat Mexican below.
Easy Enchilada Bake
- 1 pound ground meat (turkey or beef or even crumbled tofu would work)
- Taco seasoning for the meat
- 1-2 cans refried beans (Trader Joe’s, Old El Paso & Ortega are all GF)
- 2 cans Hormel Chili w/Beans (some of the other varieties are not GF, so make sure to read the label)
- 10 – 12 corn tortillas
- Cheddar Cheese (I used almost 2 cups)
- Onions, olives, jalapenos (optional to add in before wrapping up the enchilada)
- Brown ground meat and add taco seasoning per directions on packet or container.
- Preheat oven to 350 and warm up your beans and chili.
- Warm your tortillas up in micro according to pkg. directions.
- Spread a little chili (not too much, you need to top the whole casserole with chili at the end) in the bottom of a glass pyrex dish.
- Start to assemble your enchiladas: tortilla, beans, meat, cheese…then roll up and place seam side down in pyrex dish. Repeat until you are done. I do 6-8 length wise, then I stuff the remainder in along the side.
- Top with remaining chili and then cheese. Cover and bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until cheese is all melty and casserole is bubbly.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes; cut and serve.
*This is a different take on the ones the kids like (refried beans, taco meat & cheese)
My different take on a Mexican Pizza:
- black beans (drained & rinsed) mixed with a touch of sriracha
- crumbled goat cheese
- chopped tomatoes
- plain Greek Fage
- Frank’s Red Hot
- corn tortillas
- Take soft corn tortillas & place them on an oven sheet @ 350 for about 10 minutes on one side & 3-4 minutes on the other side, until crisp, but not overdone.
- Top with the bean mixture & goat cheese and pop back in the oven until the cheese gets soft & melty.
- Top with remaining toppings & any additional that you wish to add.
Making Nachos is like painting a picture. You start with a blank canvas (the chips) and then add your different colors & interpretations (toppings) to the canvas. My kids like them rather bland & cheesy.
- Bag of tortilla chips (we like Tostitos Scoops Baked)
- 1-2 can of Hormel Chili w/Beans
- Sour Cream
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spread chips out on baking sheet & top with warmed chili & cheese.
- Bake until cheese & chili are bubbly – about 10 or so minutes.
- Top with sour cream & enjoy.
I like to add olives, lettuce, tomatoes, banana peppers, sriracha or Red Hot to mine, too. I also sub out the chili for refried beans on occasion.
Again, Quesadillas can be made any way you want them to be. The kids love refried beans & cheese. I prefer things a little more wacky.
- Lentils seasoned with taco seasoning
- Roasted vegetables (zucchini, carrots & eggplant)
- Feta Cheese
- Gluten-Free Flour Tortilla
- Red Hot or Sriracha
- Spray frying pan with Pam & heat over med – med-high heat.
- Warm tortilla for a short period (no more than 15 – 30 seconds) in the microwave to make it pliable.
- Fill with your goodies, old & place in pan. Spray top of quesadilla with Pam
- Cook on one side until the underside is slightly browned.
- Flip & cook until browned & warmed throughout.
For my burritos I like to re-create the Chipotle burrito. I love the cilantro-lime rice that Chipotle makes, so I will often cook up some basmati rice & season with S & P, fresh lime juice & cilantro just so I can stuff it in a burrito. I have only had success making burritos with the La Tortilla Factory GF Tortillas. The Food for Life Tortillas work great for wraps or quesadillas, but not so well for all the folding involved with the burrito. Even the La Tortilla Factory Tortillas must be handled with care & heated to just the right temperature before filling & folding. If it ends up cracking, it still tastes good, right? That is what counts. Now, onto the process.
- Cilantro-Lime Rice
- Refried Beans
- Taco Seasoned Lentils or Meat
- Cheddar Cheese
- Banana Peppers
- Black Olives
- Tomatoes (cut out the seeds to avoid a soggy mess)
Place the warm fillings on top of the warm tortilla & gently fold. Bake at 350 for 10 or so minutes or until lightly browned. Top with hot sauce or salsa. I am sorry that I don’t have a picture of my latest creation, but it was devoured too quickly!
As you can see there are many simple, gluten-free Mexican meals that can be made right in your own home.