Friday, February 4, 2011

Back on the Blog, finally!

I haven't been myself lately, hardly cooking and a lot of sleeping! I think I have a bad case of the winter blues. I did take the time this week to make a few things that I consider worthy of blogging about :) I am proud of both recipes and strongly suggest you try them, you won't be disappointed! I am trying to get back in the swing of exercising every day, eating and cooking healthy meals, and being productive with school work. It is hard to stay on track when it's 5 degrees and no sunshine. Enough complaining, there's SO much to be thankful for. For instance my dad returned home from Nigeria, South Africa safely on Thursday night!!! I couldn't sleep some nights now knowing where he was. He did a great job keeping us updated, finished his project he was there for, and is now safe and sound in Indiana once again! The experience he had is incredible and I will share pictures with all of you as soon as I get some.

This lasagna I made because I always buy Laura's Lean meat and I had just bought a pound the day before and needed to use it. I also bought some ricotta cheese [yum] on my last grocery adventure and needed to use that as well. SO I MADE A LASAGNA! Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa never disappoints with her recipes. I used her outline of her "turkey lasagna" to make my "Lots O Meat" lasagna :) Enjoy! 

The pictures aren't of the best quality.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Laura's Lean Ground
1 can Natures Own Pasta Sauce (any flavor combo)
4 tbsp parsley
4 tbsp cup chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound whole wheat lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 package mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the ground meat and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomato sauce (all of it!), 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hot tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. This really helps soften the noodles even if they don't require boiling, then drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. 
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Apple Walnut Flax Bread

This recipe I got from which is a blog that I follow often. I followed her recipe to a T because this one was for my dads arrival and I didn't want to screw it up! Everyone loved it! It is so moist and delicious, you must try this! (psst it's healthy too)

This makes one 9x5-inch loaf

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
generous pinch freshly ground nutmeg (I didn't have any so I used extra cinnamon)
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used dry buttermilk, it's the easiest but regular works great too)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated apples (Just use a cheese grater on the largest size)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped apples
1 tablespoon flax seeds
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the grated apples, chopped apples flax seeds and half of the chopped walnuts. Fold to incorporate thoroughly.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with granulated sugar, cinnamon and the rest of the walnuts.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool before wrapping.

Serve slightly toasted with butter. Yumtastic.

No comments:

Post a Comment