Hands down, the worst thing about switching to a strict Paleo diet is its systematic eradication of all good Mexican food. No tortillas (corn or flour), no beans, no rice, and no cheese? Sheesh. Even with our adjusted version of the diet (which includes dairy and rice), Mexican food still doesn’t seem as tantalizing. I’ve been experimenting a bit and have finally come up with a tortilla-free recipe that it worth sharing – despite the fact that it looks alarmingly like a casserole.
This recipe liberally uses queso fresco, which you should be able to find in any international food market. It’s a mild white cheese that’s used in most authentic Mexican dishes.
1 lb ground beef
1 package Frontera red enchilada sauce (gluten free)
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1/2 cup melting cheese (monterey jack, etc)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
In a pan on medium heat, cook the ground beef until most of the pink is gone. If it’s especially greasy, drain some of the oil. Add the taco seasoning and mix well, sauteing for another minute or two. Add the enchilada sauce and cook for another few minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble up. Now’s a good time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Mix in 1/2 cup of the queso fresco and cook for another few minutes. Queso fresco won’t always melt when heated, which is fine, so don’t worry.
Pour the mixture into a small baking pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of melting cheese on top, and then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of queso fresco, reserving some of it to sprinkle on the finished product. Put it in the oven for 10 minutes, broiling the top at the end to crisp the cheese.
Serve with cilantro and lime pieces, sprinkling the additional queso fresco on top.