Fake and Bake

Lei Chic You’ve foiled the last four surprise birthday party attempts your man has tried. You can tell an authentic Prada from an International Marketplace Prado bag from 100 feet. And the guy who tried to pass off cubic zirconia earrings as the real deal? He was faux over in a heartbeat.

You can’t be fooled, especially not by “diet” foods that are low-cal, but also low on flavor and the fill-up factor. The last time you tried to trick your body into thinking a green salad and handful of nuts was a meal, you got in deep dish with a monster order at Big Kahuna’s Pizza.

For a recipe that’s healthy, diet-friendly and satisfying – no joke – we turned to Down to Earth’s Saradha Johnson, who teaches some of the store’s popular cooking classes. She offered this vegetarian dish that satisfies like the real deal, without skipping a meat.

Mexican Casserole

3 cups enchilada sauce – Click here to make your own
2 packages corn tortillas, broken into halves
2 16-oz cans vegetarian refried beans
1/3 cup water
2 6-oz cans black olives, sliced
1 15-oz can corn, rinsed and drained
2 4-oz cans green chiles
1 package Soyrizo sausage substitute
1 12-oz package low fat cheddar cheese, grated
Low fat sour cream, for garnish
Green onions, for garnish

1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 – Fry Soyrizo according to package instructions until mixture browns and crumbles.
3 – Heat refried beans with water until hot and slightly runny
4 – Pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce in a 9×13 casserole dish. Layer tortilla halves on top, overlapping them. Spread refried beans on top, then sprinkle with olives, corn, green chiles and cheese.
5 – Repeat the layer, then add Soyrizo. Cover with another layer of the tortilla halves, until you've used all the ingredients.
6 – Top with cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes to brown the top.
7 – Serve hot with sour cream and green onions.

Calorie savings, about 200 per serving versus the full meat version.

Johnson teaches free cooking classes at Down to Earth in Moiliili the first Saturday of every month, 11 a.m. – noon. And for the first time, live free vegetarian and vegan classes are offered at every Down to Earth in Hawaii. Click here for the full schedule.