Today, when I returned from a birthday luncheon at a friend’s, I knew the minute I walked in the door that Kelsey had been cooking! It smelled so good! Besides chocolate chip cookies, she was making a favorite recipe of ours that we found just in the last couple of years: Southwestern Lasagna.
We really like this recipe, for many reasons: It’s easy to make, it calls for ingredients that you usually have on hand, you can make it ahead and freeze it, and you use tortillas instead of lasagna noodles; but what I especially like is the flexibility of the recipe. No enchilada sauce in the house? Just use salsa. No ricotta cheese, use cottage cheese, which is what she did today. No Monterey Jack cheese, use another that you like. And so on. It’s also filling and very delicious–I think your family will like it! (I’ll try to come back later and add a photo:)
1-1/4 lbs ground bef (hamburger, lean)
1/2 cup chopped onion or 1 Tbsp minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes and green chilies
1 cup canned mild enchilada sauce (I use salsa–medium)
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) container light ricotta cheese
1 egg white
14 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas, cut int quarters
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
8 ounces shredded, reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
In a large non-stick skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray, cook the hamburger, onion, and garlic over medum heat until done, and drain any excess liquid. Add the chopped tomatoes and green chilies, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper, cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the ricotta and egg white; set aside.
Coat a 9x13x2-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with six quartered tortillas. Layer all of the corn, half the meat mixture, half the cheese, four quartered tortillas, then all of the ricotta mixture, the remaining half of the meat mixture, and the remaining four quartered tortillas and top with remaining cheese.
You can freeze this for later use or serve it now with these further instructions:
To Prepare and Eat Now:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake uncovered, for 30 minutes.
To Freeze: Do not bake before freezing. Cool to room temperature, then wrap, label and freeze. Recommended freezing time: up to 3 months.
To Prepare After Feezing: Remove from freezer to defrost. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes longer or until well heated.
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