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Busy Moms Family Favorite


Beefy Mexican Lasagna fits the bill. To prepare, simply brown lean ground beef until no longer pink, add enchilada sauce, beans and corn, layer with corn tortillas, then bake.
This recipe is a favorite of Julie Ellingson, a busy mom of four and a fifth generation North Dakota beef producer. “I want meals that are nutritious and provide the strength needed for all we do,” says Ellingson. Her advice: take advantage of the make-ahead option and simply bake, then add a green salad on the side plus fruit for dessert.
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Beefy Mexican Lasagna
Total preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

1-1/2 pounds ground beef (95% lean)
9 corn tortillas
2 cans (10 ounces each) mild enchilada sauce
1 Can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed, drained
1-1/2 cups frozen corn
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend Crunchy Tortilla Strips (optional)*
1/2 Cup chopped tomato
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Brown 95 % ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink in center, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Stir in 1 can enchilada sauce, black beans, corn and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Spray 11-3/4 x 7-1/2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 3 tortillas in dish, cutting 1 as needed to cover bottom. Spread 1/4 cup remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas; cover with 1/3 beef mixture, then 1/3 cheese. Repeat layers twice, omitting final cheese layer. Pour remaining can enchilada sauce over top.
3. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 350 degrees F oven 30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with tortilla strips, if desired, tomato and cilantro.

*Cut 2 corn tortillas in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 4 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees F until crisp. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 349 calories; 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 76 mg cholesterol; 441 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrate; 5.4 g fiber; 29 g protein; 5.7 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 1.7 mcg vitamin B12; 3.8 mg iron; 15.4 mcg selenium; 5.0 mg zinc.
Cook’s Tip: Lasagna may be made up to 24 hours ahead through Step 2; refrigerate, covered. Increase baking time to 45 minutes.
Recipe and photo as seen in The Healthy Beef Cookbook, published by John Wiley & Sons.