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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

vegetarian mexican lasagna


2 8.8 ounce Spanish style rice {I used this}

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed

2 8 ounce cans enchilada sauce

1 15.5 ounce jar salsa {I used medium}

1/2 of the 1 ounce package taco seasoning {I used reduced sodium}

16 ounces shredded Mexican cheese

Flour tortillas {I used 9}

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil

Sour cream, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet; add the onion and garlic and season with cumin, chili powder and paprika. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in halved grape tomatoes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the black beans. Meanwhile, prepare the Spanish rice according to package directions. After the black beans have cook for about 2 minutes, reduce the heat to low and add the cooked rice; stir to combine. To assemble the lasagna: in a large casserole dish, spray with cooking spray and pour one of the 8 ounce cans of enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Place a layer of tortillas on top of the enchilada sauce {it's ok if they overlap a little}. Pour half of the vegetable and rice mixture on top of the tortillas followed by 1/3 of the cheese. Next, pour the entire can of salsa over the cheese, followed by the tortilla step again. Top with the remaining vegetable and rice mixture and top with another 1/3 of cheese. Place one more layer of tortillas on top of the cheese, followed by the remaining 8 ounce can of enchilada sauce and then the remaining 1/3 of cheese. Sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of the final layer of cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown. Garnish with sour cream or any other favorite toppings.

I love experimenting with different recipe ideas. I've been making Mexican lasagna for some time now, but most of the time I use ground beef {see my other Mexican Lasagna recipe here}. Since I didn't have meat on hand, I thought I would make a vegetarian version and use black beans. I've always used enchilada sauce, but I really liked the way the chunky salsa added another layer of flavor in this dish. And topping the entire casserole with the taco seasoning gave the cheese a delicious, crusty taste. I will warn you, by adding the cumin, chili powder and paprika in the beginning, it can get pretty spicy! I would recommend garnishing the lasagna with sour cream to cool it down! Happy cooking!

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