Vegan Mexican Lasagna – Oh, Yes, You Want This!

If I was doing my job, there would be avocado and lime slices on this plate!

If I was doing my job, there would be avocado and lime slices on this plate!

Once in a while, I make lasagna. Typically, it’s the standard veggie lasagna (with crumbled tofu instead of ricotta), but I often have leftover noodles that I really must use. Well, not must, but I want to. When that happens, I turn to Mexican Lasagna, because of its ease and deliciousness.

Right now, because I’m working on freezer meals and we recently had regular lasagna, it occurred to me to just make a few Mexican lasagnas and store some for later and have one now. I made one that was vegetarian and one that was vegan. The only difference is the type of cheese used, so modify at will.

Ingredients

½ lb dried pinto beans, soaked and cooked or 3-4 cans of pinto beans, drained
1 jalapeño or ¼ cup of pickled slices
1 onion diced
1 stalk celery diced
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
⅓ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
9-12 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 large can diced tomatoes
2-3 cups of chunky salsa
Faux or cheddar cheese

Process

Cook beans with onions, celery, peppers, and spices. Mix salsa and tomatoes and set aside to chill. When vegetables in beans are soft, blend until fairly smooth.

In a baking pan, place one layer of noodles (usually 3). Smooth a layer of beans over noodles. Add dollops of tomato/salsa mix. Sprinkle on your cheese of choice. Repeat 2-3 more times for a total of 3-4 layers. End with your last layer of cheese.

Bake at 350* for 35 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes and serve with avocado slices and vegan/reg sour cream.

Flash Fire Nachos – A Vegan Recipe

Food styling and picture by Ms. E of the VeganAsana family.

Food styling and picture by Ms. E of the VeganAsana family.

Mmmmm… nachos. Yay… pressure cooker! We like beans. Had you guessed?

Ingredients

IMG_1065web1 lb pinto beans
1 medium onion chopped
1-2 
jalapeños, halved
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
2 T turmeric
2 T chili powder
2 T cumin
2 T vegetable broth powder
Water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 T olive oil
Salt to taste
Nacho chips
Romaine lettuce
Salsa

Process

Throw beans, onions, celery, jalapenos, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, and vegetable broth powder into the pressure cooker. Add 2 T olive oil and water to about 2-3 inches above beans.

Place lid on cooker and bring to high pressure. Allow to cook 25 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the cooker to naturally depressurize. After it is safe to open, check beans to see if they are soft. If not, return to heat and cook longer (with or without lid).

Once beans are nicely soft, drain off most of the water and use a stick blender or food processor to blend the bean mix, adding nutritional yeast gradually.

Serve with nacho chips, lettuce, black olives, salsa, etc.

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Vegan “Refried” Beans and Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips

We are big fans of nachos around The VeganAsana household.  We have them pretty much once a week on average.  Sometimes, I just open a can of beans and heat and then go from there, but sometimes we get a little more “fancy” about it (and also cost saving) and start from dried beans.  It’s easy and you end up with a huge batch of beans for nachos or burritos or whatever.

The night before – Sort and rinse 1 lb of dried pinto beans.  You can also use kidney beans, but I find them really unpredictable for cooking well, so I rarely do.  In my house of 7-8 people, I do two bags of beans in each batch, but most households should find one to be plenty.  Place beans in a pot and add water to 3x the level of the beans.

The next day, early afternoon, begin cooking.  Drain the soak water and add fresh for the cooking.  Heat on high until they reach a boil and then back the temp down to a strong simmer.  I like to add some chopped onion (1 per bag) and jalapenos (1-2 per bag depending upon size and heat level) for this step, but you can also do that later after the blending.

Once the beans are cooked tender, cool, drain, and food process them in small batches to a paste.  During the food processing, I typically add a bit of veggie broth or the cooking liquid back.  Return to pan, add a small amount of olive oil (helps them not get dry as they cool), cumin, and salt and pepper to taste while heating.  This is also a chance to adjust the heat level by adding some hot sauce, or make alterations like putting in some salsa or chopped tomato.  And, that’s it!

My kids also really like home baked tortilla chips.  This can be done with any flour tortilla, but I like whole wheat.  Simply mist tortillas with h2o, olive oil, or cooking spray, then cut tortillas into large pie piece shapes, place in a single layer on a baking stone, and sprinkle liberally with sea salt.  These are just amazing straight out of the oven served with the beans, maybe some cheese or faux cheese, salsa, guacamole, and whatever other nacho toppings you like.

As usual, this will be a featured dish for our New Year’s Eve Eat Yourself Sick family party.  And then we’ll burn a lot of candles the next day! 😉

Happy New Year,

L