Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

Two unrelated side notes before I get started with today's recipe.

1. Since posting the roasted cauliflower on March 31/11, I tried the real recipe instead of my adapted version. I figured I really should try it if it was on my blog. And I didn't like it. At all. I found it really greasy and couldn't even finish it. So I don't recommend making the real version... but my adaptation is tasty.

2. A few people have been asking about Jerome's diabetes, so I'll give a quick update. We saw the endocrinologist again last week and he's pretty certain (though can't be 100% without testing) that he has type I. Which basically means he'll be insulin-dependent for life, but he seems to have adapted to it quite easily and it doesn't seem to bother him much. I guess it's a good thing we already ate in a relatively diabetic-friendly manner beforehand, or I'm sure the shift would have been much harder. We certainly don't have desserts quite as often, but he can still have these in smaller portions on occasion, so he seems fine with it. And his sugars are controlled fairly nicely now, so it doesn't seem to be much cause for concern.

On an interesting, somewhat related note, the doctor explained to us that type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease, that basically is a predisposition to type I diabetes, that is triggered by some environmental factor. And he said that nowadays they are thinking that it is a virus (or actually, one of several viruses) that triggers it. I found the whole thing kind of fascinating, as it's really not the conception I had of diabetes. And he said that there's actually less heredity (in terms of passing it down to our kids) than there is for type II.

Ok... on to today's recipe. This recipe comes from my sister's mother-in-law. Ashley's husband made this for us for dinner one night when I was visiting them a few months ago. It's super easy to put together, makes a ton and is both yummy and healthy. For a vegetarian version, you can just omit the beef and throw in an extra can of beans if you want.

4 large (or 8 small) whole-wheat tortillas
1 lb. lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1 onion
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can white kidney beans, rinsed
1 can of Aylmers Accents flavoured tomatoes
1 can of corn, drained
1 jar of salsa (I used my black bean and corn salsa)
grated light cheddar cheese
salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole, as desired to serve on the side

1. Cook the onion and beef in a frying pan. I also chose to add in my homemade taco seasoning. Eric had said that he thought his mom added some sort of seasoning, but couldn't remember what, so I just threw this in and it worked well with the recipe.

2. In a bowl, mix together the beef, beans, tomatoes, corn and salsa.

3. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with cooking oil, or spread a bit of salsa on the bottom of the pan. Layer 2 large whole-wheat tortillas (or 4 small ones) on the bottom of the pan. Spread half of the bean/beef mixture over the tortillas, ensuring that they are fully covered (or they will dry out while heating). Layer grated cheddar cheese over the bean/beef mixture.

4. Repeat step 3 again, with 2 tortillas, beef/bean mixture and then cheese.

5. Heat in a 350 degree Farneheit oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until heated through. If the cheese starts browning too quickly, you can cover the top of the casserole with foil for all but the last 10 minutes, being sure to spray it with oil beforehand so the cheese doesn't stick.