Apparently my gastric system is in line with Cinco de Mayo or something, because I spontaneously decided to cook a bunch of hot and spicy mexican stuff this weekend, without even realizing that it was Cinco de Mayo until I'd already planned the meal. Inadvertent score.
Having seen (and drooled over) the Mexican Lasagna recipe noted at the end of this post, I decided to whip up my own version. I also saw a recipe for a Mexican Chocolate Cake on vegweb, and since I heart heart heart cayenne pepper and chocolate, I of course had to try it out (but you'll have to wait 'til tomorrow to hear more about that). And E ended up picking me up this Vegan Recipes cookbook at Half-Price Books, so I decided to go with a spicy-potato recipe from there as well. I was not too pleased with the latter, but I think this was probably because I thought I needed to double the amount of spices I used (because I appeared to be making double the amount of potatoes) but perhaps I didn't need to after all. The recipe is an interesting mix of spices though--coriander, allspice, garlic, and paprika--so I'll *definitely* be trying it again, hopefully more successfully next time.
As for the lasagna, well, I've been cowing down on it and craving it all week, so I'd say it was a success. It's very sloppy and doesn't hold together well straight out of the oven (as you can see from the pics), but as left-overs, it's all nice and compact like lasagna-leftovers normally are. It also seemed a bit salty to me on the first day, so next time, I will probably do without the taco-packets and use my own non-salty variety of mexican-inspired seasonings. However, the leftovers didn't seem NEARLY so salty, so perhaps it was just my imagination.
All and all, this dish was delish, if I may say so myself. It's nice and spicy, gloriously ooey-gooey, and makes a lot lot lot. So definitely check it out if you're having a party or something, or are just trying to feed a nice big family.
- 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 lg. can tomato sauce
- 2 jars salsa
- 1 sm. can black beans, drained
- 1 package Morningstar Farms meat-crumbles
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 sm. can vegan refried beans (I used seasoned ones)
- 1 vegan taco-seasoning packet
- About 4-5 green onions, sliced thin
- 1 medium-sized green pepper, diced
- 1 habanero pepper, deseeded and diced tiny
- 1/2 can black olives, sliced
- 1 cube vegan cheddar cheez, shredded
Either spray a large pan with nonstick oil or use a little bit of veggie oil, and brown the Morningstar Farms meat-crumbles along with your habanero. Once the crumbles are pretty brown, add in about 1/2 c. water and no more than half of your taco-seasoning packet. Cook until it's absorbed the liquid. Add in 1/2 jar salsa and 1/2 of your can of tomato sauce. Stir until heated through. Set aside.
In another pan, dump in your black beans, refried beans, the other half of your salsa, and one cup of tomato sauce. Add in just a tablespoon or so of your taco-seasoning packet. Stir until mixed and then cook until heated through. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400. In a 9x13 casserole dish of some sort, pour just enough tomato sauce to very thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Place three uncooked lasagna noodles on top (make sure the noodles aren't touching each other or the sides of the casserole because they apparently expand when they cook). Cover the lasagna noodles with most of the "meat"-mixture (you will end up with a little bit left over). Sprinkle a tiny bit of cheez as well as a handful of green-onions over the "meat"-mixture. Layer on three more noodles. Cover the noodles with the bean mixture (you will have a significant amount of the mixture left over, but that's ok because you'll need it for the final layer). Layer on three more noodles. Cover these noodles with the rest of your bean-mixture and the rest of your "meat"-mixture. Add your final layer of three noodles. Pour your other jar of salsa as well as any remaining tomato sauce over this final layer, making sure to thoroughly cover the noodles so they cook correctly. Sprinkle your green peppers, any remaining green onions, and olives on top. Cover with all your shredded cheez.
Cover the casserole dish with foil and cook in oven for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for 10 minutes. Turn your oven onto the broiler setting, and place the casserole into the broiler for a couple minutes--until the cheez has melted and started to brown just a bit. Remove from broiler and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
**Please note, if you are using the no-boil lasagna noodles, you will need to make sure that they are thoroughly covered in liquidy/beany/meaty mixtures so they cook correctly. This is why you definitely need the bottom layer of sauce before you start adding noodles.
Feeds an assload.
(Inspired by--but totally altered from--this recipe)