Mexican Lasagna

I saw this idea on Pinterest quite a while ago and it just sat there in the back of my mind for a good few months. Last weekend I couldn’t take it anymore and decided I have to make one! I didn’t want mine to be like everyone else’s though so I had to put a good couple days worth of thought into how I would make mine unique. The solution?! That cheesy centre that a traditional lasagna has, only this one would have jalapenos, Tex Mex cheese, cream cheese, green onions and ricotta. And I didn’t stop the madness there either! Oh no, this cheese mix for the middle layer of the lasagna was going on top of a layer of refried beans. That’s right, we’re throwing some burrito goodness in here too! With layers of taco flavored sauce, soft tortilla shells and that center of beans and cheese, this meal was really something! And it’s not a little meal either, you’ll have left overs too! Your fam jam, taste buds and soul will have a new level of appreciation for lasagna night when you pull this out of the oven!

Sauce:

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 6 tbs taco seasoning (2 packages) 
  • 1 cup salsa 
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 Serrano, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup, diced tomatillos 
  • 1 cup, diced onion
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off (3/4 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 tbs oil

    Cheese Filling:

    • 2 cups ricotta
    • 1/3 cup cream cheese, room temp
    • 1 cup diced jalapenos
    • 1 320 g (3 cups) bag Tex Mex Cheese 
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 tbs oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 cups refried beans
    • 6 large soft tortillas
    • 3 cups grated cheddar 
    1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
    2. Add all the veggies under the sauce list and cook for 5 minutes. 
    3. Add the beef and pork, breaking it up as it cooks.
    4. Once the meat is cooked, stir in the taco seasoning, salsa & tomato paste. 
    5. Simmer the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. You don’t want it to loose or it won’t stay together when you cut the pieces. 
    6. While the sauce simmers, sautee the jalapenos and oil together until tender. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.  (so they cool faster. If they are hot it will cook the eggs in the cheese mix which is not what we want)
    7. In a medium sized bowl, mix the cheeses, eggs, salt and pepper together. Stir the jalapenos in once they have cooled. 
    8. When the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and pre heat oven to 375°
    9. In a large casserole dish spread a layer of sauce on the bottom. Don’t make it too thick, it’s just there to prevent the tortillas from sticking to the dish.
    10. Place 2 soft tortillas on top. They will over lap each other.
    11. Add another layer of sauce on the tortillas. About half of what you have left. 
    12. Place 2 more tortillas on top. 
    13. Evenly spread the refried beans over the tortillas, then spread the cheese filling over the beans.
    14. Place the last 2 tortillas on top of the cheese filling. 
    15. Spread the remaining sauce on the tortillas and even out.
    16. Cover with grated cheddar.
    17. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the cheese is golden brown.
    18. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting so the filling doesn’t fall out when you remove the slices. 
    19. Top with sour cream and salsa if you wish and enjoy!
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    Weaved B.L.T. With Cheese

    This is my twist on the BLT. I saw the weaved bacon idea on Pinterest and well I had to try it. I’m always excited to try new things with bacon so I definitely had to give it a shot. It looks super cute but also I found the bacon stayed in place better along with having an even amount across the sandwich. If you’re a bacon fanatic, that is exactly what you want. Nice even layer of beautiful bacon. 😉

    • 1 ciabatta bun
    • 3 piecespieces of bacon cut in half
    • 2 thin slices of firm tomato
    • 1/4 cup Iceberg lettuce chopped
    • Cheddar or cheese of choice
    • 1 tbs Italian dressing 
    • Butter
    • Mayo
    • Mustard
    • Salt and pepper to taste 
    • 1 tsp Fresh chopped parsley
    1. If you use the oven/toaster oven to cook your bacon, preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Butter bun set aside. 
    3. Line a baking pan with tin foil
    4. Take 3 of the bacon slices and lie them beside each other on the tin foil. 
    5. Fold the 2 outside strips down and place 1 strip across the middle piece and fold the 2 outside pieces over top.
    6. Fold the middle piece of bacon up and lie another strip of bacon across the 2 outside pieces and then fold the middle piece down.
    7. And for the final strip of bacon fold the 2 outside pieces up again, lay the last strip over the middle piece and fold down the outside pieces and the weave is complete. 
    8. Bake or pan fry bacon until it is cooked to your personal preference. If you’re baking it, flip half way through cooking.
    9. Once the bacon is done remove from the oven and set the bacon aside on a piece of paper towel.
    10. Heat a pan and grill the ciabbatta bun. This makes it softer and easier to eat along with that lovely grilled bun flavor. 
    11. In a small bowl mix the iceberg lettuce and Italian dressing together.
    12. Place mustard and mayo on each side of the grilled bun. 
    13. Place cheese on the mustard side of the bun and the weaved bacon on top of the cheese. On the mayo side, place the tomato, salt, pepper and parsley. 
    14. Place the Italian dressing lettuce On top of the tomatoes. 
    15. Put your halves together and go to town! 

    Slow Cooked Mexican Shredded Pork Tenderloin 

    Another great way to change up your tacos or nachos! Tenderloin is a no effort meat when it comes to shredding and the texture is so much better than a pork loin roast. Next time these bad boys are on sale I recommend picking them up and making this to feed that taco craving!

    • 1 pork tenderloin 
    • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped 
    • 1 Jalapeño, roughly chopped  (remove seeds for less heat)
    • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 3 tbs Taco Seasoning or 1 package of your preferred store bought taco seasoning. I recommend my seasoning for best results 😉
    1. Place tenderloin in crock pot and cover with 1 1/2 tbs or 1/2 a pack of taco seasoning. Reserve the other 1/2 for the end.
    2. Place all chopped veggies around tenderloin and pour in the chicken broth.
    3. Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours.
    4. Cut tenderloin into 4 big pieces and shredded each piece using 2 forks.

    Serve over nachos or on tacos with all your preferred fixings 👌

    Italian Wedding Soup

    For The Meatballs – makes 39 1/2 tbs sized meatballs or

    • 1/2 lbs ground beef
    • 1/2 lbs ground pork
    • 1 tbs chopped parsley 
    • 1/2 tbs dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
    • 1/2 tsp dried basil 
    • 2 tbs grated parmesan 
    • 2 tbs minced onion 
    • 1/2 tbs minced garlic 
    • 2 -3 tbs coffee cream
    • 1 slice of fresh bread
    • 1 egg
        1. Set oven to broil on high.
        2. Make the panade.                Gently remove the crust from the bread. Discard or eat the crust, whatever meets your fancy 😊
        3. Place the bread in a small bowl and pour 2 tbs of coffee cream over the bread and let soak. Add another tbs if needed. After a couple minutes roll up your sleeves and mash the bread, removing any hard little bits if there are any.
        4. Mix the egg into the bread and milk mix.
        5. In a larger bowl, mix everything together until well blended. 
        6. Using a 1/2 tbs to measure the meat begin scooping it out and rolling them into nice little balls. 
        7. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Broil on high until the tops are golden brown. 
        8. Remove and set aside on paper towels to allow the fat to drain.

        For The Broth

        • 8 cups (2 x 946ml cartons) chicken broth
        • 1 tbs olive oil
        • 1 parmesan rind
        • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
        • 2 tsp dried oregano 
        • 1 tsp dried marjoram 
        • 2 large bay leaves
        • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley 
        • 1/2 finely chopped onion
        • 1 tbs minced garlic
        • 2 cups chopped baby spinach 
        • Seasoning salt and pepper to taste
        • 1/2 – 3/4 orzo or acini de pepe pasta
        1. In a large pot heat oil over medium heat.
        2. Saute onion, ground fennel, oregano, marjoram and bay leaves for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly to avoided browning. We’re just drawing out the flavours from everything.
        3. Add all the chicken broth, garlic and parmesan rind and bring to a boil.
        4. Reduce heat to a simmer and add all the meatballs. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
        5. Add spinach and parsley and simmer another 10 minutes. 
        6. Add pasta and cook according to package time.
        7. Once noodles are cooked through remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind and discard. 
        8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


        Hearty Jalapeño & Pineapple Chili

        Nothing fills the soul like a big batch of chili and with this recipe you will have a BIG batch of chili! Not to worry though, it’s crazy good so left overs aren’t going to be an issue and if you’re looking for something to can, this recipe is what you’re looking for👌

        • 1 1/2 lbs  ground beef
        • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
        • 3 398 ml cans fire roasted tomatoes
        • 1 398ml can kidney beans
        • 1  540ml can black beans
        • 1/2 cup pineapple Tidbits (optional)
        • 1 156ml can tomato paste
        • 1 cup chopped white onion
        • 1 cup chopped green pepper
        • 3 chopped Jalapeño or 2 Serrano peppers, I keep the seeds but remove if you like less heat.
        • 1/2 cup chopped celery
        • 1/2 cup grated carrot
        • 1/2 – 1 1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
        • 1 tbs dijon mustard
        • 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
        • 4 tbs brown sugar
        • 6 tbs chili powder
        • 2 tsp smoked paprika
        • Salt to taste
        1. In a large pot cook the ground beef and pork.
        2. While the meat cooks chop all the veggies to your preferred size and open all the cans. You’ll also want to rinse the beans off.
        3. Strain the fat and transfer the meat into a crock pot.
        4. Add the remaining ingredients to the meat and stir until everything is well mixed. It will look a little dry but by the time it’s done cooking it will be perfect 👌
        5. Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8.

        Enjoy!