Veggie Tortilla Pie for Meatless Monday

March 13 - Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions - this recipe from Smitten Kitchen is unreal! Seriously make these now.
March 14 - Veggie Tortilla Pie
March 15 - Rouladen with Spaetzle & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

OK so I made this for dinner on Pi Day, so I'm calling it Tortilla Pie just to be festive. Plus one of the inspiring recipes was called a Tortilla Pie, so that's what I'm going with.  Meatless Monday is always a bit of a challenge fro me because my gut always goes to pasta or some type of breakfast for dinner kind of thing.  Not only can I not repeat recipes, but I'm also trying to not over use the old faithful kinds of dishes that I know I can use different recipes or easily tweak to fit within the parameters of the challenge.  I initially had the same problems I always do coming up with a meatless recipe when I remember two similar and yet different takes on a Tortilla Pie from You Can't Eat What or Tortilla Casserole from Dishing the Divine, depending on who you ask.  Bon Appetit also had a Stacked Quesadilla recipe last month that also had a similar look and feel.  Each recipe stuck with me and I decided it was about time I come up with my own version.  I took what I consider to be the best from each treatment and came up with this yummy pie that the Boy didn't even realize was meatless.

In putting this recipe together I wanted something that came together fairly quickly without alot of active cooking time.  I love cooking, but don't love spending each and every day cooking all day. To make it even easier you can use leftover yams or sweet potatoes that were already cooked form another meal or even buy the kind you can steam in the microwave.

Veggie Tortilla Casserole
serves 6

1 large yam or sweet potato - cut in a 3/4" dice
5 white whole grain flour tortillas
1 19 oz can black beans, drained
3/4 cup fresh salsa, drained & separated
1/4 cup chopped smoked, dried tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (ONLY if using non-smoked tomatoes)
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & black pepper
sour cream & extra salsa for serving

1.  Heat the oven to 400F.  Toss the yam cubes in oil, salt & pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Keep the oven on.  Place the smoked dried tomatoes in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 20-30 minutes to rehydrate.
2.  In a large bowl pace the drained black beans, mash them so they are still chunky but resemble refried beans, more than whole beans.  Add in 1/4 cup of salsa and the smoked dried tomatoes (or sun dried tomatoes and liquid smoke).  Mix to combine.
3.  Press 1 tortilla in the bottom of a deep dish pie plate.  top with 1/3 of the black bean mixture and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Top with another tortilla, spread 1/4 cup of drained salsa and add 1/2 of the roasted yam cubes and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.  Repeat with 1 more bean layer and 1 more roasted yam layer.  Finish with the remaining tortilla, beans and cheese.
4. Cover with a lightly greased sheet of aluminum foil (this will keep the cheese from sticking, as I learned from Dishing the Divine and it works!) and place into the heated oven.  Bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into 6 pieces and serving.

I had a second taste tester for this one besides just the boy, my friend and producing partner DD came over after a super long day at work and gobbled up her piece and even happily took some home, luckily for me less leftovers!  Save for last week's chicken, the Boy is generally a fan of the things I make so i like to test things out on others every once in awhile and was happy that the Tortilla Pie was a winner for all of us.  I was happy to have a piece leftover for lunch though, from the savory smokey beans to the slight sweetness in the yam to just the right amount of cheese, this was really tasty.  We all loved the smoke so much that I suggested using a bit of liquid smoke if you don't have acces to smoked dried tomatoes.