Friday, July 15, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

Hannah has given me permission to share some of my favorite dishes with you.  I am so excited to tell you about this dish.  Somewhere between baby 2 and baby 3, I acquired a great love of Mexican flavors.  I could eat Mexican(ish) food many nights a week and not grow weary of the cumin, chili,  and tomato flavors.  One of my newest finds is a healthy, but still delicious, Mexican Lasagna. 
~ Christine

You will need
1 pound ground turkey (beef is fine, but this is my lean, cheap meal)
16 oz homemade, fat-free refried beans (canned is fine, but add some water to thin it out)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 or 2 teaspoons cumin, to taste (I love cumin, so I added closer to 2 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 jar (16 oz) salsa - medium worked best - mild was just too blah
2 cups water (or just fill the salsa jar again)
8-12 oz shredded cheese (Colby Jack, Cheddar, or my favorite is a Mexican blend)

sour cream
black olives, drained
Mexican-blend cheese (or whatever you used in the lasagna)
chives or green onion, chopped

Brown the turkey and drain.  Add spices and refried beans  and heat through.
 (For homemade beans, Hannah gave me the best way to cook them in this article  The basics are the same - rinse, soak overnight, cook for hours in your slow cooker until they're soft.  To make this really good for Mexican food, I followed her advice and added cumin, garlic (powder is okay), onion (powder or dried works too), oregano, chili powder, pepper and salt, as they cooked.  I didn't measure, but just threw in a lot until it smelled divine.  Then I used the leftover, spiced water as I pureed them in the blender.  I made them a little more thin than normal and it really helped for this dish.  The flavor was amazing.

Place three noodles in a 9 x 13 pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Put a layer of the meat bean mixture and then sprinkle some cheese.  Repeat the layers and then top with the remaining noodles.  Combine the salsa and water and pour over the noodles.  Sprinkle a little more cheese on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until the noodles are tender.  Cut to serve and top with sour cream, olives, cheese and chives.  (Each person can add topping as they desire.)

This is amazing.  My entire (picky) family loves it, and the leftovers (if you have any) are even better.  Your can serve this with a salad and chips and salsa.  Enjoy!

~ Adapted from Light and Tasty

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