Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mexican Lasagna

I love experimenting and trying new recipes and found one that I as usual twisted around to my liking.  I call it Mexican Lasagna.  Tom likes it and considering that for years he turned up his nose at zucchini that is saying a lot. It is fairly quick and easy to make, though I like to let the zucchini drain for a few hours so that it is not so juicy when cooked.

Ingredients:

2 small to medium or 1 large zucchini shredded.
2 -3 carrots shredded
1 tsp oil (I use olive or coconut oil.)
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 peppers chopped (I prefer red and yellow or orange.)
1 cup crushed taco shells or tortilla chips. (I bake corn tortillas and crush them as they are lower in sodium)
2 - 14 oz cans low sodium diced tomatoes or use crushed tomatoes.
1 TBSP chili powder (I use a mix of chili and ancho chili powder as we like it spicier.)
1 tsp dried oregano or if you have fresh that is better.
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 - 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipolte Seasoning Blend
1 TBSP parsley
black pepper to taste
Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper to taste if you like it spicier. (We do)
1 can low sodium black beans rinsed and drained. (In a pinch you could substitute red kidney beans.)
2 cups Mexican Shredded Cheddar Cheese.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Shred the zucchini and carrots and let them drain for an hour or two or over night. You can also pat them with paper towels to help dry them so they are not so juicy when cooking.

Saute the onions, garlic, and peppers in the oil or put them in a microwaveable dish and steam them for 1 to 2 minutes until the onions are opaque.  I also sauté the onions without oil as I have waterless cookware and this reduces the added fats.

I blend the tomatoes, spices and onion mix so they are less chunky and more like crushed tomatoes. You can just mix them in a sauce pan and add the spices: cumin, oregano, and chili powder.
Heat to boiling and reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or so.

Lightly grease a 9x7x2 inch casserole dish.

Layer crushed tortillas, tomatoes mixture, black beans, zucchini, cheese, and repeat.  I always top it with the tomato mixture.  You can add more cheese after it bakes it you like lots of cheese. You can also mix the beans in the tomato mixture if you want and just layer them together.

Bake about 30 minutes, and let set for 5 minutes before serving.

We find that this makes four large servings which are perfect for the two of us, as we get dinner and lunch the next day.

You can make smaller servings and add a salad or bread and then it will serve 6 to 8.

Sliced avocados make a nice side dish, also.

For dessert try sliced strawberries with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.



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