Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie

When our family goes out to our favorite Mexican restaurant in town, one of my favorite parts of dinner is at the end, when they bring out a little plate of sopapillas…one for each person.  Since my hubby is usually too full to eat anything else at this point, our daughter and I usually end up splitting his.  So, I couldn’t help but to wonder if I could make them at home, and the researching began.  I was looking for actual sopapilla recipes, but came across this one.  The combination of a sopapilla mixed with cheesecake?  Oh, snap!  As I started reading through the ingredients and the process, it became clear that this was easy to make, and was sure to be a big hit.  As I was putting it together, my husband asked what I was making, so I told him.  “What in the heck is that?” he asked.  After explaining the layers, he chuckled and said, “Sounds healthy.”  Well, let’s not try to break this down nutritionally, because you may not want to think about that…  Plus, when you take a bite of one of these bad boys, your concern for the nutritional value could possibly fly out the window.

sopapilla cheesecake pie

After this was pulled out of the oven and cooling on the counter, I hear the ole hubster downstairs call out, “Can I go ahead and eat this?”  Couldn’t help but to giggle.  I cut him a good sized piece and had it on a plate for him when he came back into the kitchen a minute later after taking the dogs outside.  As he inhaled it, I heard, “Mmm, this thing is awesome!”  The next day when I pulled all of the pieces out of the original container and put it back in the fridge, all he saw was the leftover container…empty.  “You didn’t give it ALL away, did you?!”  Of course not.  He has enjoyed a couple more pieces today, along with my daughter’s teachers.

Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie Recipe

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 (8 oz) cans refrigerated crescent rolls

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick of butter, melted

1/4 cup honey

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth.  Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9×13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough. Stir together 3/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Pour the melted butter over the top layer of crescent rolls, then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.  Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.  Store in refrigerator.

Black Bean Enchiladas with Mexican Rice

Holy cow, is there something actually healthy on here?  I can’t believe it.  Well, actually I can.  Since I’ve battled two illnesses here recently that were back to back (stomach virus and viral infection), it was a true wake-up call for me to start eating healthier and incorporating more vegetables into my diet to strengthen my immune system.  Several years ago, I was extremely strict with following a vegetarian diet with very limited sugar.  What?!   Yep.  My immune system was a beast though, because getting sick was extremely rare when I was eating so many vegetables and so little sugar, dairy and processed food.  Imagine that.  I remember several times being around someone who was sick, and everyone else caught it…but me.  It was wonderful.  But, after fallilng off the regimen for a full week while we were on our honeymoon, I just never got fully back in the swing of things.

I’ll be honest here, I don’t believe in following ANY diet so strict that you’re never allowed to eat certain things ever again, it just doesn’t seem realistic.  Plus, I love desserts.  Searching for a compromise was my goal here, and I found it.  I eat lots and lots of vegetables, and dip into the sugar and dairy a couple times a week.  This is actually a vegan recipe that I threw together…so no meat or dairy.  It’s loaded with vegetables, fiber, vitamins and minerals…and is yummy, too!  Throw in some blue corn chips and salsa, and you’ve got a healthy, authentic Mexican meal.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas:

1 cup onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

2 tablespoons reduced sodium taco seasoning

6 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas, warmed

1 cup enchilada sauce

In large skillet, saute onion and mushrooms until crisp-tender.  Add garlic, cook 1 minute.  Add beans, corn and taco seasoning, cook 2-3 minutes or until heated through.  Spoon 1/2 cup mixture down center of each tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in greased 9×13 inch dish.  Top with sauce,  bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Vegetarian Mexican Rice:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup uncooked long grain rice

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 cups vegetable broth

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice.  Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden.  While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.  Stir in onions and cook until tender.  Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

Add some chips and salsa!  A quick and easy way to get some fresh-tasting salsa without having to make all of it from scratch, add some chopped fresh onions to a jar of salsa, stir it up well and serve it with some blue corn chips.