a winning trifecta: tortilla pie


This past week was busy. Not only did I have my own design work and meetings to attend to, but I had to play corporate graphic designer at my old job, filling in for a old collegue on vacation. There wasn’t a lot of cooking or baking to be had. Instead, we ate leftovers, I tried and failed at a pasta/beet experiment, and we went out to the Foundation for natchos. You see, the Foundation has the best natchos ever. Smothered in cheese, corn and black beans and served with tubs of guacamole, sour cream and salsa, it’s an $8 spread that almost has me convinced that gobs of cheese can’t be that bad for you. With an icy cold beer, it’s the perfect thank-god-tomorrow-is-Friday kind of meal.


Inspired by the Foundation’s natchos, I wanted to recreate that delicious corn and bean awesomeness but without the artery clogging heavy cheese factor, so I decided to make a mexican pie of sorts. You can think of it as a Mexican lasagna using corn, beans and rice…the staples (or delicious trifecta) of latin cuisine. Cornelius and I both loved it…it was creamy without being heavy and it had a great spicy kick. It was simple to put together and perfect for an easy weeknight meal.

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22 comments to “a winning trifecta: tortilla pie”

  1. 1
    clairehelene7   November 18, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Oh. My. God. This looks marvelous. I have been making all sorts of your recipes lately. I should send you a thank you note. :)

  2. 2
    Joanne   November 18, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Well HELLO beans and rice!! This is right up my alley as I’ve been on a no meat kick for a couple of weeks now. Beans and I are best buds now.

    Ever since i started working outside the home again I no longer have the energy or desire to cook a different meal every day of the week, so I prepare a huge pot of something on Sunday (i.e. chili or bean stew) and top it up with plenty of rice(or quinoa) and package it up for the week to take to work…assembly line meals to go.

    Fast, economic and healthy.

  3. 3
    Rachel   November 18, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Oh yum. I love this idea.

  4. 4
    lobstersquad   November 18, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    sounds great. There´s a great tortilla crisis in Madrid, but when I locate my favourite brand again, I´ll be trying this.

  5. 5
    Mel   November 18, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    ooh this looks gorgeous! I must try it!

  6. 6
    Anonymous   November 19, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I have been a faithful reader of your blog for awhile now (really enjoy it) and I have question for you that is not food related at all.
    I am not sure how to contact you other than this way…my daughter in Vancouver is considering a career chage to graphic design which I know is what you do. Do you have any recs for schools, are there good job opportunites in the field. I am not sure how best to communicate with you about this. I could put my email address up and then you could delete it?
    Anyway if you could give any advice/direction for a young person wanting to enter the field it would be most appreciated.

  7. 7
    VeggieGirl   November 19, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    wow, you’ve been busy!! I’m glad you’re now able to have SOME time to cook.

    what a great-looking tortilla pie!! it’s always fun to remake/ base a recipe on restaurant-favorites :0)

  8. 8
    marisa   November 19, 2007 at 11:55 am

    This sounds like a better version of a somewhat successful strata I made. I must now go and prove that this is indeed true. Yum!

  9. 9
    ben   November 19, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Now that’s what I call being creative with Mexican food. I saw the picture on Recipes to Share flickr group and I had to know what it was. It looks delicious. I will definitely have to try it now.

  10. 10
    kickpleat   November 19, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    claire, i’m glad you’ve been making a bunch of my recipes and enjoying them :)

    joanne, for a beans & rice meal, this is pretty wonderful!

    rachel, it’s a pretty easy dish and super yum!

    mel, try it and i hope you like it as much as i did.

    lobstersquad, how can there be a tortilla crisis? ole!

    anon, you can reach me at jeannette AT matchboxcreative dot com

    marisa, stratas are great so i’m sure yours was lovely! this is pretty great too, i think :)

    it’s been a busy week, but things are back to normal now, veggiegirl! phew ;)

    ben, glad you stopped by for a peek. try it and let me know how it goes!

  11. 11
    Judy   November 21, 2007 at 5:34 am

    Ooh, this sounds good. I am so craving cheesy greasy nacho type food lately, and I think this would hit the spot.

  12. 12
    Cookie baker Lynn   November 21, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Delicious! I love quick and easy meals. This definitely goes in the keeper pile..

  13. 13
    kickpleat   November 21, 2007 at 10:48 am

    judy, this is perfect and there really isn’t that much cheese. it’s the beans and rice that make it creamy. so good!

    beth, so true about the kidney bean. black beans and so much better. yum.

    yup, lynn, this is a snap to make!

  14. 14
    beth   November 21, 2007 at 7:22 am

    I’ve discovered that baking things covered in cheese is my forte. I guess it’s not so much that I’m good at it, as you can’t go wrong! This sounds delicious, but remarkably like a dish I myself would create. Black beans and cheese and rice and tortillas are definitely inseperable in my head due to their deliciousness when together.
    I can’t figure out what, exactly, is so yummy about black beans when compared to other beans. Maybe it’s just the ‘they’re-not-the-kidney-beans-of-your-youth’ factor.
    I’ve heard they have extra nutrition in them too, as indicated by their dark colour (and we know that the darker the colour, the greater the vitamin content). So perhaps that cancels out all that ooooey gooeeey cheeeese.

  15. 15
    Butters and Johnnycakes   November 21, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    This looks fabulous! I love the “pie” concept and I like the idea of adding rice. My husband will love this!

  16. 16
    Cakespy   November 22, 2007 at 10:14 am

    This looks exceedingly hearty and yum, perfect for a cold day in my neck of the woods here in Seattle. And perfect with a margarita.

  17. 17
    Jen   November 23, 2007 at 1:45 am

    Just wanted to leave a note saying that I made this last night with some leftover chilli. Oh. My. God. It was soooooo good! And absolutely spot on for this cold, cold weather we’re having. Thanks Kickpleat!

  18. 18
    kickpleat   November 23, 2007 at 11:34 am

    butters, give this a try. you and your husband will both love it, i’m sure :)

    cakespy, a margarita, indeed!

    jen, glad you enjoyed this.

  19. 19
    bowiechick   November 27, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Finally got around to making your Tortilla Pie.

    Once again, fantastic! I have a vegan roommate and the rest of them are fairly hard core carnivores. It is a great dish as I can do most of the prep and make a small part vegan for her and still satisfy the rest of them.

    This will become a staple. THANKS!

  20. 20
    kickpleat   December 6, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    bowiechick, glad you loved the pie! i’m glad you were able to make alterations to suit your vegan friend. awesome!

  21. 21
    Julia   July 19, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    I love the idea of turning the ingredients of soething you love into something else entirely. And I agree it looks much better for not being loaded down with cheese.

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