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Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna

It’s that time of the year to start thinking about casseroles and hearty food, hot from the oven. This is a filling but not heavy Mexican-inspired casserole, full of contrasting and complementary textures and flavors: spicy and sweet peppers, a creamy refried bean mix, spiced quinoa and velvety cashew cheese. It does have a lot of ingredients, multiple steps and require several pots but it is inexpensive, simple to put together and a delicious, protein-rich dinner, reminiscent of a layered tamale casserole.

Mexican Lasagna

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a deep rectangular pan with parchment paper or lightly oil.

24 ounces salsa
12 corn tortillas

Creamy Refried Beans

16 ounces refried beans
1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 T. pumpkin purée
2 T. nutritional yeast (optional)
2 t. cumin
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pan over medium-low heat, mix together the ingredients until fully blended together and warmed through.

Spiced Quinoa

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa and stock or water in a medium pot with a lid; bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about fifteen minutes, then remove from the burner. Uncover, stir in lime juice, dill, salt and pepper, fluffing with a fork.


1/3 cup low sodium vegetable broth or 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced (leave seeds in if you like it spicier)
3 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch curly kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup organic corn, defrosted
1 T. tamari
1 T. fresh lime juice

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the stock or oil. Add the onions and peppers, stirring often for about six - seven minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, stirring often for two minutes, and then the kale, corn and tamari, stirring until bright green and beginning to wilt, about two minutes more. Turn off the heat and pour the lime juice over the vegetables, stirring it through.

Cashew Cheese

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for three hours or more (if you want to do this faster, simply use hot water and the cashews should be soft enough in an hour)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon filtered water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the drained cashews, water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic in a high-power blender or food processor and process until smooth, about a minute. Add water by the tablespoon if this is too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dip your tortillas one at a time in a bowl of salsa. Inside your prepared baking pan, layer six tortillas, then half the refried beans, then half the quinoa, then half the vegetables, spreading it to cover all the surface. Dollop on half the cashew cheese. Repeat this same layering pattern, ending with the cashew cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for five minutes and enjoy!

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