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Dual Dining – Southwestern Black Bean Casserole

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I have to sing my husband’s praises a little bit.  He is a major meat-eater, but he has really started to become more open minded about my new dietary choices.  Yesterday, he brought me a recipe that could easily be made vegan and asked me to make it for dinner tonight.  It’s Southwestern Black Bean Casserole, found here.

We were expecting some friends over, so I made it with both vegan and traditional cheese.  It came out about 40% vegan and 60% otherwise.  I carefully sprinkled the cheese so that it would be easy to cut and separate the servings by diet.

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (15oz) cans black beans, drained
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 low-sodium whole-wheat tortillas (or 6 corn tortillas)
12 ounces salsa, no added sugar
1 cup shredded 2% Cheddar cheese / Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
1 (2.25oz) can sliced olives (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 375°.

2.  Drain beans, set aside.  In a medium skillet, add oil; heat over medium-low heat.  Add garlic, and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.

3.  Add black beans and broth, and continue cooking approximately 3 minutes.  Add cumin, black pepper, salt, and cilantro; stir to combine.

4.  Spray the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray (I used a 7×11 inch casserole dish and it worked just fine).  Add a tortilla (or tortillas if you are using a rectangular dish), a layer of black bean mixture,  a layer of salsa, and a layer of cheese; continue layering until all ingredients have been used. Top casserole with remaining cheese.  I sprinkled sliced olives on top of mine.

5.  Cover casserole dish with foil, and bake approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil, and continue cooking 8–10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Southwestern Black Bean Casserole | A Vegan in Progress

Daiya Vegan Cheese on the right, regular cheese on the left

Next time, to make things simpler, I will probably just use two smaller Pyrex dishes for the different cheeses so there is no chance if it melting over to the other side.  You can see very clearly in the photo above the two different types of cheeses.  In terms of taste, I found the Daiya cheese to be a close replica of its dairy counterpart.  In terms of looks, it doesn’t melt nearly as well as regular cheese and is slightly unappetizing for those who aren’t used to it.  The recipe is very simple, tasty, and easily customizable so we will probably make it again.  Everyone enjoyed it enough for seconds.


About mrsnikkiv

I blog to document my experience transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

3 responses »

  1. luminousvegans

    Looks great. Next time make it all vegan, don’t tell them and see if anyone says anything 🙂 I do that a lot and nobody can tell.

  2. This looks really great. I’ve been vegan for 15 years, but my husband is an omnivore – I have a pyrex that has two separate sections so I would likely use that. Thanks for sharing!


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