The other key component to this dish is definitely the heat!
The spiciness of this dish is very important, and it’s included in three different ways. However, it is important to note that with the way this dish is prepared, only the flavor is spicy and not the sensation! The burning aspect of spiciness that some people find unpleasant is completely cut out by the sweet veggies, canned corn, sautéing and baking the dish, as well as using quite a bit of plant-based cheddar!
The three primary ingredients that make this baked dish bring the heat is: fresh jalapeños, Chili Powder and Cajun-style Blackened seasoning.
The jalapeños can be easily manipulated to be more-or-less spicy– for a less-spicy effect from jalapeños, seed and clean each pepper, as well as allow them to sauté for a little longer than called for.
As for the Chili Powder and Cajun seasoning, definitely just use to-taste! The Chili Powder brings out a lot of flavor from South America, while the Cajun seasoning brings out the flavors from the American South.
Personally, I used a Blackened Seasoning blend for my Cajun spice, which is slightly less-spicy than a traditional pure Cajun Seasoning would be, and I love the smoky flavor that it brings!
This recipe takes about 45 minutes to prepare, but the bulk of your time will be spent prepping all the wonderful veggies in this dish, and then the rest will go by very fast! If you happen to have the time, pre-prepping veggies can definitely help make this dish even easier!