08 June 2012

Freeze Now, Nosh Later! [Mexican Pizza Lasagna Remix]

Recipe testing is pretty much my favorite thing in the world!  Other than zumba... and spinning.. and sleeping... eating... painting... and...  I guess I have a lot of favorites =)  Due to my fun little situation, the 2-4 serving meals that I typically post are consumed by yours truly, minus the human garbage disposal pilot.  With the sheer number of dishes I whip up each week, the abundant leftovers will surely sprout legs and terrorize the neighborhood if I don't find a way to keep them safe.  I didn't actually own legit freezer containers until the folks at Glad and the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program sent me a box full of Glad FreezerWare goodies to try out.  Hello perfection!  I needed these.

Glad Freezeware with Mozzarella Balls and Tomato Soup

I'm head over heels addicted to mozzarella ball soup so, naturally, my first plan of action was to chop up a block of mozzarella into cubes and freeze them for future mozz ball assembly.  I love that these containers are crack resistant and BPA-free.  Normally I wont let my soups even *touch* a plastic container out of fear of BPA leaching into my food -- but b/c these babies are safe I decided to whip up a giant bowl of tomato soup to join my "balls" in the freezer.  Viola!  Rainy day lunch is served frozen!

Then something happened.  I got a little freezer crazy.  I started soaking/cooking batches of black beans and lentils and wound up revisiting some old friends.

I told each of them, respectively, that they were my favorite and they'd really should hook up.  I mean, they'd get along famously, right?  It had all the makings of a steamy romance.

Lentil Veggie Tacos meets Mexican Pizza Lasagna
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as usual, I was right =)

Mexican Pizza Lasagna Remix
Mexican Pizza Lasagna Remix
[makes 4 scrumptious servings]
what's in it?
1 1/2 cups black beans - cooked, drained, and rinsed
1 1/2 cups lentils - cooked, drained, and rinsed
1 can of vegetarian refried beans, or 16oz
1/2 cup enchilada sauce, plus 1/4-1/2 cup for topping later
4 Tbsp of Mrs. Renfro's green salsa [or salsa verde]
5-6 small corn tortillas
a drizzle or two of taco sauce [this is where those leftover packets come in handy!]
diced/sliced jalapenos, fresh or pickled
grated cheese [I grate a few cheddar/mozzarella string cheeses - yum!]

sometimes I get feisty alternate drizzles of red and green enchilada sauce between the layers.  heav. en. ly.

seasoning blend
1/2-1 tsp dried cilantro
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp of salt, plus a little extra to taste
a pinch or two of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, for heat-seekers

fresh + tasty toppings
shredded romaine or spring mix lettuce
greek yogurt [my favorite!] or sour cream
chopped green onions
fresh, ripe tomatoes
fresh or pickled peppers
guacamole
salsa

This plate-licking remix of my mexican pizza lasagna and makes approximately 3 cups of yummy bean filling, you'll only need around 2 cups for this recipe so freeze the leftover cup for easy tacos or nachos!  While we're at it, you could even pile it on top of a savory sweet potato *swoon*

Mexican Pizza Lasagna Remix
get cooking!
Preheat oven to 350F.  On the stovetop, combine refried beans, black beans, and lentils in a pot or deep skillet on medium-low heat.  I make my beans from scratch and divide them between the fridge and freezer for easy meals throughout the week.  Feel free to follow suit or used canned when needed!  Add seasoning blend [see recipe] and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce  and stir.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  My standard protocol is to dip a tortilla chip [or three!] in the pot and taste test.  Mmmmm!

Next, rep a bake-able glass bowl or casserole dish with a thin layer of sauce to prevent sticking.  With a tortilla in one hand an a butter knife in the other, spread a thick layer of beans onto the corn tortilla.  Top with green salsa a drizzle of enchilada sauce, and then place inside your baking bowl or dish.  This will be your first layer.  Feel free to cheese it up between layers if you're a fan.  Repeat this step for the next two layers.  This not only makes fabulous [freeze-able!] leftovers but is a great way to use up leftovers you may have creeping around in your fridge!  Each layer will be more of the same until you reach the final tortilla.  On top of your last later, drizzle enchilada sauce, taco sauce, and a nice thick layer of grated cheese.  Jalapenos too if you're feeling feisty!  I typically bake the dish [20-30 minutes], snag a slice or two to devour immediately and freeze the leftovers.  You can absolutely freeze the entire thing before baking though, and then just defrost for an easy dinner later on. 

When it comes time to plate your creation -- pretty it up with a splash of color!  Add diced tomatoes, jalapenos, green onions and all your favorite toppings.  A dollop of sour cream [or my personal favorite, greek yogurt!] takes this baby to the next level.  Man I love this dish!  And the fact that there's a batch waiting for me in m freezer right now makes me ridiculously happy.  Hello TV dinner upgrade!  Thanks Glad!


Mexican Pizza Lasagna Remix with Glad FreezerWare Container

the moral of the story: Cooking several meals at once and saving the leftovers to nosh all week [or month!] long is, without a doubt, the best strategy for me.  Without P around to devour all my  meals and experiments, its oh-so-easy to be lured into a life of cereal and PB+J.  Having meals prepped and frozen gives me the edge I need to eat balanced and stay healthy.  Hopefully it can benefit you too!

So what's your favorite freezer-friendly meal?
Do you pre-prep meals for the week?

Hop on over to www.facebook.com/GLAD to share your freezer meals and you'll be entered to win some pretty sweet prizes.

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27 comments:

  1. Over the winter, we did a lot of soup/stew/chili that is pretty freezer and work lunch friendly. Gotta love having crazy amounts of leftovers!

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  2. chicken paprikash or fried rice. I also like spicy lasagna roll ups!

    but mostly my freezer is for spoons and bras.

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  3. Yeah, it's on 9am here, but I'm seriously thinking about cooking that pizza lasagna for breakfast! YUM! 

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  4. Oh that looks so good! I just had to pin it! =)

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  5. Loveee this!  I need to pin it.  I think any pasta dish works well in the freezer.  And chili or soup. :)

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  6. Jessica_AKitchenAddictionFriday, June 08, 2012

    Love this! Options and leftovers for later!

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  7. This is a great idea! And I love how decadent your tortillas and lasagnas and casseroles always look! Like such great comfort food, yet healthy too!

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  8. Lindsay @ Fuel My FamilyFriday, June 08, 2012

    This looks great! I always get lazy and just do tacos when I want mexican. I need to experiment more!

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  9. and beans and veggies and veggie burgers! =) I'm going to lure you away from the dark side miss carnivore =) haha! Happy Friday Kristen!

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  10. They taste super decadent too! But yeah - def healthy and veg loaded! =) You have to make all of them -- soooo good!

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  11. Tell me more about these frozen bras... =)

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  12. Haha, well I may not be a full vegetarian/vegan right now, but I have been making MANY more meatless meals recently!  And I LOVE trying meatless foods at restaurants.  I've found that recently, I've been looking for the dish that has the most veggies in it.  I think that's progress! ;)

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  13. Shush darling you're brilliant =) I simply tease where I can! I do the same thing when ordering from menus -- I always want the most veg-loaded dish and then an extra veggie side! =) mmmm

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  14. Jennie northdaleFriday, June 08, 2012

    Haha, that looks so awasome, NEED to try that out, great idea (;

    www.happymeanshealthy.blogspot.com

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  15. Looks so delicious!  I love the tasty toppings you've added.

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  16. I guess I learn something new everyday...I would have never thought of freezing cheese in cube forms. This could totally stir up my cheese addiction. 

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  17. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.Friday, June 08, 2012

    Yum!! And what a great idea to freeze cheese like that!

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  18. Mexican Lasagna is a brilliant idea! My husband would LOVE that!

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  19. holy guacamole! (how appropriate hehe)
    that lasagna remix looks absolutely fabulous!!! I need to make this!!! I am a huge avocado lover and my bf too, I will have to make this for our anniversary :D

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  20. yum!! that looks so ridiculously good!! thanks for sharing!

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  21. Wow great remix! And thumbs up for not throwing food away. I
    don’t usually freeze any cooked food. My freezer has meats, nuts and ice cream
    =)

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  22. Mr. Fed Up FedUpFood.comSunday, June 10, 2012

    Wow this looks really REALLY good. I love how pretty much EVERYTHING goes well with Greek yogurt

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  23. That looks sooo good! I am on a Mexican kick right now - no doubt thanks to the 3 avocados in my fridge right now.  Looking forward to trying this!

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  24. Looks awesome!  I'm always on a Mexican kick, so this is a must make!

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