Tag Archives: lasagna

Meals from Raiding the Freezer

28 Jan
"And what meal shall I select from the freezer today?"

“And what meal shall I select from the freezer today?”

I’ve been on a self-imposed cooking haitus this week. I decided to scour the freezer for all the leftovers we had stockpiled in there from our snowbound two months, and discovered I had NO LESS than 8 meals in the freezer I decided we should heat up and eat before they were freezer burnt and long forgotten.

I made a list on our fridge white board we usually use for our shopping list, and have been gradually eating them and wiping them off. I can’t help but make meals for 4 to 6 or 8 people (some kind of hangup from growing up in a family of 8), and with my daughter gone most of the time, we simply can’t eat the same meal more than two nights in a row (or sometimes every other night). Many of these just needed a side salad, bread, or veggies/potatoes.

I have compiled for you my freezer list meals, along with links to the recipes for them. (Or similar recipes or part of one, and some are adaptations of prior recipes I’ve posted.) I’ll get back to more recipes and cooking soon! Enjoy!

Lasagna Soup

This freezes really well! Just as good, if not better later with loads more fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

Beef Stroganoff

A classic with a healthy twist. No canned soups! The version in our freezer was a wonderful meal made with shredded cooked beef that my husband made instead of ground beef, but similar concept.

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Another Italian-based soup recipe that freezes well and gets the same raves as the day you made it!

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Cabbage and Chicken Soup

I made this same type of soup, but used shredded chicken instead of ground beef. Try it, you’ll like it!

Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

Turkey and Turkey Gravy

Traditional roasted turkey leftover from New Year’s dinner, with gravy made from the turkey carcass stock. Here I give you the recipe for the stock.

Turkey Carcass Stock

Turkey Carcass Stock

White Chicken Chili

One of our favorite winter comfort foods. I know it’s many of my friend’s favorite too! I used white beans instead of black beans for the leftovers in the freezer but I’ve posted both versions before, but this one has the printable PDF.

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Sous Vide Meatloaf with Bacon

I made this with a several pieces of ground up uncooked bacon in it and cooked via the sous vide method. Wow, talk about a flavor bomb! I am linking up to Conor Bofin’s recipe, as his inspired me to make my mom’s meatloaf with bacon and sous vide method. I did not write my own post about it.

Mom's Meatloaf

Mom’s Meatloaf

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Well I know I just posted this, but it IS in the freezer and we need to finish it. Just two small lunch-sized servings left. 🙂

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

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One-Pot Lasagna Soup

29 Oct
One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

This is a soup I’ve wanted to make for ages, and FINALLY got inspired to just do it. Soup? Check. Easy? Check. One pot? Check. One hand? Check, dammit. I get my traction device off in less than two weeks, woohooo! But in this seemingly long entrapment from my injury, I have found that one can be quite resourceful while dealing with a disability. Did you know you can break dried lasagna noodles into even pieces one-handed? Simply place the noodle in a glass bowl then push the edge of the noodle hanging out over the lip of the bowl. Snap! Keep moving it up and snapping off the end. See? Easy-peasy! (Newcomers to this site can read about my injury here.)

My recipe here came from several internet-inspired sources. As always, feel free to adapt, as that is pretty much all I’ve been doing lately. Without further ado…

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 24-ounce jar good-quality meatless spaghetti sauce
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
10 uncooked dried lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
Fresh Mozzarella slices
Ricotta cheese scoops
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until meats are browned and onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute more. Drain grease, if necessary.

Add 4 cups of the beef broth and the rest of the ingredients except the cheeses, stirring to separate the noodles. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour until noodles are soft and soup has thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add the remaining two cups of broth, as needed during that time, until soup is desired consistency.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Discard bay leaf and add Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses to the pot, then let sit without stirring until starting to melt. Ladle scoops of soup and melty cheese into bowls and garnish with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.  This is good. Really good. We are talking seconds and thirds good. Trust me.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna with Paul’s Spicy Sauce

10 Oct
Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna with Paul's Spicy Sauce

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna with Paul’s Spicy Sauce

So my back-yard neighbor keeps giving us zucchini and squash from his garden. I swear we are cooking and eating it as fast as we can! He had given us some pattypan squash twice and some other hybrid now, which I’ve used for a side dish both in soup and roasted with potatoes. (I took photos, maybe a future post? Dunno.)

But then we got this GINORMOUS zucchini.

Zucchini Grande

Zucchini Grande

At that point I thought, “OK, it’s time to use this big time in a big pan of lasagna.” Subbing sliced zucchini for lasagna noodles has been around for quite some years, and since I got my cheap-o mandoline slicer last year I decided the zuke would be a perfect use for that big bad-ass zuke. (Ha! I’m getting a bit crass in my 50s, huh?)

Sooo, I wanted to grill the zuke first, because of all the thousand (exaggerated) Pinterest posts about this, they were all saying it came out too watery. But one post caught my eye that grilling the zucchini first worked way better than doing the salting and resting thing.

WELL. That didn’t work out so well. We had run out of propane, and hubby was supposed to get it but he didn’t. So it ended up doing the salting and resting thing. It came out a bit watery, but the taste was AMAZING! I went back for seconds and thirds. I think I want to make a soup out of this instead of a lasagna next time. That way I can have a really thick soup instead of a watery lasagna? What do you think?

This has a super-short ingredient list (for me at least) so it’s sure to please!

Anyways, this is what I did:

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna with Paul’s Spicy Sauce

1 very large zucchini
4 cups spaghetti sauce, preferably homemade. (I used Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti sauce >—here.)
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
15 ounces Ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Slice your Big-A zucchini 1/8-inch thin with either a mandoline slicer or a knife. You’ll want enough to cover two-layers in a 9- x 13-inch pan. Lay the slices on racks and lightly salt each side.

Sliced Zucchini

Sliced Zucchini

Let rest for 1/2 hour, then use paper towels to mop up the moisture from the slices. (Alternatively you could dry-roast them on a grill.)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses along with the large egg until combined.

In a 9- x 13-inch pan, spread about a cup of the spaghetti sauce over the bottom.

Layer zucchini slices to cover.

First Layer of Zucchini

First Layer of Zucchini

Now spread half of the Ricotta cheese mixture over them…

First Layer of Cheese Mixture

First Layer of Cheese Mixture

and top with a third of the Mozzarella cheese.

First Layer of Mozzarella

First Layer of Mozzarella

Next spread all the spinach over top…

Spinach Layer

Spinach Layer

and top with 1 1/2 cups sauce.

Spicy Sauce Layer

Spicy Sauce Layer

Repeat the layer of zucchini…

Second Layer of Zucchini

Second Layer of Zucchini

cheese mixture and another third of Mozzarella…

Second Cheese Layer

Second Cheese Layer

and the rest of the sauce.

Second Sauce Layer

Second Sauce Layer

Top with a final layer of Mozzarella.

Lasagna Ready to Bake

Lasagna Ready to Bake

Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna Out of the Oven

Zucchini and Spinach Lasagna Out of the Oven

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

The Leftovers Dilemma…

7 Aug
Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

This is actually a new post! I started this post about a year ago and shelved it. Since I’m on a somewhat “hiatus” from blogging while packing up to move onto a new house, I thought I’d update this one and finally post it. And here it goes, written a year ago:

Start: “So we are having leftovers from the freezer. Hubby says, “Stop cooking so much, we have too many leftovers!” And I replied, “Now how am I supposed to have a foodie blog without cooking?” Well, the problem is, I grew up in a household of eight, and I don’t know any better. I can’t help it! Food, food, food, and then more food.

We have three in the household. I try to cook for four because that’s just how it works out with standard halving of recipes, but I usually end up cooking for six or eight because, well, I can’t help it. Add more of this, add more of that. Ooooh, I have some of this, just throw that in too. Then you just end up with a lot. For the freezer. We just have to remember to get it OUT of the freezer and actually eat it before it’s that unknown ice-crystal-laden frozen glob of something that may or may not be the leftover spinach lasagna rollups, or is that the chicken enchiladas we made with the red sauce instead of the green sauce last time?” End.

Well that is as far as I got with that post. But I can at least present you with a photo above of  what “said glob” looked like before it went into the freezer…

We are having a garage sale this weekend, so things are moving along pretty quickly with getting moved. We have an arrangement with the owner of the house we are buying to move our stuff into his garage beginning Sept. 1, but we won’t be able to close the loan on the house until mid-October (long story on that one) and we have to be out of our rental by Sept. 12. But my parents have a one-bedroom condo here with a Murphy bed too that they stay in during the summer to escape the Texas heat. They leave on Sept. 20. SOOOO, in order not to be too cramped for those 8 days, my husband and I will be taking a week’s vacation to our river property during that time frame. Our daughter will stay at the condo with our parents since she’ll be in school by that time. Busy times ahead, for sure! I hope you all stick around my blog until we get through this!

OH! Here is a link to the spinach lasagna Roll Ups, in case you missed that post in the past: Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

3 Apr
Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

About everyone and their brother has made this and posted it on Pinterest, BUT not everyone has made it with Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce! Paul whipped up another big batch of his sauce the other night, and I took the liberty of crafting these cute lasagna roll ups before the sauce got all bagged up for the freezer. Recipe here.

I do have a complaint of about 90% of the recipes I looked at. Most of them said to use 2 tablespoons of filling for each noodle. No-way, no-how would 2 tablespoons cover a lasagna noodle. I used at least 1/4 cup for each noodle before rolling them up. Just don’t roll them until you’ve exhausted all the filling, then you can rob Peter to pay Paul if the last couple of noodles are shy of filling.

Spinach Cheese Mixture Spread on Lasagna Noodles

Spinach Cheese Mixture Spread on Lasagna Noodles

Cooking a lasagna this way isn’t necessarily a time-saver, but you do end up with an easy way to package and store leftovers for the freezer. My husband said “This is really good!” so I gathered he liked this version of lasagna. So did my daughter, but she wasn’t very hungry and only ate one. More for the freezer!

NOTE: This can be made vegetarian by subbing in a marinara sauce for the meaty spaghetti sauce.

p.s. I’m traveling out of town this weekend to meet up with about 15 wild and crazy friends, so there will be no weekend post.

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

12 uncooked lasagna noodles
3 cups Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce, or other prepared sauce
1 15-ounce container Ricotta cheese
2/3 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2 teaspoons minced garlic
10-ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, beaten
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella, for topping
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, for topping

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups Ready to Bake

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups Ready to Bake

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the noodles to al dente according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, combine the Ricotta, garlic, spinach, egg, pepper, salt or Mrs. Dash, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl.

When the noodles are done, drain the noodles, let cool a bit, pat dry with paper towels, then lay them on parchment or wax paper in a single layer.

Spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking pan. Spread 1/4 cup or so of the cheese and spinach mixture onto each lasagna noodle. Roll the noodles and place seam-side-down into the pan.

Pour 2 cups of spaghetti sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top each roll with 1 tablespoon of Mozzarella and 1 teaspoon of Parmesan, then cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, uncover and turn on the broiler. Broil for about 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green side salad and garlic bread. You can freeze the remaining roll ups in Ziploc bags for a quick and easy future meal!

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Easy Low-Cal Spinach Lasagna – A Hit with the Family!

13 Apr
Plated Spinach Lasagna

Voila! Plated Spinach Lasagna

So where have I been since Easter Sunday, you ask? (OK, maybe not…lol) Well I have been sipping supper through a straw the past several days after having my tongue biopsied for a “suspicious” white patch under my tongue. NOT something I would EVER put on my bucket list of things to do again, that I can tell you. Thankfully tongues are quick to heal, and after a couple of days of excruciating pain, (mitigated by one day of happy pills – blech, do not like taking those…) I am once again on the road to recovery. Still waiting on biopsy results, but I’m pretty sure they’ll come back OK, both the dentist and oral surgeon said they were not alarmed but thought with my recent bout of skin cancer it better get checked out.

Chopped Spinach and Mozzarella

Chopped Spinach and Mozzarella, ready for the rest of it...

I still need to eat fairly soft foods, so thought a spinach lasagna would do well for me if I ate teeny bites on one side of my mouth. The thing is, I had to work at the office today so I strategically planned this all out. I stopped by the store on the way home and bought a few items I would need to add to what I had in the fridge and pantry, then set to it straight away when I got home. One of my strategies was to try the no-boil noodle method, and I’m not talking buying the no-boil noodles, but using the dried regular ones straight out of the box.  It was a fantastic hit with the family, and my daughter had a friend over spending the night and she also approved! I was very happy with how this turned out, and it’s a low-cal version too! Great flavor, great texture, great all the way around.

Low-Cal Spinach Lasagna

1/2 pound lean burger
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, finely diced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Black pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb
1 1/2 jars of spaghetti sauce, (32 oz.) any kind, or homemade
2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup skim milk Ricotta cheese
2 eggs, whisked in a cup or bowl
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 0z. dried lasagna noodles
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Pizza blend cheese

Cooked Lasagna

Cooked Lasagna

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (I did 370 due to high altitude, I was worried about the noodles not cooking all the way.) In a large saucepan, brown the burger with the mushrooms, onion, garlic, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Drain off any fat and add the spaghetti sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, add the Mozzarella, chopped spinach, cottage and Ricotta cheeses, whisked egg, and garlic powder. Mix well. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan with half the noodles. Spread half the sauce over the noodles. Next spread all of the cheese spinach mixture over that. Place another layer of noodles on top of that then spread the rest of the meat sauce over. Pour the half cup of water over the lasagna and around the edges then swirl the pan around to make sure it gets spread evenly underneath. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven, remove the foil, and sprinkle the last two cheeses over top. Return to oven uncovered until the cheese melts, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then dig in!

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