A Childhood Favorite

When I was little, one of my favorite meals was Mom’s homemade lasagna.  I am sure lasagna was requested nine times out of ten throughout my childhood if given the chance.  What’s not to like?  Pasta, sweet Italian tomato sauce, cheese, cheese, and more cheese…so on Sunday I decided to fix lasagna.  I did not make a homemade red sauce, but instead used a jarred tomato basil sauce.  It is much quicker than the homemade which ultimately tastes much better, but time was precious as I preferred cheering on the Saints with a win rather than making a sauce from scratch using tomato paste.

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Beef and Spinach Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions

1-1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 cups fresh spinach

1 jar tomato basil pasta sauce

1 tbsp. minced fresh basil

1 egg

1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

15 oz. part skim ricotta cheese

2 c part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 c shredded parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray casserole pan with nonstick spray.  Brown beef, Italian seasoning  and garlic over medium low heat and drain.  Add sauce, basil, and spinach and cook until heated through and spinach is wilted.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.  Meanwhile, mix ricotta, egg, and grated parmesan in small bowl.  Begin layering in casserole dish by spooning a couple tbsp. of sauce mixture in bottom of pan.  Top with 3 lasagna noodles.  Spread half of ricotta mix over noodles.  Top ricotta with some of the meat sauce mixture and half of mozzarella and parmesan.  Repeat layer of noodles, ricotta, sauce, and cheeses.  Top with last three noodles, rest of meat sauce, and any remaining mozzarella and parmesan.  Bake in oven covered with foil for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.  Enjoy! 

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As for today’s meals, they are more of my adulthood favorites…

greek yogurt bowl with granola, banana, and jam

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I promise there is yogurt and granola under there.

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Lunch was made of a veggie sandwich including wholy guacamole, mushrooms, reduced fat swiss, romaine, and tomato on whole wheat bread.

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I got a couple of compliments on my “good lookin” sandwich and it was.

Plus I ate an apple for sweetness and crunchiness. 

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Tonight’s dinner began early this morning by putting three chicken breasts in the slow cooker with a cup or two of reduced sodium chicken broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  I had another meeting after work so I planned dinner ahead.

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After work, the meeting, and a visit to the gym11 hours later; I arrived home to find a sweet BBQ aroma filling the air since the husband had added the BBQ sauce and sliced tomatoes and onions for sandwich toppers. Thanks to the husband for that!

I quickly made some coleslaw using vinegar, milk, greek yogurt, miracle whip light, and stevia + salt and pepper and dinner was ready.

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Those three chicken breasts made a substantial amount of shredded chicken—definitely can feed a family of four or more.

Finally, I wanted some sweetness tonight and wanted to make cookies, but decided against that.  I opted to make a gingerbread cake using a mix Mom got last month from TJ’s Chicago store.

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This is a bit spicy with the ginger, but still tasted great and satisfied my need for sweets.

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His and hers cake slices.  Mmmm.

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