Tag Archives: lasagna

Weekly Eating – 11/5/18

 Hey y’all! Welcome to the series Weekly Eating.

Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise. I hope it gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into our life through the lens of food, and it’s also a way to keep us on track with meal planning and grocery budgeting.

Feel free to share your wins and lessons in the comments below!

 

 

Oh man, the weekend at the cabin was glorious! Since it was later in the fall than when we went last year, the colors were absolutely breathtaking.

fall colors at the cabin

It is just the best feeling to know there is nothing you have to do right now, just relax and enjoy. It was a great group of people too, which helps. Everyone just kind of comes and goes and does what they want to do. Sometimes you play games, sometimes you read, we went for a lot of walks, kayak and canoe trips.

fall colors at the cabin

We also went apple picking in a town nearby! I thought apples didn’t grow in NC very well, but I guess by being up in the mountains the weather and terrain make it possible. So we had a really fun day, and picked over 30 pounds of apples. They will go home with each of us to become snacks, pies, and sauce.

apple picking

And of course there was no shortage of food. Everyone brought at least one meal to share, and everyone also brought snacks. I think a few spoonfuls of broccoli and a pinch of lettuce were the only vegetables consumed all weekend haha

cabin food

But that’s ok, life is all about balance. When you’re hanging out with friends, on a once a year trip, if your diet is 90% meat, beans, and cheese, I think we will survive.

cabin food

The dogs were definitely interested in the pumpkin chili…

I miss it already. Can I go back yet?

Monday:

Breakfast – Pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing! Spoilers, this was breakfast all week  🙂

pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing

Lunch – Pumpkin Risotto! Exactly the same as the Butternut Squash Risotto, I just used pumpkin puree I’d done in the instant pot.

pumpkin risotto

Dinner –Loaded nachos with sweet potato and black bean southwest bowl. Just put a can black beans, 1 can pinto, 2 large diced sweet potatoes, 1/2 lb beef, and 1 can tomatoes in the instant pot. Cook for 15 minutes, done. Topped w plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 avocado, and cheddar.

loaded nachos

Tuesday:

Breakfast – attempted to make oatmeal stuffed apples in the instant pot. They ended up way overcooked, and turned to mush… so no new recipe for you guys sorry.

oatmeal stuffed apples

Lunch – Leftover buffet! Leftover buffets are an amazing way to clear out the fridge, and keep from wasting food.  We usually do so once a week or so, on the weekends. Just pull everything out, and let everyone pick and choose what to put on their plate.

leftovers buffet

I had eggplant and okra curry with brown rice.

eggplant and okra curry

Snack – tea time! I found the Stroopwaffels I bought a while ago, and decided now was the time to try persimmons for the first time. I had a cup of green tea with a Fuyu persimmon & Stroopwaffel and it was awesome. If you’ve never had a persimmon, do yourself a favor and get one now!

tea time persimmon and stroopwaffel

Dinner – Quinoa, free range organic chicken breast, local green beans and cherry tomatoes, peppers, and corn cut off the cob.

chicken quinoa casserole

Wednesday:

Breakfast – pumpkin bread, what?!

pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing

Lunch – Cranberry walnut chicken salad in lettuce wraps, with homemade mayonnaise

chicken salad in lettuce wrapschicken salad in lettuce wraps

Snack – Garrett’s popcorn, Chicago mix, from the wedding

chicago mix popcorn

Dinner – more leftovers! I had the remaining tuna puffs and some lentil loaf.

tuna puff leftovers

Then I was watching Fat Salt Acid Heat on Netflix, and the salt episode gave me intense cravings, so I ate a literal plate of rice doused in soy sauce and sprinkled with salt. Mmmmm. Don’t worry, I really do have chronic hypotension.

salty rice

Thursday:

Breakfast – I’ll give you one guess.

pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing

Lunch – Leftover steak tips stroganoff with frozen peas

leftover steak stroganoff with peas

Snack – an apple and a pear

apple and pear

Dinner – Lasagna! Possibly my best lasagna ever. With Nature’s Root Farm pastured mozzarella and ground beef, it was so crazy flavorful, and I added a few handfuls of spinach and parsley to the sauce so I can claim it even had some veggies.

homemade lasagna

I also learned my lesson, do not pressure can marmalade. It set up perfectly and was gorgeous, but canning means it will last longer in the pantry rather than fridge. But, it re-liquefied the marmalade, and turned it an icky brown. I’m a little heartbroken.

sad canned marmalade

Friday:

Breakfast – hmmm… sensing a trend? Trust me it’s worth it. This bread is the bomb.com and I have no problem eating it daily. In fact I won’t know what to do with myself once it’s gone.

pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing

Lunch – Leftover lasagna and a salad

leftover lasagna and salad

Snack – someone at work brought these and left them in the break room. Freeze dried bananas, the only ingredient is banana. They were weird, like astronaut food you convince your parents to buy you from the science center as a kid. And the packaging, for like .2 ounces of fruit, ugh. But they would otherwise be trashed, so.

freeze dried bananas

Dinner – This stupid easy 5 ingredient sausage & kale soup. (Sort of this one too… just use what you have okay.)

Kale and sausage soup

The Weekend

So… you may or may not know that I want to have a farm someday, or a homestead. Not a secret to those who know me, I love gardening, and animals, and DIY, and eating things local, especially from my own hands. But the thing is, I live in a city. On about 1/3 of an acre, with lots of trees.

Not ideal for farming.

But I have dreams.

Been trying to convince the boy for 2 years now that we should get chickens. Yes, they are allowed. But only 6, and no roosters. Which is reasonable, as I don’t want a rooster anyways. But he is insistent that they smell and are loud and we don’t have enough space and the dogs will eat them, etc.

So… what about quail? Turns out quail are way underrated. They are tinier and quieter than chickens, you can fit way more in the same amount of space. And they also lay eggs almost daily. Yes, it will take about 4 quail eggs to equal one chicken egg. But if I can have 20 quail rather than 2 chicken… I’m ok with that.

First things first, we need to try quail eggs and see if we even like them. So I procured some quail eggs, and in my search for recipes found this one from Jo Cooks. 

quail eggs in hashbrown nest

IT WAS AMAZING GUYS.

quail eggs in hashbrown nests and radish saute

The eggs are the teeny tiniest most adorable things. And they look really cool in the tiny hashbrowns. And then for dinner, quail just happened to be on sale at HT!

So we are going to get to try both the eggs and the meat, and hopefully this will be the clincher in letting me get some.

Food Total: $way too much

I think the produce box this week was $28? I tried the build-your-own, with lots of fall goodies like brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Hooray for cruciferous veggies!

But then I went to HT, and got a lil carried away… I spent $102 there. I stocked up on several small things that all added up; EVOO cold pressed olive oil, sunflower oil, lime and lemon juice, Bob’s Red Mill spelt, pasta, the quail, biscuits, shredded cheese…

Plus, we tried Butcher Box for the first time. It was $129, for about 12 pounds of all free-range, organic, non-GMO, no-added-anything meat. We got the mixed box, so there was chicken, beef, and pork in there. I think we had a beef roast, a pork loin, 3 chicken breasts, a pound of bacon, and some sirloin steak tips. And it is delivered right to your door! I don’t love the copious amount of packaging though…

Everything we have tried so far has been wonderfully delicious. And I love that I can eat meat again! I know that health-wise, plants are king, and they will remain 80% or so of my diet. But boy, was it nice to have chicken salad, ground beef, and sausage soup again.

And I love knowing these animals were raised as they should be. With plenty of grass, sunshine, and love. If you are wanting a more ethical source for your animal protein, I’d recommend looking into them, if you don’t have a more local meat source near you.

If you decide to check them out and sign up, and use my link: http://fbuy.me/kXzkj  I will get $43 off my next box order, and you get $20 off your first order plus a pound of FREE BACON!

 

 

How about you guys? Did you have a learning week or an awesome week of wins?

Turkey, Mushroom, & Spinach Lasagna

 

One thing every mom loves is having someone else make dinner for them once in a while. Whether your mom loves to bake, or is seldom seen near the stove, everyone loves lasagna. I don’t know about you, but I know in my house lasagna is always welcome. There is just something comforting and satisfying about a heaping plate of sauce, meat, and noodles. Some may argue that lasagna is just fancy pasta, but truly, layering it creates a whole different experience.

Several of the tricks I use in my lasagna I already have written about in my sneaky healthy lasagna post,  and a few more I mention in my YouTube video. The video will show you how to assemble this recipe step by step, and is found by clicking this link, and is also at the end of this post.

For the cheese layer, I seldom am willing to pay a premium for cheese such as ricotta when I know cottage cheese works just as well and is far cheaper. I use a mixture of cottage cheese and sour cream here, and it is super tasty. But if you are a purist who only wants ricotta, or if you have some fancy type of cheese, feel free to switch it up.

For mother’s day, if you are lucky enough to live near your mom, and haven’t already made reservations somewhere, give this simple 30-minute recipe a try. Putting lasagna together is far easier than you may think, and it always impresses. Lasagna looks amazing and tastes even better. Impress your mom, date, siblings, friends, or coworkers. Heck, make a whole pan for yourself and it will last all week. Just give it a try!

IMG_9329

Ingredients:

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Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and olive oil (the oil helps keep the noodles from sticking as much) and simmer for about 10 minutes.

IMG_9331

Step 2: Dice up your mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Add the ground turkey to a pan over medium heat, and cook until browned.

IMG_9335

Add in the garlic, onion, & mushrooms, cover and cook another 5-10 minutes.

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Step 3: In a large bowl, mix the cottage cheese and sour cream.

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Step 4: Once the noodles are cooked and drained, layer a 9 x 13 baking pan with 4-5 noodles, overlapping the edges. Add half of your cooked meat mixture on top of the noodles. Pour 1/2 your sauce on top, followed by half of the cheese mixture. Lay down a layer of 1 cup spinach, and then another layer of 4-5 noodles, again overlapping. Repeat the layers, saving a small amount of sauce to pour on the top.

IMG_9336

Step 5: If you want, shred a layer of sharp white cheddar cheese on top. Pop your lasagna in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

IMG_9338

That’s all there is to it! You could also make this in a disposable aluminum pan, cover with foil, and put in the freezer for a night you don’t feel like baking. Most likely, you will just make the house smell amazing and will devour the whole thing in one meal!

IMG_9339

With the healthy protein from the turkey and cottage cheese, the extra tomatoes boosting your lycopene and vegetable intake, and a healthy layer of spinach, you don’t have to feel guilty about going back for seconds!

(Oh, and if you do make this for mom, super mega bonus points to do the dishes after!)

 

Turkey, Mushroom, & Spinach Lasagna

Turkey, Mushroom, & Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 box lasagna noodles (12-15)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (I used button and enoki)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 can or jar pasta sauce
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tub cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Sharp cheddar cheese to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and olive oil (the oil helps keep the noodles from sticking as much) and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Dice up your mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Add the ground turkey to a pan over medium heat, and cook until browned. Add in the garlic, onion, & mushrooms, cover and cook another 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix the cottage cheese and sour cream.
  3. When the noodles are cook and drained, layer a 9 x 13 baking pan with 4-5 noodles, overlapping the edges. Add half of your cooked meat mixture on top of the noodles. Pour 1/2 your sauce on top, followed by half of the cheese mixture. Lay down a layer of 1 cup spinach, and then another layer of 4-5 noodles, again overlapping. Repeat the layers, saving a small amount of sauce to pour on the top.
  4. If you want, shred a layer of sharp white cheddar cheese on top. Pop your lasagna in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. That's all there is to it! You could also make this in a disposable aluminum pan, cover with foil, and put in the freezer for a night you don't feel like baking. Most likely, you will just make the house smell amazing and will devour the whole thing in one meal. With the healthy protein from the turkey and cottage cheese, the extra tomatoes boosting your lycopene and vegetable intake, and a healthy layer of spinach, you don't have to feel guilty about going back for seconds!
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http://www.budgetepicurean.com/comfort-food/turkey-mushroom-spinach-lasagna/

 

 

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Goat cheese lasagna

 

Well, as December is chock-full of holidays and I spend half of it at home, I did not do much cooking past the 20th. It’s nice to be at home where someone else cooks for me and does the dishes. Like a restaurant, but with more love and fighting.

Anyhow, it’s 2012 now, time for some more creative kitchen adventures. I’m sure I will have plenty of old standbys like tacos and ramen noodles, but there are also some recipes on my mind I’d like to try soon. Plus, I’ve resolved to eat healthier and exercise more because the holiday weight gain really snuck up on me this year. So hopefully you will see lots of salads, soups and veggies.

Since I have not yet made anything spectacular, today I will post the last meal of 2011 that I made, goat cheese lasagna! This stuff is amazingly delicious, and terribly detrimental to the health of anyone kidney-stone-prone. But I had goat cheese and I love the stuff, so I went ahead and made it anyways as an end-of-the-year treat.

Ingredients:
Lasagna noodles
Pasta sauce
Ground beef
Goat cheese
Ricotta or cottage cheese

Step 1: Boil a large pot of water. Add the noodles once fully boiling and boil for 7-9 minutes. Once al dente, drain.

Step 2: While water is boiling, brown about 1 pound ground beef and drain excess grease. If you want, you can combine the meat and sauce in a bowl.

Step 3: Mix the cheeses together well in a separate bowl.

Step 4: In a baking pan or crock pot, layer the noodles, cheese, sauce and meat. Bake at 375 for 1 hour, or on high for 4-5 hours. You can also sprinkle some mozarella on top.

Then just sit back and enjoy! The salty tang of the goat cheese is phenomenal. I’d recommend adding a layer of spinach in there to healthify it and add extra nutrients.