As I mentioned in my last post, this dish was created for my daughter Alice's first birthday dinner. I was sticking to foods she has eaten, but instead of cutting up little bites of individual ingredients, I wanted to do something more fun -- and more adult-worthy.
You can tell by this blog how much I love food. I also love the whole family culture that surrounds it. What could be more fun than preparing and enjoying a dinner with my husband and little girl? (I know that will change in the teenage years, so I'll take these moments while I can. All of a sudden, I am grateful that my mom can't post comments here; I have a feeling she'd walk us down the memory lane of my difficult teenager days...)
This mild "lasagna" should be served with a couple spicy sides. I'll be serving it with guacamole and salsa.
Southwestern "lasagna" (makes 8 servings)
1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced about 1/8-inch thick
2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8-inch thick
16 ounces of cottage cheese
1 large can (19.5 ounces) of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
6 ounces mild cheddar, shredded
about 8 whole wheat tortillas (8-inch ones -- I think El Milagro makes the best kind for this; they are soft and pliable)
1.) Toss the sweet potato and zucchini slices with the melted butter, and bake on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. They should be tender but not brown or crispy. Cool.
2.) Place 2 to 3 tortillas on the bottom of a 9x13-inch non-stick pan. You will have to break them into pieces to cover the bottom of the pan completely. They don't have to remain whole.
3.) Put the black beans and the cottage cheese in a food processor, and puree until smooth.
4.) Spread about a cup of the bean-cottage cheese mixture over the first layer of tortillas. Top with half the vegetable mix.
5.) Repeat the layering until ingredients are gone. Mine has two layers of cheese and veggies. Add a third layer of tortillas on top, and cover with the shredded cheese.
6.) Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes before cutting.
Coming up: The angel cake I made for Alice. My first ever. Let's hope it's delish!
Today's food fact: Did you know that avocadoes have about 250 calories per fruit, plus 5 grams of protein, and about 23 grams of fat? While that sounds like a lot of calories and fat, avocadoes are actually one of the best foods you can eat. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which may help prevent chronic diseases. They also contain carotenoid lutein, which may help keep your eyes healthy, and beta-sitosterol, which may help your cholesterol levels. (Source: www.avocado.org)