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Liz’s Vegan Mexican Lasagna

Before we started eating mostly vegan, one of my favorite weeknight meals to make was Mexican Lasagna. It was a delicious recipe that used a pound of ground beef and full 2.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese! Just thinking about it now makes my arteries feel like they’re clogging, but it was very tasty and filling and reheated well as leftovers.

When we stopped eating red meat and dairy, I sought a replacement for this beloved meal. First, I tried the “Layered Tex-Mex Lasagna” from the Forks Over Knives companion book. Eh. It was okay. It reminded me more of a seven-layer bean dip, though. Next, I tried the “Enchilada Casserole” from the Happy Herbivore cookbook. Again, it was okay. I did love the enchilada sauce from this recipe, and the queso cheese recipe turned out to be helpful, but the casserole itself just wasn’t the hearty taste I was looking for. So….I created my own. It’s a blend of the original recipe and the Happy Herbivore recipe, and I love that it tastes rich, spicy and hearty. Bold Mexican flavor with none of the original fat!

Liz’s Vegan Mexican Lasagna

1 8-oz package tempeh, crumbled or finely diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 15-oz can black beans
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh, canned or frozen (defrosted) corn
4 whole-wheat tortillas
vegan shredded cheese (optional)
1 recipe Happy Herbivore Quick Queso Sauce (below)

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees. Cook tempeh with seasonings and onion on stovetop. Remove from heat and stir in black beans, tomatoes and corn. Spread half tempeh mixture in bottom of 8″x8″ pan. Layer halved tortillas on top. If using vegan shredded cheese, spread scant amount over tortillas. Spread remaining tempeh mixture on top and place remaining tortillas over it. Bake 15-20 minutes and serve with the Happy Herbivore’s queso sauce (recipe follows) on top. I made it with a bit of shredded vegan cheese on top of both tortilla layers, and honestly it didn’t add to the taste at all, so I say stick with the queso sauce for adding the cheese taste (unless you don’t have/like nutritional yeast).

Happy Herbivore Quick Queso Sauce

1 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
1 tsp granulated onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder

Whisk ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until thick.

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