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Or if you insist, "Taco Lasagna." The idea of this arrived via [personal profile] rebelsheart several weeks ago. After he reported that his version seemed to be OK but not spectacular, I took up the challenge. I let it simmer in my head for a while before getting around to the actual experiment.

Here is the result:




Lasagna Mexicana

1 lb. ground turkey (or ground beef)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. hot paprika (preferably Szeged)
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
15 oz. can black beans, reduced sodium preferred, rinse and drain
15 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce
2 cups medium heat chunky tomato salsa
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 cubanelle pepper (or other mild pepper as desired,) seeded and diced
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 lb. swiss chard, washed and shredded (or spinach if you wish)
9 tortillas, 6 inch diameter (flour or corn as you prefer,) cut in half
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese, shredded (substitute a Mexican cheese if you like, or Monterey Jack)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat canola oil in large skillet, then stir in the onion and mild pepper. Add ground turkey, breaking it up and turning until it is no longer pink. Add cumin, paprika, and cayenne and blend well. Stir in the black beans, tomato sauce, and salsa. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until it reduces and thickens just a little.

Grease a 9 x 13 glass casserole or baking pan. Spread just a little of the taco meat mixture on the bottom, then cover it with 6 of the half-tortillas. Spread a third of remaining meat mixture over the tortillas, and half of the ricotta on top of that. Place shredded chard or spinach in a layer over that, followed by another 6 half-tortillas. Half of the remaining meat mixture goes on the tortillas, followed by the rest of the ricotta. Top with the last 6 half-tortillas. The rest of the meat goes on top of that, and the shredded cheese is the final layer. Bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and starts to brown.

Makes 8 servings. Serve with mixed greens, and garnish with sour cream, cilantro, or shredded cheddar as desired.

Nutritional analysis (courtesy of MyFitnessPal.com, as I prepared it): one serving has

439 calories; 21 grams fat (9 grams saturated, 2 grams monounsaturated,1 gram polyunsaturated;) 67 mg cholesterol; 878 mg sodium; 489 mg potassium; 39 grams carbohydrates (7 grams dietary fiber, 6 grams sugars;) and 26 grams protein. Includes vitamin A 49% of RDA; vitamin C 24% of RDA; calcium 35% of RDA; and iron 19% of RDA.)


Note that I use individual spices rather than prepared chili powder, both because I find it gives better flavor and aroma and because the prepared powder is usually half salt. That's sodium none of us needs.

The result was quite tasty and we rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It has some heat, but not the fire of real authentic Mexican dishes. That can be adjusted to your taste of course. As I made it, several of our less adventurous friends would have found it "too hot to eat."
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