Thursday, August 30, 2012

Salsa Salad

I'm stoked for fall to get here. I've caught myself looking longingly at the sweaters in my closest and planning when I'll bake my first apple pie this season... lighting pumpkin-scented candles even!

But, it's going to be pushing ninety degrees in New York City this weekend. Labor Day Weekend is coming; let's send summer out with a bang!

  • one avocado, chopped
  • two large tomatoes, diced
  • one jar Trader Joe's Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa
  • one jalepeño, minced (add only if you want your salad to have a little extra "kick")
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked or canned black beans (if using canned, be sure to drain and rinse)
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (any color), diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To Make
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or container. Allow the salad to meld in your 'fridge for an hour or two. 
Does it get any easier than that?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

A twist on an old favorite, this recipe for Mexican Lasagna layers enchilada sauce, corn tortillas, refried beans, vegetables, and cheese that reaches ooey gooey levels of deliciousness as it bakes in your oven. Enjoy it with some fresh cilantro or a dollop of guacamole and a glass of sangria (this one or this one would do nicely) for a dinner you won't soon forget!

  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (jarred, canned, or homemade)
  • 18-20 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 can refried pinto beans, with or without chiles/jalapeños/salsa-style/etc. depending on your taste
  • 1 can refried black beans, with or without chiles/jalapeños/salsa-style/etc. depending on your taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1-3 jalapeños, minced: Use one for a mild lasagna... more to add heat!
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar or "mexican blend" cheese
  • cilantro or guacamole for garnish
To Make
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Blend the two cans of refried beans using a spoon or food processor. Add a little water if necessary to make them more spreadable.
  3. Combine the tomatoes, jalapeños, and onions in a bowl.
  4. Coat the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with enchilada sauce. 
  5. Add a layer of tortillas.
  6. For the next layer, spread half of the beans over the tortillas. 
  7. Spoon half of your vegetables on top of the beans.
  8. Sprinkle on a layer of cheese.
  9. Add a second layer of tortillas. 
  10. Coat the tortillas with more enchilada sauce. 
  11. Spread the remaining beans on top of the sauce. It's okay if they blend a little bit.
  12. Distribute the rest of the vegetables and another coating of cheese on top of the second bean layer.
  13. Finish off with a final layer of tortillas, the rest of your sauce, and the last of the shredded cheese. 
  14. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
  15. Allow the lasagna to set up for at least 10-15 minutes after removing from the oven to avoid a runny dinner plate.