Lazy Day and Mexican Lasagna

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Hello lovelies! I apologize for taking so long to post again…I have been working a lot and generally feeling exhausted. I do have several posts I’m working on though!
What a long weekend it was for us! Andrew and I both work long hours on weekends, and this one especially full of… tedious and unpleasant extras. Riding my bike to work three days in a row was tiring, especially in the dark after working 12 hours. After attending a 60 year high school reunion. I was kinda excited, curious since I’ve only been out of high school 5 years. Andrew said “That sounds like it will be depressing and boring.” I said “It will be fun! I get to wear a dress!” And… it was boring and depressing. And I was overdressed. As if being in a room full of people 3 to 4 times my age didn’t make me feel out of place enough.
I don’t mean to complain. I am really lucky to be employed at all and generally enjoy my job. Sometimes it’s just lonely… I used to think I was such a loner. Not antisocial, but not especially social. But there’s nothing like moving to the other side of the country away from all your friends and family and then landing one of the few jobs in which you really don’t interact on a normal human level with anybody to make you realize how socially needy I am.
Monday I was completely taking it easy. I had some things that need to be done, such as returning books, mailing things, phone calls. I walked for my errands and did some light yoga. Otherwise I just did as much relaxing as possible. I worked on some jewelry and spent time with Andrew. We watched Breaking Bad and I made Mexican Lasagna. Good, lazy times. Just what we both needed!
I have made many incarnations of Mexican Lasagna and it is one of Andrew’s favorite dishes. This version is vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Mexican Lasagna:

Ingredients:

*12 6 inch corn torillas

*2 cups salsa (I use cheapo brands for this, save the fancy stuff for something else)

*1 8 oz can tomato sauce

*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 cup diced onion

*1/2 red bell pepper, diced

*1 green chile, minced (optional- leave out if you don’t like it hot!)

*1 clove garlic, minced

*1.5 cups cooked pinto or black beans

*2 cups lowfat or fat free cottage cheese

*1 egg
*1-2 cups shredded pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese
*minced fresh cilantro and green onion for garnish (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Pour 1/2 cup salsa into a large casserole dish, spreading evenly. Combine the cottage cheese with the egg, mixing thoroughly, and set aside.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add the onions, bell and chile pepper, and garlic. Saute until softened. Add the beans, remaining 1.5 cups salsa, and tomato sauce and cook until heated through.

3. Now you are ready to begin layering! Lay 4 torillas on the bottom of your dish, overlapping slightly. Top with 2 cups bean-vegetable mixture, then 1 cup cottage cheese mixture, then 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat this layering, leaving out the shredded cheese (save it for the final topping). Layer on your last four tortillas, last bean-veggie mixture, and the remaining shredded cheese.

4. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes. Let stand at least 15 minutes before cutting for best (neatest!) results! Top with cilantro and sliced green onion if desired.

We ate our fill of this, kept some in the fridge, and put some in the freezer. This weekend I had two freezer meals that I had made already waiting for me to just heat up after work and it was great! I don’t get home until 7:30- 7:45 pm and am covered in sweat after my uphill bike ride home. The last thing I feel like doing is cooking! This way I can get home and heat dinner up while I shower! So much better!

xo/Nikita

 


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About lacocinaencantada

I live, work, study, and of course cook in Portland. I find nature continuously inspiring and love verdant pacific northwest for its lush and wild charm. I love cooking, baking, drawing, painting, photography, running, yoga, and spending time with people I care about. I believe in eating real food: minimally processed, no weird additives, heavy on the fresh produce and whole grains. I also believe in eating delicious food. Healthy food should be creative, inspiring, and yes taste good! While I strive to make healthful recipes, I never sacrifice taste for "low cal" or "low fat." Everything in moderation is key! I hope to share some of my recipes and thoughts on food or heath issues here. Enjoy :)

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