Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I am weird. This is probably not news to you. I get obsessed with things, and then I have to turn them into an overly complex list and absorb everything about them. Dance was my first ever obsession, and though I’ve tried to break the habit repeatedly, it keeps worming its way back into my life.

In addition to trying to add a weekly dance class into my busy schedule, I’ve decided to get on YouTube and watch every single season of So You Think You Can Dance. Even the first season I had never seen before. News flash, it was kind of awful. But it’s bringing back so many great memories of fabulous choreography and fantastic personalities. It’s giving me life.

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

An obsession that completely possessed me later in life is, of course, cooking. This Mexican Lasagna is a perfect example of how deep my obsession goes. I’ve made this recipe many times, but I’ve never eaten it. I’m famously not a fan of vegetables, and this spicy layered dish is loaded with them. Plus some beans and cheese. 

My husband definitely benefits with my obsession as he gets to eat this all by himself every time. So you know that it’s not only tasty the first time around but also makes terrific leftovers. If you are looking for a simple, veggie-filled, all-in-one, dish, Mexican Lasagna is for sure the way to go.

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

A healthy obsession never hurt anyone, especially when it leads to awesome food.

Mexican Lasagna
Serves 6
Mexican Lasagna is spicy, cheesy, and layered with veggie goodness.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 clove garlic
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 bell pepper
  5. 2 serrano peppers or other small chillies
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  8. 1 can petite diced tomatoes with peppers (any combination of 2 cans of tomatoes will do)
  9. 1 tablespoon ketchup
  10. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  11. 1 can whole kernel corn
  12. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  13. 4 large tortillas
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 and find your deepest round baking dish, 9 or 10 inches in diameter, at least 2-1/2 inches deep.
  2. Smash your garlic clove with the flat side of your knife and peel the skin off. Toss the whole clove into a skillet with your olive oil and heat over medium. Don't forget to pull this out at the end. Chop your onion, and peppers and add them to the pan. Sprinkle them with salt and allow them to cook and soften for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, then fill each can about 1/4 of the way up with water. Swirl it around to get the tomatoey goodness off the side of the can, then add the water to the pan. Squeeze in the ketchup and allow it all to simmer together for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, assemble your filling by mixing together black beans, corn, and most of the cheese. Hold a bit back for the very top.
  5. Now it's time to assemble. Start with a few spoonfuls of sauce spread around the bottom of your pan, then lay down a tortilla. Next, add a third of the filling, and some more sauce. Repeat this two more times.
  6. Lay down the final tortilla on the top. Spread the last of your sauce over these, then top the whole thing with some extra shredded cheddar.
  7. Bake this in the oven for 30 minutes. You will may want to put a baking sheet underneath your pan to catch any drips.
  8. When the time is up, let your dish hang out for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. Slice into wedges like a pie and serve it to your veggie loving friends and family.
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Green Minestrone | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Green Minestrone

Green Minestrone | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Guys, the coldness is real. Autumn has come along and slapped us in the face up here in Scotland. Maybe this year I’ll finally manage to buy some cold weather clothe. Or maybe I’ll just keep freezing to death. Time will tell.

Green Minestrone | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Even if I don’t have a sweater, at least I have soup. And this one’s packed with vegetables, so that’s good, right? Green Minestrone is loaded up with zuchinni, cabbage, leeks, and green beans. Everything gets roughly chopped, tossed in the pot, then topped up with some good vegetable stock. Throw in some adorable tiny pasta, and it’s on.

In case you think things are getting a little too healthy up in here, I garnished these with some parmesan crisps. You can make these in a skillet or in the oven. Just pile up a spoonful of parm, apply heat, and watch the magic. It should only take about three of four minutes for your cheese to melt into crispy little discs. 

Green Minestrone | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Soup solves so many problems. Get out your favorite pot and make Green Minestrone tonight.

Green Minestrone
Serves 4
A simple soup loaded with green vegetables to keep you warm this autumn.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 leek, clean, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  3. 1 zucchini, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and chopped
  4. about 225 grams of white cabbage, shredded
  5. 50-75 grams green beans, with the ends trimmed then chopped in half
  6. 1 liter vegetable stock
  7. 100 grams small shaped pasta
  8. 1 tablespoon vermouth
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. Parmesan, crisp or not, to serve, optional
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm your oil, then add the leek and zucchini, give it an occasional stir. Let this cook for about 5 minutes to soften up a bit.
  2. Next add in the cabbage and green beans and cook for another five minutes. Your cabbage will shrink down to a manageable size. Don't worry.
  3. Add the stock to your pot and allow it to come to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, put a lid on your pot, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pot, nudge the heat up some so your soup comes back to a boil, then add the pasta and cook it for about 10 minutes.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, add the vermouth. Turn your heat off, add salt and pepper to taste, and allow the soup to cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese or some deceptively fancy parmesan crisps.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Spinach Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spinach Alfredo Mac and Cheese

Spinach Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Since Spring is a season of renewal and all that garbage, I’ve been thinking about my commitments. I’ve been wondering about letting some things go and trying some new things out. I’m starting to feel more comfortable here in Glasgow, and I’m wondering if it’s time to get involved in something new. 

I have an urge to get really good at something. Maybe Kung Fu? Maybe Argentine Tango? I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just lost my mind, but I feel like I need to keep growing. Maybe it’s all those flowers that have been popping up. I just need something new.

Spinach Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Speaking of something new, I made you a new mac and cheese, and there’s vegetables. Or a vegetable. I hid some spinach in between layers of alfredo-drenched pasta shells and plenty of cheese. You should know by now that this is what it takes for me to eat vegetables. 

This recipe has a couple of different elements, but it’s actually really simple. The spinach and cheese mixture comes together while the pasta is boiling. We’re using jarred alfredo sauce because we’re busy and hungry. Layer, bake, eat forever.

Spinach Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s all try something new this Spring. How can it be anything other than awesome. Then let’s eat Spinach Alfredo Mac and Cheese. You earned it.

Spinach Alfredo Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
Spinach Alfredo Mac and Cheese hides secret vegetables but flaunts it's awesome cheeesiness.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces small pasta shells or other small pasta
  2. 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  3. 1-3/4 cups cottage cheese
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided
  6. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  7. Salt and pepper, to taste
  8. 1-1/2 cups jarred alfredo sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick spray to make your life easier later when you have to clean up.
  2. Put a large pot of water on to boil, add a fat pinch of salt, and cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, stir together the spinach, cottage cheese, egg, 1/4 cup of parmesan, 2/3 cups mozzarella, and salt and pepper.
  4. Once your pasta is drained, return it to the pot and stir in the alfredo sauce.
  5. Spread half the pasta on the bottom of your casserole dish. Spread the spinach and cheese mixture evenly on top of this, then spread the remaining pasta on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Allow to cool for 5-10 before digging in.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook Macaroni & Cheese Recipes
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook Macaroni & Cheese Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
Vodka Lime Slush | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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