Slow-Cooker Mexican Lasagna (From Mrs. Mama Hen)

I found this recipe at  If you have a moment, check out her blog.  Conni is a military wife and mother of 3 whose husband is in the Army. They are currently stationed in Alaska.  She posts several recipes as well as articles about military life and living in Alaska (I love to see her pics of the Aurora Borealis!).

I came across this recipe a few months ago and thought it looked like something that Kevin would enjoy (he really likes Mexican-type food).    I’ve made this a few times and every time that I do, I rarely have leftovers.   Tonight, he even said that this was becoming a favorite meal.

Basically, the recipe calls for ground beef (I used Morning Star “crumbles” since we are meatless),  black beans (I’ve tried other beans and for this recipe, I think that the black are best), taco seasoning, onion, diced tomatoes with chiles, and salt (I used sea salt because I didn’t have the regular iodized salt that we know and love), and both Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (the recipe called for Pepper jack, either will work fine).





Dice the onion (and if you have goggles, wear them so that you won’t cry in front of your family……prompting them to ask what’s wrong……and you can tell them that “Mommy ran out of chocolate!”).






In a skillet, cook your meat and onion (and as it cooks, the need to cry will lessen)







Add the diced tomatoes & chiles







Add your black beans, rinsed & drained







Add your taco seasoning and salt, and mix ingredients thoroughly






Bring out your slow cooker, or in my case, my grandma’s circa 1970’s Rival Crock Pot that works as well as it did when it was brand new!






For layering, start with a 1/2 Cup of the meat mixture on the bottom of your cooker.







Lay a tortilla on top







Add another 1/2 Cup of the meat mixture






Top with some of the shredded cheese


repeat the layers until you have the last of the meat & cheese on the top.

Cover, and ……………….




Set your crock pot (ahem, “slow cooker”) to low.


Then, leave your kitchen (because you have a kid who has been assigned to do the dishes, and fully capable of doing so), grab a soda, relax on the couch, and watch an episode of “Gilmore Girls” or a chick flick, while your dinner is cooking!



Slow-Cooker Mexican Lasagna (by Conni Smith, aka “Mrs. Mama Hen”)

1 lb Ground Beef

1 Onion, diced

1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning

1 14 oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 14 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles

1/2 teaspoon of Salt

6-8 flour tortillas

1 1/2 Cup grated Cheddar Cheese

1 1/2 Cup grated Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese

Sour Cream for topping.

In a skillet, cook ground beef and onion until fully cooked.  Remove from heat.

Stir in taco seasoning, tomatoes & Green Chiles, black beans and salt.

Spread about 1/2 Cup of the meat mixture into the bottom of your slow-cooker.

Tom with tortilla (tear the tortilla if you need to make it fit.)

Tom with another 1/3-1/2 Cup meat mixture and cheese

Repeat.  Alternated the layers with the two different cheeses.  The final layer should have a little of both kinds.

Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Cut into wedges, and serve with sour cream or any other topping you wish.

Supper’s on!




Basic Rice & Veggie Stir Fry

(Originally posted on my old blog, May 17, 2010)

A few years ago, my husband and I went to one of those Japanese restaurants, where everyone sits around a griddle and watches the waiter cook up a delicious stir fry.  I watched how and what they cooked and after eating the delicious food, decided that I wanted to try this at home, because I wanted this dish more often!  Kevin was more than willing to let me try to copy it and be the quality tester!

I realize this picture is sideways, however, we could just say that it’s meant to keep the reader on their toes.   Are you willing to agree to that theory?
Anyway, the two ingredients missing from this photo is the onion and the soy sauce, but they will make an appearance later.

Before I start any chopping, I start cooking the rice.  We bought this rice cooker a few years ago, and I think that it’s the most used appliance (other than my stove) in the kitchen.   I use Jasmine rice, as it cooks really clean (in that there is absolutely no residue on the lid of the cooker when all is said and done).  Once the rice is cooked, put it in an airtight container and let it chill in the refridgerator.

While the rice cooks, I move to the cutting board and start chopping the onion (I chop it first to get the crying over with).  I generally use a medium white or yellow onion, and dice the whole thing.

Next on the chopping block is the zucchini!  A medium one seems to be enough for this recipe.  I cut it in to quarters and then slice away!

First, I sauté the fresh mushrooms, and then set them aside…..

Then, add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the onions and zucchini!

At this point, you can fry your diced chicken, or beef or pork or tofu.  For this recipe, I usually use the Morningstar Farms “chick’n” strips.

In a larger pan (because you will need one, trust me), pour in about 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil

Add your chilled rice…..

Break it up, stir it around………….

Add your sautéed meat & veggies………..  Keep stirring so nothing sticks to the pan (or at least so that most of it won’t stick)

Now if anything starts sticking to the pan, this stuff here, this soy sauce, will loosen things up a bit and will make your stir fry more manageable (and it’s very tasty too).  The amount of sauce depends on your taste, so as the cook, you get to taste test alot.  If you have a “quality assurance” tester, such as a spouse……..even better!

Ta-dah!  Now it’s time to tell your kids to put the cat down, go wash their hands, and tell the one designated to get drinks that he’s on in 5!  Dinner is served!