In this vegetarian Mexican lasagna, vegetables and beans are first cooked with Mexican spices, then layered with soft tortillas, sour cream and cheese before baking in the oven. It's a recipe I've been making it for years, very much an old favourite in my house. Vegetarian Mexican lasagna is also a staple at my hubby Joe's cooking classes where it is always a big hit.
The dish is not hot so feel free to up the number of chilis if you need to. I prefer to make it mild but always make sure I have a big bowl of jalapeno peppers and another of sour cream in the middle of the table so everyone can control their own spice levels.
I usually cook the lasagne in a square casserole dish or lasagne pan like this. The tortillas fit well in a square dish but you can cut them to fit your pan if you need to. You'll need one with a capacity of about 2 litres or 2 quarts.
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
One small red pepper or half a large, finely chopped
100g/4oz/1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tsps ground cumin
1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 tsp of chilli powder
2x 400g/14oz cans of chopped tomatoes, drained
1 tsp dried oregano
1 400g/14oz can kidney beans, drained
1 200g/7oz can of sweetcorn, drained
4 tbsps of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Juice of a lime
100g/4oz grated mozzarella, cheddar or any grated cheese you like
200ml/8 fl oz/1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1 packet of soft flour tortillas
2. Gently fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Then add the pepper and mushrooms and continue to cook until soft.
3. Stir in the cumin, fresh chilli and chilli powder and cook for a minute.
4. Add the drained tomatoes and the oregano to the pan and continue to cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in the kidney beans, the corn, the fresh coriander and lime juice. Season to taste, then remove from the heat.
6. Put the sour cream and two thirds of the grated cheese in a bowl and mix well. Now you are ready to start layering your mexican lasagne.
7. Place half of the vegetable mixture at the base of a 4 pint/2 litre lasagne dish and cover with a single layer of tortillas.
8. Spread over half of the sour cream mixture, then cover with another layer of tortillas. Repeat by adding the rest of the vegetables, a layer of tortillas and the remaining sour cream mixture. Finish with a tortilla layer.
9. Sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
10. It's best to leave it to stand for 10 minutes before cutting.