The first time I ever left the country was to go on spring break to Cozumel, Mexico during my junior year in college. I went with a group of about eight girls and shockingly, our intention was actually NOT to get fall-down, plastered-to-the-wall drunk.
Sure, everyone likes a good frozen margarita on vacation, but if you’ve ever spent a day in the sun with me after a night of drinking, then you a) probably own stock in Gatorade and b) would highly discourage me to booze it up the night before a serious beach day.
I love to be outdoors and I love to be out in the sun but it absolutely wipes me out.
It leaves me as wounded as one or two five margaritas does which is why on spring break, I stuck mostly to beer, or cerveza, as the locals say with a slight roll of the R.
That, and because I had a very deep fear of accidentally drinking unfiltered water or ice in Mexico.
What can I say?
I was a first-timer.
If you’re staying close to home this summer but looking for something Mexican-inspired to go with your Corona, you don’t need to pile on the calories with cheese and sour cream.
Think lighter with low-fat ingredients and lean ground turkey for a high-protein dish that will stick to your ribs rather than your hips.
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground skinless turkey breast
- 1-14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 heaping cup fat-free refried beans
- 1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles, rinsed and drained
- 10-6 inch corn tortillas, halved
- ⅔ cup salsa
- ½ cup reduced-fat freshly grated/shredded Monterey Jack (or sharp cheddar) cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the oil. Ad the pepper and onion; cook, stirring as needed until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the turkey and cook, stirring as needed until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and chiles, bring to a boil. (NOTE: If mixture is too thick, add ½ cup plain tomato sauce). Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until mixture is slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).
- On the bottom of a 10x6 baking pan (I used a 9x13 for a smaller, thicker casserole), spoon half of salsa and top with four tortillas. Cover tortillas with a layer of re-fried beans, a layer of turkey mixture and a layer of salsa. Repeat the layering once more, finishing with the final two tortillas. Sprinkle top evenly with the cheese.
- Bake covered for approximately 20 minutes or until heated through. Remove cove r and bake an additional ten minutes, or until cheese has turned golden.