Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mexican Lasagna - from freezer to oven to table

What is it about "lasagna" pics that never quite capture the Mmmm

I'm sharing with you the results of some AMAZING R&D, aka making up a recipe, that I did the other day. I was wanting a new type of recipe, in my Freezer Meal Workshops, that would go straight from the Freezer to the Oven WITHOUT having to thaw it. This means NO FORETHOUGHT to dinner, really. And isn't that the hardest thing to feeding your family well, sometimes? Actually remembering to pull the meal OUT of the Freezer! HA! SOOOOO, I'm happy to report that this "lasagna", aka taco type casserole, was not only a HUGE Hit but had leftovers for lunch the next day.

Now, of course, this can be assembled and put right in the oven using a 9x13 dish. So don't think it MUST be frozen, in order to make and enjoy!

What you need:

2 lbs BROWNED Ground Beef 
1 pack of flour tortillas (we like whole wheat ones) 
2 cups Mexican Shredded Cheese  
1 Package of cooked brown rice (not the kind you boil, the packages you microwave)
1 jar Corn Black Bean Salsa
 9 x 13 freezer safe aluminum pan

assembled and ready to cover and go in the freezer bag

The How Tos:
If you haven't already, then you need to brown and drain the ground beef. Once that is done, then it goes into a Ziploc Gallon Freezer Bag. {If you are prepping several meals, then it's a good idea to have all the meat in bags prior to starting}. Pour the jar of Corn Black Bean Salsa into the bag with the meat. Open and add the COOKED rice to the mixture. I used Spanish Rice, instead of Brown Rice, as that's what I had in the pantry. However, the Freezer Meal Workshop Grocery List and Assembly will tell you to use Brown Rice. So --> YOUR choice! Seal the bag, leaving a little air inside, and squish to mix all the ingredients well. No need for a spoon. Just squish, smoosh, shake, turn upside down -- whatever you want to get the ingredients mixed together.

Inside the bottom of the pan, place 4 tortillas in a pattern that covers most of the bottom of the pan. You will find that part of them will go up the sides of the pan. Spoon part of the mixture over the tortillas and spread evenly. Top mixture with cheese. Add another layer of tortillas, just as you did on the bottom. Again, add the meat mixture and then the cheese. Add another layer of tortillas, this time tearing a little portion of of them to cover the gaps on the side. {see pic above}. Top with the rest of the cheese. 

Cover tightly with Press N Seal, then slip into a 2 Gallon Ziploc Bag (the BIG Ones). Place in the freezer with nothing on top of it, until it sets. 

It's What's for Dinner:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the aluminum pan on a cookie sheet, to provide stability. Remove the Press N Seal to replace with Aluminum Foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and use a Meat Thermometer to check the inside temperature of the casserole. It should easily pierce it, however it will not be ready, yet. Cover and place back in the oven for another 30 minutes or so. Check the casserole with the Meat Thermometer again. It needs to be at least  160 degrees, even though all of the ingredients are "precooked".  Slice and enjoy with a side salads. My kids topped theirs with sour cream and LOVED it. I have to admit, that I put a dollop on mine as well ;)