Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tortilla Lasagna for Hunger Challenge 2009

This is a go-to recipe that comes together very quickly. It is an adaption of a article and recipe I wrote based on a Vegetarian Times tortilla lasagna casserole on a few years back.
Here's the original from the February 2007 Vegetarian Times. You can read more about how I adapted the original recipe here.

My adaption of my adaptation is below for an inexpensive, tasty, vegetarian and gluten-free dish for the Hunger Challenge. My version is made in the microwave. I estimate the cost is about $6 or $1 a serving depending on where you shop and if you use the optional garnish. I got an amazing deal on the cottage cheese ($1.29 for a pound), the grated cheese (two pounds for $4.99), the tortillas ($1.70 for 30), the sauce (99 cents for a 28 ounce can) and the frozen corn (79 cents for a pound) at the Grocery Outlet. Even if you can't meet those prices it is still a very economical dish.

Tortilla Lasagna with Spinach and Vegetables
Serves 6

2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeding will make it milder)
1 zucchini chopped (1 small or 1/2 large)
1 lb. frozen spinach, defrosted, chopped
8 ounces frozen corn, defrosted
salt and pepper to taste
1 28-32 ounce jar of prepared spaghetti sauce
9 6-inch white or yellow corn tortillas
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar, jack or colby cheese
cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in large skillet or pot over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and saute until soft. Add carrot and saute for a few minutes. Add zucchini and saute for a minute then add spinach and corn. Cook until vegetables are tender. .Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9-10″ round casserole dish suitable for the microwave. Arrange 3 tortillas in a single layer (overlapping as needed) over the sauce.

Mix the cottage cheese with salt and pepper to taste. Whip with a fork until the cottage cheese is a bit smoother. Spread 1 cup of the cottage cheese over the tortilla layer, top with another 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, 1/2 of the vegetable mixture, a third of the cheese. Repeat laying with 3 more tortillas, 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, another third of the cheese. Place remaining tortillas on top and spread remaining tomato sauce over top. Sprinkle with rest of the cheese. Place in microwave and heat on high for about 15-20 minutes until the cheeses on top have melted and the lasagna is heated through. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.

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