Bean Tortilla Casserole How are you with corn tortillas? They’re adorable, I think, and I like an easy excuse to cook with them. The “Bean Tortilla Casserole,” from the March 2013 Everyday Food, was certainly simple to eat. Layered with mashed black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, the casserole was a heap of softened pleasures.

I added 1 tsp. kosher salt to the mashed beans and opted for canned diced tomatoes without green chiles (for kid-friendliness). Add your own spice to your own plate at the table.

Spinach SoupI also cooked the “Spinach Soup” from Joy the Baker, and got what I’d hoped for: vibrant greenness. Instead of also making the suggested croutons, I went ahead and baked some extra strips of corn tortillas, after coating them in a bit of olive oil, salt, and garlic powder.

Really, this soup was too easy to pull together. An immersion blender makes a soup like this gratifying and stress-free. I added 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt to my soup pot at the end. Young and old at the table cheered this soup with enthusiasm. And a soup as green as this makes a chef proud.

Black Beans (2 cans) = $3.52
Canned Diced Tomatoes (28 oz.) = $1.67
Corn Tortillas (10) = $2.44
Monterey Jack Cheese (6 oz.) = $1.34
Onion (1) = .33¢
Red Potatoes (1 lb.) = $1.04
Baby Spinach (15 oz.) = $9.99

PREP TIMES: enjoy the casserole after an hour of prep and cooking (or stagger your steps to stretch this out over a day); the soup needs less than an hour
beans + tomatoes + cheese = guaranteed casserole success; green deliciousness exudes from spinach

Next time, I will cook the “Beer-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Red Cabbage,” from the March 2013 issue of Bön Appetit. See how my diners react to this one, when you return to my site soon.