Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna

IMG_2829

Oh my goodness! This is so good and so easy. We didn’t even miss the meat! It did make a lot of lasagna but it does freeze well. And of course it is even better the next day!

Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna

1 (12 oz.) bag Bird’s Eye Recipe Ready Primavera Blend frozen veggies, defrosted
1 (10 oz.) bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and extra liquid squeezed out
2 (24 oz.) jars marinara sauce
1 (24 oz.) container cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups Italian blend cheese, shredded
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 (16 oz.) pkg. regular lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup water

In a large mixing bowl, combine the veggies, cottage cheese, water, garlic powder, salt, pepper, eggs and 3/4 cup each of the cheeses and mix well. Cover the bottom of a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker with 1 1/2 cups or so of marinara sauce. Top with lasagna noodles. Add cheese and veggie mixture. Cover with sauce again. Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Then a layer of cheese and veggie mixture and repeat until ingredients are gone ending with sauce over the noodles. Cover with lid. Cook on low 5-6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Shut off slow cooker and top with the remaining Mozzarella and Italian blend cheeses and cover to melt, maybe 15 minutes. Cut and serve with a fresh salad and garlic bread.

Advertisements

Penne Alla Vodka

I am going to try to start cooking 2 or 3 vegetarian meals a week. I would like to cut meat out entirely but I know I would get lots of protests from the family. I cooked this the night before Easter. Everything is cooked in the pressure cooker so it is fast and easy. I served it with a big green salad and garlic bread.

20140421-203448.jpg

3 cups penne pasta, uncooked
1 1/2 cups water
1 (24-26 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 ( 14-16 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients, except heavy cream and Parmesan cheese to pressure cooker and secure lid. Set the cooker to high and cook for 7 minutes. Perform a quick release to release the cooker’s pressure. Remove the lid. Stir in the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese until melted and creamy. Salt and pepper to taste.

Baked Ravioli

IMG_2454

Oh my this turned out so good.  The family loved it.  Simmering the sauce can take some extra time but if that can be done ahead of time, this would be a quick dish to assemble on a busy weeknight.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 pounds store-bought frozen ravioli
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add oregano, basil and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in oven). Drain pasta; return to pot.
Toss sauce with pasta. Pour pasta into a large gratin dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

IMG_2432

This is an excellent recipe. It can be frozen or prepared a day ahead of time and baked the next day. I did change the original recipe, mainly because I thought it was lacking in Italian seasonings. My changes will be in parenthesis next to the original ingredients.

9 lasagna noodles, cooked (I only cooked 8 because that was all I could reasonably fit into a 13×9 pan)
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained (I bought a bag of fresh baby spinach and sauteed it in a skillet with some olive oil)
15 oz. fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
Salt and Pepper to taste
32 oz. tomato sauce (I used 24 oz. of tomato sauce in this recipe but next time I am going to use Marinara sauce.)
3 oz. part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. (I think I will also add a little basil and oregano to this mixture.) Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over noodles in the baking dish and top each on with 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

Shiitake and Egg Tart

This was such an easy yet elegant dish.  It would be great for a brunch or lunch served with fruit or a salad.  It could also be served as a main dish for dinner.

IMG_1503

All purpose flour, for rolling
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and large ones halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus more for serving
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 large eggs
Grated Parmesan, for serving

On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out puff pastry to an 11 by 14 inch rectangle. Trim edges to make a neat rectangle and transfer pastry on parchment to a rimmed baking sheet. With a sharp knife, score a 1/2 inch border around edges. With a for, prick pastry all over inside border. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms and tarragon and cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 8 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Bake puff pastry until light golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with mushroom mixture, staying within border. Carefully crack eggs on top of mushroom mixture, spacing them evenly, and bake until pastry is golden and egg whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with tarragon and Parmesan and cut into 6 squares.

California Pilaf

2 pounds ground beef
2 1/2 cups water
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 green pepper, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup ripe olives, sliced
1 cup raw rice (converted)

Brown ground beef in skillet; drain off fat. Place ground beef and all remaining ingredients in slow cooker. Stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 6-9 hours. (Or on High for 3 hours.)

Summer in a Dish

IMG_0378

Can you tell that I am dreaming of summer?  This dish reminds me of all the wonderful vegetables available during the summer.  This dish is also a good dish to clean out the refrigerator of all those leftover veggies.  Either way, it is really good.  I will warn you though, the guys in the family did not like it much because it didn’t have meat in it.  Pioneer Woman calls it “chick food” and I am inclined to think that it is.  The recipe can be found HERE.

Fettucine Alfredo

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese (5.5 oz)
1/2 cup butter
2 egg yolks
salt
white pepper
1 pound fettucine noodles
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
May add imitation lobster or shrimp

Heat cream in pan. When it begins to simmer, stir the cheese into it, bit by bit. Stir constantly over low heat for 10 minutes then start adding butter a little at a time. When all butter is added and sauce is smooth, remove it from heat and beat small amount of it into the egg yolks. Return the egg yolk mixture to the sauce and stir well with a whisk. Season with salt and white pepper. Cook noodles al dente. Mix noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with parsley.

Three Cheese Baked Pasta

Serves 8-10 people (freeze leftovers)
1-16 oz. package ziti pasta
2-10 oz containers Alfredo sauce
1-8 oz. container sour cream
1-15 oz container ricotta
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded

Cook ziti according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti until evenly coated. Spoon half of ziti mixture into a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking dish. Stir together ricotta and next 3 ingredients; spread evenly over pasta mixture. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta layer, sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Can serve with grilled chicken, beef or pork if preferred.
*Use refrigerated Buitoni Alfredo Sauce

Baked Manicotti

This has been a family favorite for years. It is tried and true!

1 box manicotti noodles
16 oz. ricotta cheese
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, 1/2 sliced and 1/2 diced
2-3 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano (optional)
Large jar of Prego spaghetti sauce

Cook noodles only 5 1/2 to 6 minutes! Rinse in cold water immediately. Cook 5 at a time. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl, mix well and set aside except sliced mozzarella. Pour sauce on bottom of baking dish, carefully stuff noodles and lay in a single layer on sauce. Cover with more sauce and cheese slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. This freezes well before baking. If frozen, cook for about an hour.