This post is sponsored by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association. I was selected to participate, as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network.
The holidays are here and if your family is like mine, the focus is mainly around food. It begins at Thanksgiving where we will eat the traditional turkey, ham and all the fixings. But the celebration doesn’t end there it continues on through the New Year. The Christmas tradition in our home is where I share my Puerto Rican heritage. The week prior and the actual week of Christmas my kitchen is transformed into my ‘mom’s kitchen’ from my childhood memories. The spanish desserts are created and enjoyed and several different spanish meals are created one being ‘pastelon’, our puerto rican lasagna.
As a busy working mom of 5, I am always finding ways to make my meal preparations authentic yet easier. The meals my mom used to make can be enjoyed today with come creativity and shortcuts. So, when creating this meal I went to the grocery store in search of a quicker, easier way without compromising taste and I found it thanks to the freezer section.
The freezer aisle comprises 3,700+ different, delicious foods ranging from nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables to decadent ice creams and novelties.Within the 3,700+ foods, you will also find ethnic foods and ingredients and that truly helped to shorten the time this dish would normally take. You will be amazed at the variety of different cuisines represented in the freezer aisle from Hispanic to Asian and many, many more. Thanks to the NFRA for making it possible for us to create delicious meals quick and easy.
After finding the ingredients I needed in the freezer aisle, the next stop was the dairy section. There I found two other ingredients that would complete my dish and again keep it simple and delicious.
Here is my quick version of: Pastelon – Puerto Rican Lasagna
- Ground Beef or Soy Protein Crumbles
- Crushed Tomatoes - canned
- Frozen green beans - defrosted
- Frozen Fried Sweet Plantains - defrosted
- Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese - 2 cups
- Eggs - 1 beaten
- Abobo - spanish seasonings
- Sazon packet - spanish seasonings
- Broth - approximately ½ cup
- Preheat oven 375 degrees
- Brown beef and drain - if using soy crumbles you can skip this part
- Sautee onions, peppers and garlic
- Add crushed tomatoes to the sautéed onions, peppers and garlic and cook to simmer
- Add meat and coat with sauce mixture, may need to add more crush tomatoes to cover completely
- Add broth
- Season with adobo, salt, pepper and add sazon packet and let the mixture simmer
- While the meat mixture is simmering, flatten the sweet fried plantains with a metal spatula and place on the bottom of a 9x12 casserole dish.
- Cover the bottom completely with the plantains
- Add a layer of green beans
- Add the meat mixture
- Add another layer of green beans
- Garnish the top with more plantains
- Add the beaten egg over the top
- Cover the top layer with shredded cheese
- Place in oven for approximately 30-40 minutes until the dish begins to bubble and the cheese is completely melted
- Take out let cool, serve and enjoy
This holiday season remember to keep things simple. Utilize the amazing foods available in your refrigerated dairy and freezer sections at the grocery store. And most importantly spend the time saved with your family and friends!