Thursday, July 28, 2011

Freezer Meals + Best Lasagna Recipe EVER!

WARNING: There is some intense nesting about to happen here.  Call it pregnancy hormones or God intervening when your body just doesn't want to help you get things done...whatever it is...I'm in it deep. Just ask my husband.  He'll tell you about the new cleaning program we are on. :)

For now, I'm all about the freezer meals...anything that I can cook double of and store part of it for before or after the baby arrives is right up my alley lately!

One of my first freezer meals is my all-time favorite lasagna recipe from allrecipes.com.  You HAVE to try this!  There is something about the sauce that makes this an incredible dish.  

You can find the original recipe here on allrecipes.com.

I put my version of this recipe and modifications below.












World's Best Lasagna from Allrecipes.com (with changes by me)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. salt + 1/2 tsp. for ricotta mixture
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (1/2 for sauce and 1/2 for ricotta mixture)
  • 9-12 lasagna noodles (I can only fit 3 2/3 noodles per layer in my 9 x 13 pan)
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (I don't usually measure this, but just sprinkle generously)

Directions

  1. Fill a 9 x 13  pan with warm water and soak lasagna noodles while preparing remainder of recipe.  This is a time saver!
  2. In a large sauce pot, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Drain, if needed.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley. Simmer on medium low heat, covered, for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, 2 Tbsp. parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F if you plan to bake lasagna now.  This lasagna is always better if it sits in the fridge overnight!
  5. To assemble, spread thin layer of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish or (2) 8x8 inch baking dishes. Arrange layer of noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese. Spoon about 3 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray. If you put it in the freezer, put a layer of plastic wrap down before the foil.  Just make sure you remove the plastic wrap and recover with foil before cooking!
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool before serving. Enjoy!


Other freezer meals attempted so far:



Canadian Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches



More to come...I've still got 11 weeks of nesting to go! :)


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