Legal Quandary

Monday, September 12, 2005

Legal Eats

People have asked me from time to time how I manage to balance being a full time law student with working and being a wife and mom. My standard answer has always been to say that I just do all of those things badly - which isn't exactly true.

Probably the biggest thing that I do to try to keep ahead of the power curve is to cook in advance. I'm a huge believer in cooking once and eating two, three, or four times. So I thought that I would try to share some of my favorite recipes on a semi-regular basis (translation - when I think about it, or am procrastinating from some project.) Next time I'll try to include pictures.

Most of the recipes probably came from somewhere else at some point, but I've usually made changes along the way to make them easier, healthier, or taste better. Like a law school outline, I feel like making changes gives me the right to call a recipe my own.

Let me know what you think.

Mexican Lasagne

This is one of my favorite quick meals. It's vegetarian, and if you use low-fat cheese and sour cream, pretty healthy. High in fiber, and all that jazz. I usually make one pan of this at Thanksgiving for my vegetarian guests - and everyone ends up eating it.

This recipe makes one lasagne for tonight, and one to freeze. Cut the recipe in half if you only want to make one. You can also assemble this the night before and refrigerate until you're ready to cook. This gives the flavors a chance to blend and allows the juices to soak into the corn tortillas, giving them an almost "tamale" sort of texture and taste.

6-8 corn tortillas, sliced in half
1 bag of frozen corn (thawed)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed.
1/2 c. diced red onion
3 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (plain oregano or a blend of dried oregano and basil work well too)
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans diced green chiles
4 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, CoJack, Monterey Jack, or - if you like spicy - Pepper Jack)
Sour cream
2 8 inch square cake pans. I use the aluminum ones for freezing.

Combine corn, onion, diced tomatoes, chiles, and seasonings in a bowl & mix well. Spray the pans with cooking spray. Lay down the tortilla halves in a single layer. I put the flat sides along the edges, so the rounded edges are all toward the center , and then put one half of another tortilla over the gap. Spread about 2 cups of the mixed ingredients over the top of the tortillas. Sprinkle on 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat layers.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the lasagne you plan to eat tonight until the cheese on top is melted and slightly browned (about 20 min). Let it stand for a few minutes before serving and top with sour cream.

Cover the pan you're freezing with a double layer of aluminum foil and place into a gallon sized Ziplock bag. Freeze for later. Take it out of the freezer the night before you want to use it - it'll take forever to cook if you don't thaw it. Trust me. I know of what I speak.

Awesome! Looks like a great recipe, and I love the aluminum pan idea.

More! Please! :)
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