Sunday, May 3, 2015


I mentioned in my last post how the same thing can be good. Well it can also be boring. Take food. You eat the same things all the time and they become less appealing. They're not less good, just you become tired of them. Most of the time there isn't much choice if you're on a limited budget, like me. But sometimes you just want to fix something different.

Last night, I did. My son in law sent me a recipe for a healthy Mexican lasagna. Now, I had a lot of the stuff needed, but I couldn't go out and get ground turkey, canned green chilies, bell peppers and fat free refried beans. So I improvised.

I used lean ground beef for the turkey. The husband can't eat poultry of any kind anyway, so regardless, I would have to use ground beef. I didn't have any bell peppers, so I used a whole fresh jalapeno, which added a nice bit of spice. You can take out the seeds and membranes for less heat, I left them in because I only used one. I didn't have any Southwest Seasoning, so I looked it up and I had most of what was supposed to be in it, so I just sprinkled some of this n that in it.

I also fried the tortillas till they were almost crispy. I know from experience that using them out of the package will have them disintegrating into the sauce. Plus it added body to the finished dish

So, what did I substitute for the refried beans? Creamy New Orleans style red beans that I had in the cupboard. They were almost as thick and creamy as refried beans.

So while I didn't make it as healthy as it was supposed to be, it was absolutely delicious. Smear some of the beans on a tortilla and layer half the tortillas in the bottom of the dish, then top with half the meat mixture and half the cheese. Repeat layers, except for cheese, then bake until nice and bubbly. Add rest of cheese and bake a couple more minutes to melt it. Truthfully, the red beans didn't taste that different from refried beans. The casserole was absolutely delicious.

My husband made some salsa up the next day to have with the leftovers. Yummy!

I have no idea what the color codes were supposed to be, such as the two blue containers worth of shredded cheese. I assume that it was something to do with portion control in some diet plan, as it tells you how many red, yellow, blue, whatever that the dish was worth. You know, sort of like a points system. Whatever, I just enjoyed the concoction that I came up with and would make it again if I had the ingredients. Perhaps we can pick up an ingredient or two when we're shopping and I can make it again when I get all the stuff together. I think I prefer using the jalapeno over the sweet bell peppers. After all, most Mexican dishes do have some spice to them.

My husband said it reminded him of enchiladas.

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