Tuesday, October 23, 2012

First Date Day

Three years ago today, Jon took me on our first date.  I forgot that it was today and he came home with these.  Sigh, I'm so "lucky ducky" (as Lily would say).  I love our little family.  A lot can happen in three years!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Low-Fat Lasagna (or Lauren's Low-fat Loaded Lasagna...take your pick)

The first recipe I ever made up all by myself goes like this:

- 12 lasagna noodles cooked
- 2/3 pound Italian pork sausage 
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 cans of petite deiced tomatoes (14 oz)
- 1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz)
- 6-8 cups fresh spinach when roughly chopped
- 2/3 c greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- ½ c parmesan cheese (give or take)
- ½ c cheddar cheese (only for the top layer)
- Italian seasoning

First off, I'm not sure you're allowed to call anything low fat that has pork sausage in it - so you can use less or more sausage if you want, but you can't use hamburger.  Against the rules.  In a pan, sauté the onion and garlic until onion is translucent, then add the sausage and cook until brown.  Add the petite tomatoes and tomato sauce and heat until its close to boiling or lightly boiling.  Then add the spinach.

Side note: It should be roughly six cups when its chopped not before its chopped.  Just trust me on this ok – the spinach becomes really wilted after being boiled in the tomato mixture, so it decreases a lot in volume.  It’ll look like a ridiculous amount of spinach when you put it in – that’s good.  Since we’re going to use a lot less cheese than normal lasagna, the spinach helps it have substance. 

Put a lid on the sausage/tomato/spinach mixture and turn it down to low, letting it simmer for about 5 minutes.  While it simmers, mix the greek yogurt and egg together (this replaces your cottage cheese).  Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 or just put a little of your tomato mixture in the bottom.  For the assembly:   [You’ll do a layer of 4 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the tomato mixture, 1/3 of the yogurt mixture, and sprinkle with a light layer of parmesan cheese, Italian spices, salt and pepper].  Repeat what in the brackets two more times, so you’ll have three layers of noodles.  On the very top, put the cheddar cheese and a little extra parmesan.   Bake on 350 for 30-35 minutes.  For the last five minutes, turn the heat up to 450 or to broil and watch it.  You want to cheddar cheese to get that burn-ish crispness but its really easy to let it go too long.  Enjoy! 

You can also try cutting out the cheddar cheese on the top if you want it to be really low-fat.  I also make this often with an 8x8 pan when I’m just cooking for my family.  I just halve all the ingredients…except the noodles.  It takes about 9 noodles for me to fill the area of the pan 3 times. 

Sorry I don't have a picture of when its all made - maybe I'll add that later.