Chipotle Beef Black Bean & Spinach Enchilada "Lasagna"

What happens when you can't decide between enchiladas or lasagna?

You make them both. Well sort of...

I really, really, really wanted to make lasagna or bolognese or something Italian and cheesy. The problem was, is that I'm one of those people who has to have every little ingredient when I cook something, or else I won't make that dish. And on this night, we didn't have lasagna noodles, so that was obviously out, and we were also out of carrots, which to me is crucial in making a bolognese sauce.

Another one of my flaws when it comes to cooking, or anything really, is that I HATE when people give me ideas. I know, it's bad.
I can't help it. I just like to do everything myself, even the brainstorming part. I always ask people what I should make, especially if I'm cooking for them, but once they say what they actually want, I suddenly get this feeling that I can't make it since it wasn't my idea.
The point is, I need to work on a few things...

My parents were wanting Mexican food extremely bad on this particular night, and after hearing them say "make enchiladas or tacos", I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
After wandering around the kitchen, pacing from fridge to pantry, trying to get ideas for at least an hour, I finally sucked it up and pulled out the ingredients to make enchiladas.

I actually find it kind of funny how often my recipes are made because of mistakes...
After using all of the tomato sauce and chipotles in the filling, adding to the lengthy list of ingredients we were out of, I realized I had no extra sauce for layering.

I guess this is when my Italian cravings kicked back in because I started layering everything like lasagna.

Then the Enchilada Lasagna was born...

Chipotle Enchilada Bake
Serves 4-5

4 flour tortillas (medium)
1 lb. ground chuck beef
4 oz. ground chorizo 
1 can black beans- strained and washed
2 cups + 3 cups fresh spinach 
1 sweet onion- diced
2 fresh jalapeños- 1 diced w/ seeds & 1 into thin slices w/o seeds
2 garlic cloves- minced
1 can chipotles in adobo sauce- roughly chopped + sauce
1 large tomato- diced into 1/2-1 inch cubes
2 tbs. olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 lime- juice
1/2 tsp. chili powder and chipotle pepper powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded queso cheese 
fresh cilantro, lime, & avocado for topping

Pre-heat oven to 375º.
Grill, or toast, the tortillas until lightly toasted.
Sauce the garlic, onion, and diced jalapeño with a pinch of salt and pepper in a heated pan with the olive oil, over medium-high heat.
Cook down until softened and caramelized. Add the chili and chipotle powder and stir to combine. Add the ground beef and chorizo, and break apart with a rubber spatula to combine. Cook until all pink is gone, stirring every minute. Turn off heat and fold in fresh tomato and 2 cups spinach.
In a baking dish, ladle a little bit of sauce from the mixture into the bottom of a 13 inch casserole dish. Lay 2 tortillas on the bottom, add half of the meat mixture. Then layer 1/2 of the beans and 1/2 cup fresh spinach. Top with 1 cup cheese. Lay the other 2 tortillas, rest of the meat mixture, beans, and spinach on top. Top with the rest of cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until set and cheese is melted.
Broil the jalapeño strips until charred.
Serve with cilantro, lime, avocado, and charred jalapeños.

Can I just throw in there that anything Mex-Italian, and insanely cheesy, is pretty dang delicious...

                                                                                                              -Cecilia A.


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