I think it's humanly impossible to leave your parents' house without food. Sometimes I feel like my mom is literally throwing it at me as I walk out the door.
"Wait! Take one more slice of pie!"
"There's so much garlic bread! We'll never finish it alone."
"Let me package up some Greek salad for you. You did like it, didn't you? THEN TAKE SOME!"
And while I once thought it was just one of my mom's idiosyncrasies, I've found that Adam's mom is in on this game, too. So much so that his parents actually purchased a cooler for us to haul food in when we come to visit (including homemade eggnog during the holidays).
These people mean business.
And let's be clear about something: I'm not even close to complaining about it. I love it. I look forward to it. And I take full advantage of it :)
This week I benefited from the Parent-Child-Food-Gifting Phenomenon in the form of Mexican Lasagna. This deliciously loaded casserole is exactly what you might expect:
- Tortilla shells in place of noodles.
- Salsa instead of tomato sauce.
- Beans n' veggies substitute for meat.
- Cheddar replaces Mozzarella.
My mom sent me home with a hefty Tupperware-full after Sunday's family lunch, and we'll be enjoying it for at least two dinners this week.
So, although Adam and I clearly aren't starving (um, chocolate- peanut butter cupcakes anyone?), I'm more than happy to let our parents keep pretending we are.
(From the Hungry Spoon Mama...who credits this recipe with Diane T. of our local newspaper)
For all my vegan buddies out there, you can easily vegan-ize this hearty casserole by substituting the cheese with Garlicky White Bean Dip. Another tasty alteration would be to replace the burrito-size tortilla shells with crumbled tortilla chips.
- 2 tsp. canola oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 oz.) refried beans
- 6 burrito-size tortilla shells
- about 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- fresh cilantro and salsa
1) Heat a large skillet over medium high heat; add oil and saute onions, bell peppers, garlic, oregano, and cumin for about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
2) Divide the tomato mixture evenly between 3 bowls. Add a can of beans to each bowl and mix well. In the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan, spread one of of the bean mixtures. Top with 2 tortillas and 1/3 of the cheese. Add another bowl of bean mixture on top, 2 tortilla shells, and another 1/3 of the cheese. Complete layers with remaining beans, tortillas and cheese.
3) Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 - 35 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.