Eat More Veggies Taco Pie

  Summer has definitely arrived here in Michigan and it’s melting my brain too much for me to come up with something clever to say about this dish…so lets just go with “you want to try this” and get cooking.
1/2 lb lean ground beef
3.8 oz black olives (1/4 c reserved for salsa)
1 onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
6 oz kale, rinsed, tough center ribs removed, and chopped
3/4 c water
3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
14.5 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes (with juice)
3 Tbsp ketchup
1.5 tsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 whole wheat soft tortillas
Olive Salsa:
1/4 c black olives
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/4 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 pinch black pepper

  Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.
  On your stove top, brown your meat over medium heat.  When the meat is cooked, scoop it out and set it aside.  The original recipe calls for you to now drain the beef fat and go so far as to wipe out the skillet before adding olive oil back in to saute your vegetables.  We aren’t doing that nonsense.  We’ve got delicious beef fat to saute our veggies and we’re going to USE it.
  Add your onion and bell pepper to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes til everything starts to soften.  Turn the heat up a little to medium high and add your kale and 1/4 cup of water.  Put a lid on the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add your garlic and cook for another minute before stirring in another 1/2 cup of water, your olives (except for the reserved 1/4 c), canned tomatoes, ketchup, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper.  Turn the heat back down to medium and cook for around 10 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.
  While your vegetables cook grease a large (6 cup) casserole dish.  If you have time, feel free to start on the olive salsa, but don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for it while this bakes too!
  When most of your liquid has finished evaporating, remove your vegetables from heat, mix in your meat and begin to assemble the casserole.  Start by spreading around 1/2 c of the meat and veggies into the bottom of your dish and place a tortilla shell on top.  Spread 1/3 of the remaining mix on top of the shell and cover with 1/3 of your cheese.  Top with your 2nd tortilla shell and repeat, ending with cheese.
  Put everything into the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese on top melts and starts to brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  While your casserole bakes, combine all of your ingredients for the olive salsa and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve.
  So I’m starting to develop a theory that anything called “pie” turns out delicious.  Shepard’s Pie, Cheeseburger Pie, Spinach Pie…all delicious!  This is no exception.  The author of the original recipe seems to have something against fats…she wants to get rid of the beef fat and says the salsa is so you don’t need to add things like extra cheese or sour cream.  Obviously I added the salsa AND sour cream.  I love vegetables, but come on folks, this doesn’t need to be an either/or kind of situation.

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