I pretty much love all things Mexican. Really. I mean, I could probably eat Mexican food every single day. The fact that margaritas go so well with Mexican food may or may not have anything to do with that.
On the other hand, I am always trying to come up with different ways to prepare food so that we don’t get sick of eating the same thing all the time. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut with food. There are also many times when I think that I have things in the pantry to fix a certain dish, I get everything out, start cooking, and realize that I do not have everything I need. Instead of panicking, I just change course and throw in what I do have in order to make it work. Sometimes this works out great and sometimes, well, let’s just say it doesn’t. Some of the best things we have around here are a result of those times where I just have to wing it. I honestly feel like those times of trial and error have made me even more comfortable in the kitchen.
Speaking of trials, we all go through them at different points in our lives. Sometimes they are little hurdles that are fairly easy to just hop right over with minimal discomfort, and sometimes they are the kind of hurdles that you go to hop over and you trip, flail in the air, then land only to skid across the ground on your face unable to get up. Those are the times when you hope that either, A.) no one was around to see what just happened to you as you lay there and cry like a baby, or, B.) that whoever was there to see it are the kind of people that will lay down on the concrete and cry with you until you can belly laugh again.
I haven’t blogged for awhile because I have been dealing with some trials, in the form of health issues, for the last 4 months. It’s been a fight between ongoing dental issues and illness, the latest of which has had me confined to my bed for the last 5 days. It is so difficult to have to stay in bed and rest, when I am the kind of person who normally has so much going on I barely take time for a bathroom break. The fact that I have zero energy and can barely make it to the other room without passing out does make it much easier to just do nothing!
To occupy my time in bed, I have watched 1,422 preschool programs, completed 763 puzzles, played 54 games of Candyland and countless hours of snuggle time with my little sweetie girl. Who is over the moon that she has had my undivided attention. Today I decided that to keep my mind from reverting back to a 5 year old, I would catch up on my blogging!
On that really bright note, I have been overwhelmed and inspired by the amount of new followers I have received through email subscriptions and Facebook over the last couple of weeks. You have all encouraged me to get these pictures and recipes up, which in turn, I hope, will inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook up something wonderful!
There is something beautiful about Mexican Lasagna. The best part of this is you really can put anything you want into it. You could even use this as a dish to empty out the pantry, when you haven’t been to the grocery in awhile! I normally make this with chicken, but you can make it with ground beef or even ground turkey. If you’re out of meat, well, then, go veggie! Also, I would normally use black beans, but as you will see in these pictures, all I had was small red beans, so that’s what I used.
*This recipe is gluten free as long as you use a gluten free taco sauce and tortillas.
**For the vegetarian option, just omit the meat.
- 4 tablespoons of oil (I prefer, olive, coconut or avocado)
- 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or ground beef
- 1.5 tablespoons of taco seasoning
- 8-10 oz jarred taco sauce (I used Old El Paso, it’s gluten free)
- 1.5 – 2 cups of beans (You can use black, white, red, whatever you prefer or have on hand)
- 2 cups sweet corn (preferably NON-GMO)
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1.5-2 cups of yellow, red, orange and green sweet peppers, diced
- 1 – 4.5 oz jar of chopped green chilies
- 1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- about 10 flour tortillas
- 1.5 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- 1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- black olives, green onions, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, salsa for toppings (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Season chicken on both sides generously with salt and pepper and a portion of the taco seasoning. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add chicken and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.
Take the chicken out of the pan and let rest, then cut it into strips about an inch wide and shred it with two forks. Set aside.
In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add in the onion, peppers, green chilies and jalapeno and cook for about 2 minutes or until softened.
Then stir in your remaining taco seasoning, corn and beans and heat for about 2 minutes.
Add in the shredded chicken and taco sauce and stir well to mix everything together. Heat for about another 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
Take out your tortillas and, using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut them in half and then in half again, so that you have triangles.
Grease a 13 x 9 baking dish. Take half of the meat/veggie mixture and put it in the bottom of the dish. Add in a layer of the cheeses on top of that.
Then cover that with a layer of tortillas. You will have to sort of fit them in like a puzzle.
Cover that with the remaining meat/veggie mixture and another layer of cheese, then top with another layer of tortillas. Bake lasagna for about 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and mixture is heated through. Remove from oven and top with some more of the shredded cheese and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted. Remove from oven and serve. You can top this with black olives, green onions and tomatoes then serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.