Tex-Mex Lasagna

I think that Mexican food is everyone’s favorite, but we do know that sometimes Mexican food can be high in fat, calories, and carbs if we make the recipes with flour tortillas, beef, and lots of cheese. I found this recipe years ago in a magazine called Taste of Home “Light & Tasty” and modified the recipe to suit me. I love my vegetarian version. I do plan to try to make this recipe using Nutritional Yeast instead of cheese soon. I have an addiction to cheese and am working on weaning this out of my diet. The vegetarian recipe is excellent and so is the beef version. Enjoy!

Tex-Mex Lasagna

Click on the photo to see a larger image

1 lb. Lean ground beef or if you want to make vegetarian recipe (use Morningstar or Simply Organic Crumbles)
1 can (16 oz.) Refried black beans
1 can (15 oz.) Black beans drained and rinsed well
¾ cup Organic frozen corn
1 Jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped (this is optional – will depend on how spicy you like your Mexican food)
1 envelope Taco Seasoning (I suggest you make your own because of too many preservatives and additives in the packets)

Pam’s Home-made Taco Seasoning (sometimes I make a lot tripling the recipe and then I store in a glass container with tightly covered lid this lasts me about 2 or 3 months)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of Paprika
1 teaspoon of Cumin
1 teaspoon of Chili Powder
½ teaspoon of salt and pepper each
Mix well in a bowl and season your meat or vegetarian crumbles to your taste

1 can (15 oz.) Muir Glenn tomato sauce (or your favorite brand)
2-1/2 cups Salsa (your favorite brand) Mild/Medium/Hot flavors
12 Soft Corn tortillas
3 cups Low-Fat Monterey Jack/Colby cheese blend or your favorite Mexican Cheese blend (shredded)
Optional: Low-Fat sour cream, avocado, green onions as toppings

In a large skillet, brown the beef until cooked thoroughly or the crumbles are heated through. Stir in the refried beans, beans, corn, jalapeno, taco seasoning and ¾ cup of the tomato sauce. Mix well.

Combine the salsa and the remaining tomato sauce. Spread ¼ cup of the salsa tomato sauce mixture into a greased 13”x 9”baking dish. Layer 4 corn tortillas (these will overlap each other). Spread half of the meat or vegetarian mixture on top of corn tortillas, then spread 1 cup of the salsa mixture over meat or vegetarian mixture, 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Repeat the layers, top with remaining corn tortillas, salsa mixture and cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake @ 350° F for about 45-5 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the cheese is melted.(IMPORTANT) Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting, if don’t wait 10 minutes the lasagna will break apart and be messy.

Serve with Sour Cream, Avocado and onions. Makes 12 servings and the leftovers freeze very well.



**REPOST*** Superbowl Sunday Healthy Appetizer – Potato Skins

I saw this recipe on the food channel one Saturday morning. The show was about eating healthy with Ellie Krieger and the recipe looked amazing. I thought it would be a good Football or card party kind-of-an-appetizer since most appetizers served at events tend to lean very heavy on the calories. I tested the recipe, it was perfect! Loved it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme

Recipe created December 31, 2009

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme
8 small Idaho potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds total), scrubbed and dried
4 teaspoons of olive oil
8 ounces broccoli florets, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
6 pieces of Canadian bacon, finely diced (about 6 ounces) (can be omitted) or use Turkey Bacon
¾ to 1 cup of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

Avocado Crème:
2 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced and greens reserved
1 medium avocado
2 tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream or 2% Greek Fage Greek Yogurt
Two tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup cilantro leaves (or use another herb if do not like cilantro like parsley, thyme)
1 clove garlic
¼-teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork and rub lightly with olive oil (not the 4 teaspoons in the recipe above – extra). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until baked potatoes are cooked thoroughly and tender. Remove from oven and cool completely enough so they are easy to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8” of the potato flesh, leave the skin in place. Save the scooped potato flesh for another use (possibly fresh corn and potato chowder).Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place potatoes, skin-side down and baking sheet until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While potato skins are cooking, prepare the filling. Steam the chopped broccoli until crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a non-stick sauté skillet, add the chopped Canadian bacon or turkey bacon and cook until crisp stirring often, about 3 to 4 minutes, put cooked bacon on paper towel to remove excess fat. To make avocado crème, combine scallion (green onions) whites, avocado, sour cream or Greek Yogurt, lime juice, cilantro (or other preferred herb), garlic and salt in a small bowl of a food processor or blender and process on high until smooth.

Toss the broccoli with cheese and spoon filling evenly among cooked halved potato skins. Return potatoes to oven and bake until cheese is melted, approximately 5 minutes, Spoon 1 tablespoon of the avocado cream on top of the broccoli-filled potatoes, then top with scallion greens and 1 teaspoon crisped bacon bits.

Calories: 180, Total Fat: 10g, Protein 8g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 3g, Cholesterol 20 mg


7 Layer Salad Squares

A friend asked me for some appetizer ideas for a family get-together for the New Year holiday. I used to be a Pampered Chef kitchen consultant so I thought I would check out some of the cookbooks and see what I could come up with. I found this recipe that I demonstrated at a kitchen show but really wanted to change the recipe to a more healthier version for my parties. Due to the travel time, there were some ingredients in the recipe that could become spoiled I had to figure out a way to make the recipe travel friendly.

7 Layer Salad Squares
Modified recipe from Pampered Chef on 01/02/2010

2 packages (8 ounces each) low-fat refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cheese
1 garlic clove minced
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled (put bacon on paper towel to drain grease)
1 cup thawed frozen baby petite peas
3 plum tomatoes or ½ pint of cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups thinly sliced Roman lettuce
½ cup (2 ounces) 2% milk fat shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup thinly sliced red onion

Salad Dressing (need ½ cup of this)
½ cup 2% Fago Greek Yogurt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12×15 tray with a lip or a 12 x 15 stone with a lip. Unroll the crescent rolls with the longest side of the rolls to the shortest side of the tray.  Seams of the crescent roll need to be pressed together tightly using your fingers or a mini roller. Bake 12 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

In a bowl, combine the Neufchatel cheese, ½ cup of the homemade salad dressing, and garlic, mix until completely smooth. I found using a spoon first and then a whisk later helped gets rid of all the lumps. Add half of the crumbled bacon with half the peas in the salad dressing and spread mixture over the baked cooled crescent roll square.

Spread the seeded chopped tomatoes evenly over the salad dressing. Spread the thinly sliced lettuce over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the lettuce and the thinly sliced onion.  Cut the appetizer into 24 even squares.

Eat Healthy!

Cook’s Note
The Greek yogurt… I am just hooked on this. I am using the Greek yogurt for recipes that require mayonnaise and sometimes sour cream. It is a perfect match and much healthier for you with really no difference in texture or flavor.

Another Pam’s Tip
Always remember to remove the seeds from tomatoes when using it for appetizers because the seeds cause juice and it could make the recipe very soggy.


Lori’s Taco Dip

This dip is my sister’s favorite thing to eat. Very easy to make and a huge hit at parties. My friend Lori gave this recipe to me years ago and we love it!

Lori’s Taco Dip, created on 06/30/2008

1 package 8 oz of cream cheese softened
1 16 oz container of sour cream
1 package of Taco Bell Seasoning Mix

Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together well and then add the taco seasoning mix.

1 head of chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 to 3 tomatoes seeded – removing the seeds help prevent the dip from becoming watery – or – 1 container of grape tomatoes halved and halved again
1 large can of black olives sliced
2 to 3 green onions chopped
1 package 16 oz of sharp cheddar cheese

Layer dip as follows:
Sour Cream mixture on the bottom of serving platter
Black olives
Green onions

Serve with Tostitos Scoops it is much easier to use the scoops than the flat tostitos


Garlic Cheese Biscuits

This is the time of the year when everyone’s diet radar goes wacko! I’ve been asked many times for this recipe I found on the internet a long time ago and have used it every holiday basically. SINFULLY GOOD AND AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME!

Garlic Cheese Biscuits
reated 12/24/2007

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (makes 10-12)

2 cups Bisquick baking mix
2/3 cups of milk or buttermilk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (I like the flavor of Sharp Cheddar so I used that)
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix Bisquik, milk and cheese to make a soft dough. Beat hard for about 30 seconds with a wooden spoon (the dough sticks horribly to a metal spoon).
Drop dough using a medium scoop onto an ungreased flat stone or stoneware bar pan. Bake until golden brown. Melt margarine and add garlic, brush over the warm biscuits before removing from the sheet. Serve warm.



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