Mexican Lasagna- The HEART Wants What the Heart Wants
Valentine’s Day is approaching and is known for sweet indulgences. February is also American Heart Month. This month helps to remind us to live a heart healthy lifestyle especially since heart disease is the number one killer in America. With busy work and home schedules, Mexican Lasagna is a quick, family-friendly recipe that meets a heart healthy lifestyle.
This hearty recipe pairs great with Jicama Salad with Chile and Lime, which adds a refreshing lime taste and a hint of spice. If the chili powder is too hot for your family, try a milder spice mix or be sure to serve a glass of milk. Did you know that drinking milk is not only an essential part of a healthy diet, but that casein in milk binds to the spicy capsaicin cutting the heat in foods? Serve with a fruit salad or strawberries, if they are in season, and you’ve got a complete meal.
This Valentine’s Day instead of relying on sweet indulgences of candy to create memories with family, after dinner go for a walk or play outside with your children to get some physical activity. It is great for your heart and fun for children. You can also get the kids cooking in the kitchen with Mexican Lasagna. While older kids can make the recipe, younger kids can help you “layer” the different ingredients for the lasagna.
- 10 6-inch corn Tortillas
- 2 cups canned low-sodium black Beans, rinsed
- 4 cups Tomato sauce (canned/jarred or see separate Super Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce recipe)
- 1 1-2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 1 bag (10 ounces) Baby spinach leaves, rinsed
- 2 cups Grilled chicken, diced
- 2 tablespoons Fresh cilantro, rinsed, dried and chopped (or substitute 1 teaspoon dried coriander)
- Nonstick cooking spray
Total Preparation Time: less than 15 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Lightly spray a 9-by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place two to three corn tortillas on the bottom, trimming as necessary for a good fit.
3. Add beans, 1 cup tomato sauce and one-half cup grated cheese. Top with two to three more corn tortillas.
4. Add 1 cup tomato sauce, spinach, and one-half cup cheese. Top with two more corn tortillas.
5. Add chicken and 1 cup tomato sauce. Top with two more corn tortillas.
6. Add 1 cup tomato sauce, one-half cup cheese and cilantro.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned and the chicken is reheated
8. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into eight even squares and serve.
Nutrition Information: Calories 304, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 4g, Sodium 275 mg, Total Carbohydrate 31 g, Dietary Fiber 6 g, Calcium 300 mg
Hello, my name is Jenny Medina and I am part of the Fresno Dietetic Internship program. I have learned and experienced many different programs within the field of dietetics. I have also had the privilege of interning at Dairy Council of California in Sacramento. It has been a wonderful experience! Upon graduation, I would like to work with individuals with diabetes in an out-patient setting. Thank you all and have a Happy American Heart Month! ~Many thanks to Jenny for her work writing this wonderful post! Trina
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health
Recipe and photo courtesy of Keep the Beat™, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
How much can you turn up the heat in your family's foods?
Trina Robertson, MS, RD is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a master’s degree in nutrition. As a HealthyEating.org Mom she shares her positive approach to healthy eating with the goal of inspiring others to prepare and enjoy foods from all the food groups. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. At home she enjoys cooking and sharing meals with her family. Her most rewarding accomplishment is that her boys are good eaters and are learning to cook. Follow Trina on Twitter @TrinaR_RD and find more Healthy Eating ideas on Facebook and Pinterest.