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GF Mexican Casserole

So y’all know I love me some Mexican food. And if you don’t know… now you know. (Thanks, Biggie.) I actually had it in one form or another three times last week, almost four, but me and my girlfriends cancelled dinner plans one night. Besides pizza, it’s my favorite thing to eat. I’m talking stretch-pants-mandatory-no-room-at-the-inn eat. Basically I like it.

mexican casserole 2

So when I tried to stop eating gluten, one of the hardest things for me to give up were flour tortillas. (No, I didn’t stop eating gluten just because I’m a trendy hipster, I read it helps with hypothyroidism and some other health issues, also I’m a little bit of a trendy hipster). Slowly and begrudgingly, I made the transition to corn tortillas, one burrito at a time, and it’s safe to say that I am now a full-blown corn tortilla convert. Sure you have to double-up on most them because they tear so easy, but they’re also drastically less calories, so I hardly feel guilty about that.

And also that just means I can add more cheese. #JessMath

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The rest of the ingredients in this dish came from a few of my kitchen staples and a need to use up the remainder of the most delicious corn on the planet that we brought home from our cabin a week prior. And as I hoped, it created a beautiful, cheesy, Mexican-inspired mess.

Gluten-Free Mexican Casserole
Serves: 4-6
Cook time: about 45 minutes

You’ll Need:
1lb lean ground turkey
1 sm. red onion, chopped
2 jalapenos (or other pepper of your choice), chopped
4 T taco seasoning, or 1 packet, + 3/4 cup water, (I use Penzeys bc I love them)
2 ears fresh corn, cut off the cobb
1 can diced chiles
2 cups sharp and/or mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa of your choice, plus more for serving
1 pack small corn tortillas

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. In a large pan, sprayed lightly with oil, heat onions and chopped peppers for about 5 minutes over med-high, until softened. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about another 8 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning and water, and simmer over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Stir in corn and can of chiles until combined. In a baking dish, spoon about 1/4 cup of salsa onto the bottom and layer with corn tortillas (about 5-6) to cover the bottom. Add half the turkey mixture, half the cheese, and another layer of tortillas. (You can use less this time if you want, I used 6 again.) Then add another 1/4 cup of salsa, turkey mixture, and the final layer of tortillas (again, up to you how many you’d like to use here) and the rest of the cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. (If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate it, give it a little longer to heat through.) Garnish with avocado, lime, cilantro, , sriracha, sour cream or whatever other fixins’ you like!

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mexican casserole 1
This was so insanely flavorful and such an easy dinner to make. You guys know I love meals you can make ahead of time, but it also made for killer leftovers. I’d like to say we ate this three days in a row, but we hogged out so hard that the leftovers only lasted the next day.

No judgement.


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Recipe Re-Do: Crockpot Lasagna

I mentioned a while back that I had “tragically” lost some of my original blog photos when I first switched over to WordPress This is kind of lame because now I have a few recipes out there without photos. RECIPES WITHOUT PHOTOS, PEOPLE. I know. Take a moment to calm yourselves. I’ll wait.

Did you get yourself a cocktail? Well I did. I’m feeling much better.

Ok, now that we’re all more relaxed, let’s just jump into today’s second edition of “Recipe Re-do”! This lasagna is one of my favorites, especially for those times when you’re having company over, and you want dinner to “magically be ready” without losing an hour of socializing while you’re slaving away in the kitchen. It’s also a great make-ahead meal if you stack everything up in ye olde crockpot ahead of time and then let ‘er rip the next day.

sauce and cheese

If you’re not on board after seeing cheese and sauce, well then, I think you may be in the wrong place.

ingredients
This time I had a chance to put my favorite sauce in the entire world to use here. (Trader Joe’s Three Cheese Pomodoro Pasta Sauce. And I of course mean favorite after my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce, duh. Hi, mom.) And although I normally use whole wheat noodles when making pasta, for some reason I just don’t get down with ww lasagna noodles. They just aren’t my bag, baby. But these Dreamfields noodles are an awesome lower-carb option if you’re into that sort of thing.

sauce + water
OH- and here’s a little secret I thought I’d share with you guys. You’ll notice the recipe calls for some water, well make sure and use you sauce jar to add this step. Pour it right into the jar, shakeshakeshake, and you’ll be able to use up every last drop of that sweet tomato-ey goodness.

layers of ingredients

So as you can see, this is a super simple recipe. Just layer up all that jazz and throw a lid on your dear sisterwife/crockpot and you’re donesies. 6 hours later, you’ll be in Cheesy Pasta Town. And who doesn’t want to go to there?

crockpot las

Crockpot Lasagna (take 2)
Serves: 6-8
Time: 7 hours
You’ll Need:
1/2 box of lasagna noodles (Whole wheat or lower carb)
28 oz jar tomato sauce of your choice
1/2 cup water
1 lb lean grass-fed ground beef
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
15 oz container reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated reduced-fat parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese (or other soft cheese)

Directions: In a large sauce pan over med-high heat, sautee ground beef and onion, until beef is browned. Add garlic and sautee another minute. Remove from heat. Drain the liquid from the pan and add tomato sauce and water.
Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine 1 cup mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan and mascarpone cheese. Add egg and mix until smooth.
Spoon about 3/4 cup of the sauce onto the bottom of your crockpot and then start layering noodles. You will have to break them into smaller pieces for this, but I promise it will be ok. Cover noodles with a layer of cheese mixture, then sauce, then noodles again. Repeat and finish with a layer of noodles, then sauce, then the rest of your mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Turn your crockpot to low and let cook for 6-7 hours. (I did 6 and it was cooked to perfection.)

Serve with a side of caesar salad.

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crockpot las 2

You guys, this is seriously one of my favorite meals ever. And the mascarpone cheese was kind of a last-minute add since I just had some I wanted to use up, but it was a great call. Plus pretty much anytime you add more cheese to something it’s a good idea.

So that’s it for this edition of Recipe Re-Do’s! Have you guys ever made crockpot lasagna? Thoughts?

Note 1: You also may notice that I strayed from my usual ground turkey here and went straight for the ground beef. I can’t explain it other than the fact that I had some questionable turkey a few months ago and haven’t been able to go back to it since.

Note 2: I have no affiliation to any of the products I mentioned here, they are just simply a few of my faves that I wanted to share.

Note 3: Here’s the original recipe post.

Note 4: Just kidding. I’m done.

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