Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

what a shock, more mexican...

actually, please be impressed...  the glut of mexican food means we are, gasp, using up ingredients!!!  the idea for mexican lasagna came from a random comment on another blog regarding some sort of mexican casserole that her husband was going to eat while she juice fasted...  i read that one morning and thought - ooh - we have like, 3/4 of a bag of tortillas!  i can use them up!  woo hoo!

of course i had to complicate things - combining 3 recipes into one which, in the end, didnt resemble any one of them all that closely - but in the end, worth it...

also?  my first time working with TVP.  super easy, super cheap.  If you are sitting there going 'what the hell is TVP?', its ok, you could certainly make this with ground meat or more beans instead...

However, there is one MAJOR problem with this recipe...

its UGLY.


I know there is nothing appetizing about this picture - i'm fairly embarrassed to even be posting it because its SO ugly...  but it was either deal with the ugliness or not post it at all, and i liked this enough that my need to share outweighed said embarrassment.  So, ignore the picture and take my word for it...  its good.  it was actually so good that we ate the leftovers too (2.5 mins in the microwave was perfect) - which is something we so very rarely do - and honestly, the reheated version may have even surpassed the just-out-of-the-oven experience...

and, wait for it, this means we actually got 3 meals out of that one bag of tortillas.
watch out world, first using up tortillas, next extreme couponing!  woo!

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna
courtesy of me - inspired by Funkinutt McFly's Vegan Food blogSee Jen Cook, and Rachel Ray

for the seasoned TVP: courtesy of Funkinutt with minor modifications:
(note:  we only used about 2/3 of this in our lasagna)
1.5 c textured vegetable protein
2 dried new mexico chilis
4-5 cloves garlic
1/4 of a vidallia onion
1 3/4 c water, divided

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Tabasco
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 3/4 c water, divided

Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium-high heat.

Remove stems from chili peppers and then put peppers, garlic, onion and 1/4 c water into food processor and process until finely chopped.

Add chopped chili mixture to hot oil and mix around.  Add remaining ingredients to pan and cook over high heat for 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Set aside.

For remaining layers:
1 c cilantro
4 scallions, light green parts only
~5 c fresh baby spinach

corn kernels from 2 ears of corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

6-7 6-in flour tortillas

1.5 cans diced fire roasted tomatoes

2 c shredded mexican cheese blend

salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425°
lightly grease bottom of casserole dish with olive oil and set aside

combine cilantro, scallions & spinach in a food processor and process until almost pesto-like (you will probably have to add the spinach in batches). Add a bit of salt & pepper if desired and set aside.

combine corn and black beans and set aside.

cut tortillas into strips.

layer tortilla strips in the bottom of the casserole, just slightly overlapping.
layer some of the seasoned TVP in
toss on some of the black beans & corn
add a layer of tomatoes, with their juices
add a layer of cilantro/spinach mix
add a layer of shredded cheese
place another layer of tortilla strips on top & push down slightly.

Starting with seasoned TVP, repeat all layers, being sure to leave a little bit of the spinach mixture and cheese for the top.

At this point, you should have a top layer of tortilla strips.  Spoon remaining spinach mixture over top and spread so that all tortilla is 'wet'.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

Cover and bake for 25 mins.

After 25 mins, remove cover and bake additional 20 minutes.

Allow to cool 5 or so minutes.  Cut into 6 pieces and serve with sour cream and hot sauce (both optional)

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