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Growing up close to Mexico meant having authentic Mexican cooking in our home, as a way of life. It meant holding poblanos over the gas flame to char them, boiling nopalitos and mixing them with tomatoes, raw onion and cilantro, it meant albondigas soup. (It never meant an easy Keto, Paleo, GAPS Mexican dinner casserole, by the way; but we’re getting there!)
It meant chili rellenos on Friday nights.
Some were stuffed with meat, and some cheese. They were spicy and refined, silky and rich, surrounded by a bath of unadorned, smooth, hot tomato sauce. They were my dad’s favorite Mexican food. And they felt at once mysterious/other and like home.
Chile Relleno Casserole
Canned green chilies are one of the few prepared foods I still buy. For a busy mom that would NEVER at this stage in my life roast poblanos, their flavor brings me back to the comfort foods with which I grew up. This casserole is spicy, by the way, so get mild chilies and mild salsa if you don’t want heat.
It has all the classic elements of an old favorite, but in casserole form– which means an easy assembly; it can be made ahead of time if that’s helpful; it has a quick kitchen clean-up; then pop it in the oven. I love casseroles! They’re down home, yet special.
Serve topped with sour cream, fresh cilantro and olives.
Keto, GAPS, Paleo, egg-free Mexican casserole~
It’s a Keto, GAPS, and Paleo Mexican casserole, yes! Such a lovely dinner for all these diets. You’ll see the few variations below in the recipe, to make sure it’s right for you on the healing diet you’ve chosen! Enjoy!
- 2 pounds ground beef preferably pasture-raised
- 3 small onions diced, or 2 large (OR less, for stricter Keto, depending on personal preference)
- 1 cup water filtered
- 14 ounces (or about 1-1/2 cups) red salsa fresh pico de gallo or jarred, (homemade or store-bought)
- 8 ounces cheese grated (aged cheddar)
- 8 ounces whole green chilies canned, cut along one line and opened so they can be splayed
- 8 ounces diced green chilies canned
- 1 7-ounce jar tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons psyllium husk powder (NOT husks, see link below); for Paleo version use 2/3 cup cassava flour; for GAPS version/Keto variation use 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
- fresh cilantro, minced, for garnish
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large casserole dish, like a 9" by 13".
- In medium size bowl combine salsa, tomato paste and cumin, stirring well. Measure out 1 cup. Set aside.
- Combine in small bowl: psyllium husk powder, baking soda and optional cream of tartar. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl add the following: beef, water, the 1 cup portion of thickened salsa, onions, diced green chilies, apple cider vinegar, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Add the psyllium husk powder mixture to the large mixing bowl, and stir well again.
- Spread meat mixture into greased casserole. Top with remaining salsa. Lay whole green chilies (spread out) over the surface.
- Bake in preheated oven about 45 minutes, until bubbly around edges and slightly puffed all over. Remove from oven.
- Top casserole with grated cheese. Return casserole to hot oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is well melted, but not crispy (it should be soft and creamy on top).
- Serve with salad, sour cream and olives. Top with fresh cilantro.
Find psyllium husk powder here.
It’s an easy and delicious dinner! Are you ready to make this?