Healthy Recipe: Mexican Lasagna

By Marsha Hudnall
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3044158617_2c3accdf0eMy husband Alan laughs now at his introduction to beans as a regular part of his meals.  And by regular, I do mean regular.  I grew up in Texas, where we ate beans all the time.  He grew up in New York City; I’m not sure he ever had a bean beyond the canned beans that his mom sometimes mixed with sliced hot dogs.  Yeah, we still make that, too, but I’m generally more interested in recipes like the one we’ve featured here.

Even though it’s from the Michigan Bean Commission, the recipe talks to me because it seems very Texan, or Tex-Mex, that is.  Hence, the title….:)

It’s a great way to use some of the fresh corn that’s so plentiful right now.  And it’s gluten-free.  If you have problems with milk products, soft tofu might substitute for the cottage cheese, and soy cheese could be used as a topping.  If you’re soy-sensitive, do you have ideas on what else we could use?

When it comes to the beans, the recipe says you can use dark-red kidney beans, but not in my book.  They’re no substitute for pinto beans in any self-respecting Tex-Mex meal.

Mexican Lasagna

Makes 6 servings

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

1 cup tomato sauce

6 corn tortillas

1 cup lowfat cottage cheese

3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Saute onion, garlic and bell pepper about 5 minutes, or until soft.  Stir in spices and saute 1 minute more.   Remove from heat.  Mix in corn, beans and tomato sauce.  Place 3 tortillas in a 2-quart casserole dish, arranging to cover bottom.  Spoon in half of the corn-bean mixture and spread 1/2 cup cottage cheese on top.  Sprinkle on half the shredded cheese.  Repeat layers, using up all the ingredients.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

My additions to the recipe:  Top w/ a dollop of guacamole or a couple slices of avocado and a sprinkle of sliced black olives.  If you can take the heat, add some sliced pickled jalapenos (or add fresh ones along with the onions and bell peppers).   Serve with a crisp salad and enjoy!

3 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Robyn says:

    Tofu does work very well as a ricotta (or in this case cottage cheese) sub. It needs a little doctoring up though. My favorite tofu-based lasagna filling is from a book called Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler. Also, if you can’t handle soy cheese, Galaxy Foods makes a pretty good rice cheese, as far as cheese substitutes go. Instead of the cottage cheese I’d probably puree some of the beans if I wanted to make this dairy and soy free.

  • Sagan says:

    That sounds really delicious! I like the idea of using corn tortillas.

    I have GOT to start trying all these bean recipes to get myself to enjoy beans…

  • Hanlie says:

    You know, I might actually make this… I use soy so seldom that the tofu will be fine.

    I recently made a lasagna type dish with mustardy mash potatoes on top. It was delicious!

    Thanks! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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