I got this recipe out of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook and tweaked it a bit. The authors call this a casserole, but I heartily disagree. This is a lasagna, except that corn tortillas are substituted for lasagne and the fillers are Mexican-based frivolities. So I will call it Mexican Lasagna whether anyone likes it or not.
For the umpteenth time in the last few years, I have decided to seriously engage in the old Weight Watchers system (PointsPlus and 360° can fuck off thither). I am excited about this because I really want to expand on the good dishes I can make…dishes that are good for you and fill you up. I thought about changing the name of this blog to “Thinner with Jonny,” but I would feel like a cock for doing that, so no.
The idea in Weight Watchers is to try to get as much bang for your buck, but in this case, bang for your POINTS. They have the “filling foods” concept, which is the list of foods with little or no caloric value but will fill you up, duh. Also, fiber is a good thing. This lasagna, for instance, has 8 grams of fiber per serving, so while it has 300 calories a serving and 8 grams of fat, the point value isn’t so high because of the fiber: it’s a 6, and this baby is a brick o’ food. I get 36 points a day, so this still leaves me with 30 points….not too shabby.
Furthermore, the leftover portions can be frozen and serve as a quick lunch or dinner. It’s quite easy to make and a crowd pleaser. If you want more protein, add a layer of shredded chicken or Mexi-meat, but it will change the points value, of course.
1 tbsp. oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 bell pepper, seeded, membranes removed, and chopped
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup Pico Pica or taco sauce or something similar
2 tsp. ground cumin
3 cloves minced garlic (or more if you’re hardcore)
2 15 oz. can beans, drained and rinsed (kidney, black, pinto, whatever works)
12 6-inch corn tortillas
2 cups cheddar or jack cheese
Assorted toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, sliced black olives, green onions, sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the chopped onions and bell pepper. Saute this for 5 minutes until they’re soft. Next, add in the tomatoes, taco sauce, cumin, and garlic. Get this boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer it uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in the beans.
In a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, spread 1/3 of the bean mixture on the bottom. Layer 6 tortillas on top of this, overlapping when needed. Top with 1 cup of the cheese. Add another 1/3 of the bean mixture, the remaining tortillas, and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Bake this for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove it from the oven and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice it into 8 pieces and serve. Top it with the fixin’s if you’re hip to it.
Fusion food at it’s finest.
Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.
©Jon Marino 2013