Tortilla bake for Dennis

( This is part of a new project – virtual cooking for friends during #COVID19

This current coronavirus pandemic means that for many of us, disabled people with social isolation, are restricted to virtual meetings.

As it means no eating together – here’s a new project in that we would cook a dish with the friend in mind and share it here. The recipes here are not expert cooking but shared with love.)

It feels like I’ve known Dennis Queen, from campaigns we participated together, for a very long time. Recently, we had some time together when they came down from Manchester to lead a music workshop for Culture Access. I thought it would be good to suggest a dish for their family, a mixt of vegan/vegetarian and meat eaters, young and older members. I asked what they would like and came up with this dish that can be served as a main meal or as a side dish. It might be a good TV or Netflix dish to have together as it resembles nachos.

After thought addition – I forgot to say that I had a discussion with Dennis where they mentioned that they liked Thai curries but doctors do not allow it. We realised perhaps that it was the coconut taste that Dennis actually like so hence why coconut milk was used instead of cheese topping (also coincidentally, making it vegan). A version of this dish was actually taught me by my Mexican neighbour, Patricia, in Strasbourg. She used a cheese and bacon strips topping. So this dish has many influences, pan Mexican Asian via France.


1 packet tortilla chips
1 tin of chickpeas 
1 tin of sweetcorn
1 tin of tomatoes
1 Chopped onion
1 small tin of coconut milk
Fresh tomatoes
Chopped fresh coriander (optional)
Crispy fried pancetta (for non vegetarians) and/or fried onions

Cooking method

Lay an oven deep tray with greaseproof paper. Cover with a layer of tortilla chips. Add a layer of sliced tomatoes.

In a pan, add a bit of coconut oil or any other oil. Drop in the chopped onion and let to slowly fry till golden. Add the drained chickpeas and sweetcorn and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Then, slide in the tinned tomatoes and leave to simmer for 15 mins or so. Add half the coconut milk and coriander and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let to the pot cool down

Add half of the chickpeas mixture on top of the tomatoes. 

Repeat with a layer of: tortilla chips – tomatoes – rest of the chickpeas mixture – tortilla chips – coconut milk – tomatoes – fresh chopped coriander.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes till top is golden and crispy. If you like, top with crispy pancetta/ bacon bits to satisfy meat eaters or add fried onions to add an extra crunch and taste.

This can be served warm or room temperature. When cold, it can be sliced like a quiche or similar. Enjoy!

From Eleanor
Assisted by Sara

By Eleanor, assisted by James.

photo of East Asian woman on wheelchair holding a spatula awkwardly frying lardons in a wok. Behind her is a loaded sink and a microwave.
Eleanor Lisney

Eleanor ‘s love for all types of cuisine comes from being Malaysian born and bred. She started to cook at university at Canterbury and learn about French cuisine when she was a stay at home mum for more than 10 years in Strasbourg, France.

She finds cooking on her own more problematic and gets her PAs / friends to help her do the heavy work so she can do some cooking from her wheelchair.


photo of cooked spinach leaves on a white plate and a fork with the word cuisine