Last night we started a new tradition here in Indiana, one that is very near and dear to our hearts. When we lived in San Diego, our longtime dear friends would host a “Monday night dinner” (MND) every week and we attended for many years. It was always such a fun time of friendship and sharing a meal together. Super informal and nothing fancy, just food and friends. We are very excited to carry on this tradition/ministry here with our friends and neighbors!
There is just something magical about hanging out with a community of people each week. There is no pressure for our friends to come every week- just come when they can. We prepare the meal so no need to worry about cooking for that one day. We gather at 6pm, eat at 6:30pm and everyone is back home by 8pm since it is a school/work night. Easy peasy.
For our first MND, we made a simple Mexican lasagna which is a household favorite and one that is even better the next day (isn’t it the same with regular lasagna?!), Atom’s amazing Mexican rice, and a garden salad.
Mexican lasagna is so incredibly easy to make and doesn’t cost much at all. Here’s what you’ll need:
-Chicken (sometimes we will also use ground turkey as well)
-Corn tortillas (you can also use flour but we don’t think it tastes as good)
-Salsa, any variety.
(Preheat the oven to 400 degrees)
We use a medium sized disposable foil baking pan but you could make it in any deeper type or size of pan. Pre cook the chicken and shred or chop into small pieces. We usually season the chicken as it’s cooking with garlic & onion. You’ll start by layering the tortillas on the bottom to completely cover the pan. You’ll have to break a couple in half in order to cover it all the way. Then spread a thin-ish layer of salsa over the tortillas. You can either add a dollop of sour cream with the salsa or save it to add once it is cooked and served. Both ways work. Next layer the chicken, shredded cheese and black olives. Then repeat, starting with a layer of the tortillas and so on. I will usually just do two full layers and top with tortillas and cheese at the top. Then pop it in the oven for about 20-30 min. Since everything is cooked it’s just a matter of time for the cheese to melt and it all to get hot and crispy on top.
It is seriously the easiest thing ever to make and so delicious. Y’all know how I feel about tacos and this is like a delicious taco lasagna pie. Sometimes we will also add green bell peppers and onions, corn, and black beans as well. You can literally add anything you want/or change it up depending on your taste.
Here are some photos of the process:
I want to encourage y’all to invite a friend or neighbor over for dinner on a weeknight. Don’t worry about preparing a 10 course fancy meal, just something easy. Having time to connect with other people over a meal is very powerful and impactful. Who knows, maybe you’ll even start your own Monday night dinner tradition!