Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mexican Lasanga

This is one of my favorite 'Cinco de Mayo' recipes! Living in San Diego, we love to celebrate this holiday. The kids have celebrations at school where they sing songs, create art projects, and discuss history. School lunch included a special 'fiesta churro' today... yum! Michael, my 1st grader said his teacher gave them chips and salsa today... what a treat!

I love Mexican food because most recipes generally call for fresh ingredients, which in my mind equals good healthy food for my family! This is one of those recipe's that my mom clipped out of a newspaper long ago, made it, loved it, then passed it onto me!


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1 can diced tomatoes 16 oz
10 to 12 corn tortillas
2 cup small cottage cheese, drained
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese with peppers
1 egg
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives

Brown ground beef; drain thoroughly. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper, salt, pepper, and tomatoes; heat through. Pour half the beef mixture in bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish. Then mix the cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese and egg together, put half of the mixture over the meat; then layer with tortillas and cover as completely as possible. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After taking out of oven, spread top of casserole with sour cream. Then make rows of cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and green onions across the casserole in a diagonal pattern. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Cinco de Mayo:
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. The outnumbered Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had not been defeated in almost 50 years.

Cinco de Mayo is not "an obligatory federal holiday" in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily.

While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day, which actually is September 16 (dieciséis de septiembre in Spanish),the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.