I find it very amusing sometimes when and where I can get the inspirations for my meals and recipes. Just the other day, I was lounging on my feather bed, sipping my morning
cappuccino bowl of distilled water and watching an episode of “Garfield and Friends” when the image of a large pan of lasagna popped onto the screen. I immediately thought, “hmm, now there’s something I don’t make very often… I wonder if I should make one for mi padres?” I mean, really. If a large cartoon cat appreciates a good pan (or twelve) of lasagna, why not a couple of large non-animated humans? The wheels in my head started turning and I quickly got out my mini dictaphone to take down the ingredients and cooking directions I would need to use for later.
Now I know when most people hear the word “lasagna” they think of a cheesy, tomatoey meat-sauce sandwiched between layers of long thick pasta noodles served by a lovely Italian man named Giovanni. And if I wanted to be uncreative and boring, I would have made something exactly like that myself. But no, I am the TeenyLittleSuperChef. Therefore, I wanted to push the envelope, go against the norm, and of course, pay homage to my Mexican roots. So instead I came up with a muy bueno dish I like to refer to as, La Sagna: Mexican-Style.
Mexican Tortilla Lasagna
2 tsp canola oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb skinless, boneless ground turkey, 99% fat-free
14.5 oz can tomato sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
1 cup frozen corn
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
12 corn tortillas
shredded Cheddar cheese
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Heat oil in a large skillet or pan over medium-high. Add onions, bell peppers, garlic and ground turkey. Cook until turkey is no longer pink and onions are softened.
3) Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, frozen corn, chili powder, ground oregano, salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer about 8-10 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg in a small bowl until well mixed.
5) Layer 6 tortillas evenly on the bottom of a 9×13″ casserole dish. They should overlap each other. Top with half of the meat mixture. Top that with all of the cottage cheese mixture. Layer with the remaining 6 tortillas and top with the rest of the meat mixture.
6) Bake 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with a nice layer of Cheddar cheese. Return to oven for 5 minutes.
7) Take out, let sit 5 minutes, cut into individual portions and dig in. Delicioso!
I think even Garfield would approve of this one. Mi papa certainly did. I’m pretty sure there was some licking of his dinner plate at the end of the meal… and it wasn’t me this time… well, maybe a little bit.
Well, on that note, I must be going. I have a piano recital this evening and I need to go brush up on my “Moonlight Sonata.”
Beethoven, eat your heart out.