Mexican Lasagna

I had been craving Mexican food lately and love making lasagna, so I thought I’d look for some recipes online to make this happen. I found an interesting recipe for Mexican Lasagna by Rachael Ray that looked easy to veganize. And yes, many recipes, unless they include a bloody steak, can be veganized. I made some changes to her recipe such as replacing the ground chicken breast with texturized vegetable protein (TVP),  using vegan cheese, using canned (not frozen) corn, adding a jalapeno, using different onions and tortillas, and salsa instead of roasted tomatoes.

Here is my complete altered version:

2 TB olive oil
1 cup TVP (dried)
7/8th cup vegetable broth
2 TB chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 jalapeno
1 small white onion, chopped finely
1 cup black beans
1 cup canned corn
1-2 cups salsa (hot & mild)
salt to taste
3 (8 inch) whole wheat flour tortillas
1 to 1 1/2 cups vegan pepperjack cheese (I used Daiya)
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives
vegan sour cream – optional (I used Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Reconstitute 1 cup of TVP in a pot of boiling vegetable broth. Turn off burner and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the jalapeno and onion in a small frying pan with the oil until the onion becomes almost translucent. When done, add the jalapeno and onion mixture to the TVP. Add the chili powder, salt, and cumin to this mixture and stir well. Add the black beans, also mixing well.

Using an 8 x 8 inch glass casserole dish, put a small amount of salsa on the bottom to coat it. Put 1 tortilla (cut into 2 halves) in the dish. Layer with the bean and TVP mixture, corn, more salsa, vegan cheese, and another layer of halved tortillas. Do this once more. Cover the last tortilla layer with salsa and vegan cheese on top. Add the sliced black olives over the cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

After removing the lasagna from the oven, sprinkle the top with the scallions. Put a dollop of sour cream on each serving, if desired.

I left half of the lasagna without cheese or olives (Mr. T-Cat doesn't like them)
Mexican lasagna – inside shot

This lasagna was a little messy to eat, but overall, very flavorful, spicy, and a creative twist on the ingredients usually found in a soft taco.

Overall, I rate this recipe as 4 out of 5 carrots on my veganlicious scale!

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