Creamy Vegetable and Chicken Tortilla Lasagna

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I love the Joy of Cooking. In fact, I have actually read it from cover to cover and had it beside my bed until I was finished. Food geek you say? Why yes I am, completely and totally. I learned a lot from this book and use it all the time as a foundation for cooking. When I have a new idea I turn to this wonderful book and can often find a starting place, the waffles and pancakes I make weekly are Joy of Cooking recipes. But sometimes my holy book lets me down and when I had an idea for a chicken and tortilla casserole the one I found, the King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe was not a recipe I would make. It has almost no vegetables, no spices or yummy seasoning and sounds like it would be cheesy, gloppy chicken. So, I set out to create my own healthier version.

Chicken Tortilla Bake

I like to think I do the book proud with my version and I had a friend test the recipe to make sure it was tasty. She loved that it came together quickly and that she could use a rotisserie chicken.

I’ve used lots of vegetables and cumin, chili powder, garlic and cilantro to add flavour and freshness to this casserole.

Chicken Tortilla Bake

1 tbsp. canola oil
1 diced onion
1 clove garlic
2/3 cup diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 diced red pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced zucchini
2 cups cooked chicken

1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1.5 cups shredded cheese
½ cup sliced black olives
¼ cup cilantro
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Salt

About 7 Corn tortillas cut in half

Over medium heat sauté the onion in canola oil until they are translucent. Stir in garlic, spices and tomato. Cook for a few minutes until the tomato has softened and the mixture smells delicious. Add the red peppers corn, and zucchini, cook for a few more minutes, then stir in chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

Casserole without cheeseIn a largish bowl whisk together the mushroom soup and yogurt. Mix in the remaining ingredients except for the tortillas and season to taste with the hot sauce and salt.

In a casserole dish place a single layer of corn tortillas then a layer of the sauce mixture. I find two and a half tortillas fit perfectly. Continue layering, alternating between corn tortillas and sauce, finish with sauce mixture and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350F

My girlfriend added a diced Jalapeño in while cooking the vegetables and I think that would add a wonderful flavour and heat if your family and friends approve. Here’s how this dinner fits into my families weekly meal plan, Weekly Meal Plan

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20 Minute BBQ Chicken Pizza

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Since it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow I thought I would share a recipe especially for my husband. He’s never really liked pizza and it’s one of my favourites. I could get him to agree to ordering pizza if we ordered BBQ chicken, but I always found it bland or greasy tasting. So, here is my better then delivery version, that’s also cheaper, healthier and as fast as delivery. This has become not only his favourite but all of ours.

I’ve made this a quick dinner by using rotisserie, or left-over chicken, and whole wheat Naan. I like using the Naan over store bought pizza crusts because it seems easier to find in whole wheat, tastes better and I like the individual size. One day, I will figure out how to make a quick crust but until then, this is the best I’ve found.

bbq pizza helperI also love that my son can help with putting the pizzas together. I chop and prepare all of the ingredients and have them ready. Getting him involved in the dinner making process seems to have the added benefit that he’s willing to try almost anything I make and I get some real quality time with him.

This recipe makes 4-5 Naan size pizzas, or two medium sized pizzas

Preheat the oven to 400F

BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce
1/3 cup tomato sauce
Frank’s Red Hot sauce to taste

Mix thoroughly, adding a touch of salt if needed

Spread a layer of sauce on each crust

Pizza

1 cup cheddar cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup diced pineapple
1/2 of a red or orange yellow pepper sliced thinly
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions or diced red onions
1 cup chopped cooked chicken, about one chicken breast

Mix the two cheeses and spread half of the cheese in a thin layer on top of the sauce.

Spread the chicken, pineapple, peppers, onions and cilantro over the cheese and sauce. Top with the remaining cheese.

Place directly on oven rack and cook about 10 minutes, or when the cheese is melty and delicious

Here’s how BBQ chicken pizza fits into my weekly planning, Weekly Meal Plan

BBQ pizza finished

 

One of my best friends has a very talented photographer in her life and when she tried this recipe he was kind enough to share a photo of their finished pizzas. Here’s a link to his amazing photography, James Lissimore.

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