Since it is cooling off outside, I have pulled out my casserole dishes and am making some comfort food for the family. One of my favorite dishes for this type of weather is lasagna. Long ago, I wrote about Claud's French version of lasagna with bchamel sauce and Bolognese that takes two days to make perfect. This is by far, my favorite version of lasagna ever made. It's so cheesy and creamy and rich. On the other hand, that is definitely a dish I could only eat about once a year if I want to keep fitting into my jeans. I do want to keep fitting into them. In the more recent past, I made salmon lasagna with vegetables, which is lighter than Claud's version and it was still tasty. One time, I wrote about a sneaky vegetable lasagna where I blended in tons of vegetables into the sauce without Jack knowing. That was a great way to get Jack to eat vegetables. I need to start making some of those types of sneaky dishes again for him. I don't know how he continues to grow so tall without any vegetables in his body. Now, for the first time, I made a Mexican style lasagna.
It makes sense since I absolutely love Mexican food. Don't get me wrong, I love the French lasagna and I really did like the salmon and the vegetable lasagna too. However, sometimes I crave Mexican food. I yearn for enchiladas, tacos, taco salad, burritos, chips and salsa, guacamole, jalapenos, and so much more. When I lived in London, Mexican food the type of food I missed most and this made me homesick for California. There were one or two Mexican restaurants back then. However, once my food came to the table, I realized they didn't know what they were doing. Wait, that's a little harsh. What I should say is that what they gave me didn't resemble the Mexican food I was used to.
Here in Vegas, the Mexican food is really good. These past few weeks, we have eaten out more than usual because we have had so much company and have been playing tourists with them. It is amazing how many people visit us here in Las Vegas. It seems like somebody is here every other week. We love having friends and family come into town. I usually cook for everyone at home but sometimes it is more convenient to get a bite out while we are looking around at all of the sites. I keep recommending Mexican food and we never end up eating Mexican food. I have been outvoted several times recently. So tonight, I decided not to ask anyone and just make what I wanted to make. That is exactly what I did.
This Mexican-style lasagna is vegetarian comfort food in cold weather.
The recipe that follows is a vegetarian version of Mexican lasagna. I included squash, onions, red peppers and garlic. You could easily add shredded chicken, carne asada or even ground beef or turkey meat if you would like to make it meaty. You could even cook the ground beef or turkey with taco seasoning to give it an extra dash of flavor. Just layer the cooked meat in with the other layers. On the other hand, if you don't eat meat or dairy, you could eliminate the cheese and it would still have loads of flavor. With this dish, you could create it how you would love it and mix it up a bit. If I were the only one eating this, I would have added jalapenos. However, since my whole family and some friends were eating it, I couldn't do that. I knew that would stop some people from eating.
Like I said, I didn't ask anyone if they were interested in eating Mexican lasagna. I just made it and said, "Come and get it." They were all watching the nineties movie, "Clueless". So, I didn't get any feedback from anyone while they ate since they were glued to the television. However, judging by the empty plates that returned to the sink, I think it went over well. My casserole dish was empty too. I knew people liked Mexican food!
Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 8
1 tablespoon olive oil
large yellow onion, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 18 pack of corn tortillas, cut each into three pieces
1 20 ounce can of enchilada sauce
3 cups of cheddar or a Mexican blend cheese, shredded
2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans
cup black olives, sliced
4 scallions, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Saute onions, squash, garlic and red peppers for about ten minutes. In a casserole dish, pour about a cup enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Place a layer of the tortillas on the bottom of the dish. Next, layer on 1/3 of the beans, squash and onion mixture, cheese, and corn. Repeat this process with more sauce for three layers. Add a top layer of tortillas and pour on the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle more cheese. Top with olives and scallions. Bake in the oven for thirty minutes. Once it is baked, cut into squares and top each piece with diced tomato and cilantro. You can add a dollop of sour cream and hot sauce if you wish.