Sunday, June 7, 2009
Hot Dish, Hot Day!
Finally, after weeks of rain, a beautiful day in the Sunshine State! Not wasting any time in the kitchen today, no way, no how! I'm lugging out my slow cooker and letting that baby do the work while I slip on bikini and head out for some fun in the sun!
Ok, you know that I normally avoid the "white stuff" but today I'm cheating just a bit with this recipe. You see, My Sweetie's kids are here and, well, they are really picky eaters and pasta's pretty much the only thing they'll scarf down without issue.
Please note that since I have a house full of mostly-vegetarians and am slowly going back to my veggie ways myself, I will be substituting veggie crumbles for the ground beef, surely that will take off a POINT or two?
Slow Cooker Lasagna
POINTS® Value: 8
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 360 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
No need to cook the noodles first or stay home while it bakes. Just let it sit a few minutes before serving so it can firm up a bit.
1 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
6 item(s) dry lasagna noodles, no-cook
1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano
* Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
* Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
* Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.
* Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.
* In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.
* To boost your vegetable intake, add a can of zucchini in tomato sauce to the meat mixture. You can also add 2 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms to the beef mixture.