Chili Dog Casserole

This is what I call a “Pinterest made me do it” meal … which with my alterations made it turn out to be quite a fail.
I didn’t use the exact recipe as listed on Pinterest, because I switched up the recipe to use the ingredients I had on hand (canned vegetarian chili, canned sauce and Joseph’s flax oat bran whole wheat tortillas). If eaten hot, it wasn’t bad … but when it had the opportunity to sit and cool the tortillas I used got soggy and all around disgusting. I also found I really wasn’t a fan of the Smart Dogs flavoring. I have tried vegetarian hot dogs in the past and found some can be hit or miss and the Smart Dogs were just a complete miss on my taste buds. Where I think I went completely wrong was adding in extra sauce to thin the chili out – if I had left it alone I think the tortillas would have held up a lot better.
The dish itself certainly looked delicious and I may actually recreate this some time using the chili listed in the original recipe, but using a tortilla that can hold up a bit better, and I may just use lean beef hot dogs since I do enjoy those.
You win some, you lose some.

Taco Junk

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Ahh, Taco Junk! I never knew how amazing this dish was until I finally gave it a try. I’ve tried trashy taco soup in the past, but that was soup and not like “taco mix”. I stumbled upon this thanks to Pinterest. There was a picture pinned of canned food items lined up alongside taco and ranch seasoning, so I clicked on it because I was curious.  And I’m glad I did.
Not only is this dish exceptionally easy to whip together, but it’s cooked in the crock pot and the end result is utterly delicious. So delicious that I’ve been asked on multiple occasions (in a week’s time frame) as to when I was going to make it again.  It’s that good; that I’m pretty sure it’s going to be on this upcoming week’s dinner menu.
The original recipe has all canned ingredients being used with your choice of either ground beef or turkey, but I switched it up just a little bit as I do with all my cooking.  I added in onion and McCormick Montreal steak seasoning, opted for frozen fire roasted corn and decided to not use the salsa that was listed in a few recipes.  The end result was a nicely thickened taco mixture, which as it sat away from heat got thicker and even more delicious. Definitely a winner for all taco lovers alike!
Serves 13. 3 Points Plus. ½ cup serving size.
Ingredients:
  • 20 oz. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal steak seasoning (optional)
  • 14 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 ½ cups frozen fire roasted corn (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning, reduced sodium
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
In a non-stick skillet combine onion, ground turkey and Montreal steak seasoning and cook together until browned and no longer pink.
Transfer meat and onion mixture to a crock pot. Add in taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, drained and rinsed beans, canned diced tomatoes and frozen corn.  Roughly 2 hours in give everything a gentle stir to get everything nicely incorporated.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Stir to combine all ingredients.
Serve immediately or allow to cool for 20-30 minutes to thicken up slightly.