I may be Italian and can’t resist all of those irresistible Mediterranean flavors, but I also can’t help but adore Latin food!!! I love how easily mexican food can be whipped up, so I do it all the time. Here is my latest, Mexican Lasagna! This recipe makes 2 personal lasagnas, but be sure to have a “to-go” container because this is so filling that you definitely won’t finish the whole thing in one shot. It can feed plenty more than just 2 people. Toasting the tortillas before building the lasagna keeps them from getting soggy as the dish bakes. Feel free to mix things up with different beans, seasonings or vegetables between the layers. If you’d like to keep this dairy free, check out the cashew cheese to fill it up with below.
6 spelt flour or gluten free tortillas
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbs. chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-oz. BPA-free can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium organic zucchini, diced
½ cup fresh or frozen organic corn kernels
1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese (I love using cashew cheese below)
Fresh cilantro, chopped
1 ripe avocado
Creamy Cashew Mexican CheeseIngredients:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (quick version: place cashews in just boiled water and let sit for 2-3 hours)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup filtered water
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Put all ingredients in a food processor and run for 5 minutes. You can add more water for a thinner consistency or less for a thicker “cheese”. Makes 2 cups. Store in an air-tight container. Try to use within 10 days (sometimes I halve the recipe because it makes a lot., or freeze some so I’ve got it for another time).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast tortillas on 2 baking sheets in oven 5 minutes, or until light brown, turning once. Set aside.
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in chili powder and garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add 11/2 cups salsa, beans, corn, and 1/2 cup water, and season with sea salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and cook 10 minutes, or until zuchinni is tender.
Coat 2-inch-deep baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/4 cup salsa in bottom of pan and make enough room to set 2 toasted tortilla in pan. Top each tortilla with a scoop of the bean mixture and a sprinkle (or spread) of cheese. Repeat layering 1 more time. Top with last tortilla, and spread any remaining salsa over top with remaining cheese. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and cheese has melted. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Top with fresh cilantro (optional) with slices of avocado.
Benefits of Spelt Flour:
Spelt, an ancient cereal grain, is a distant cousin to wheat. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Use spelt flour as a substitute for wheat or white flour when baking. Because spelt flour contains gluten, you are less likely to compromise the texture of baked goods. Compared to wheat flour, spelt flour is richer in many nutrients, such as protein and minerals such as copper, niacin, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.
Spelt flour has a high water solubility, making it possibly easier to digest for those with a wheat intolerance. Spelt and whole spelt flour offer more soluble fiber than both standard and durum wheat flours, and soluble fiber is particularly beneficial for lowering blood cholesterol and regulating blood sugar levels.
(Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times Tortilla Lasagna)