Since I made sauce for the zucchini lasagna, and I had some extra (score), I decided to go ahead and make some meals for either dinner or lunches for the week.
David is part of a local community theater group, and will be in rehearsals all week. So I will be on my own for dinner.
I had a sweet potato, sliced, chopped. Add a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees until soft and tender.I also had spiralized some zucchini – made some noodles.Three bowls with some zucchini, sweet potatoes, and…Added the meat sauce, and then parmesan cheese of course! Four meals…well, one is zucchini noodles with some olive oil, salt and pepper – with shrimp that I had sauteed as I had ran out of meat sauce.This week was so much better for meal planning and prepping. I felt so much better about dinners, and lunches and my overall health.
How was your week? Did you plan/meal prep?
I have been craving Lasagna for a while, as since flour pasta is not something I should be eating, I tried it with zucchini (again). I used my madoline, and sliced it thin. Laid them out on a paper towel, sprinkled with salt (to draw out the moisture). Let them sit for a little bit…you will see the moisture draw out.For the sauce: pound of ground beef, 3 cloves of garlic, and a medium onion. Sauteed until cooked through. Seasoning: cinnamon (yes, just a bit), Italian seasoning and Oregano, salt and pepper.I used some of the Slocomb Tomatoes that I put up a couple of years ago for the sauce (and just let it simmer for a while), and a couple of cups of red wine. I added some tomato sauce as it wasn’t deepening like I wanted.Wipe off the moisture from the zucchini, and place into a 9×9 dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Next, layer…with sauce…Mix together a small container FULL FAT ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan, egg, and a generous amount of pepper.Hint: drop the half of cheese mix into spots around the dish THEN spread out to cover.One block of mozzarella cheese, shredded. Sprinkle a third of it on the first layer. And, repeat…Once you add the second layer of cheese mixture, top with mozzarella, then add the other 1/2 cup of parmesan. It will add a nice crust to the top.Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until nice and bubbly.Remove the foil, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.I LOVED mine…the noodles (zucchini) were perfect for me…and it was the perfect serving size. David’s portion (and he had seconds!), with extra’s.We had leftovers for the next several nights, and even had some for when Carmen was home. She even enjoyed it! The cinnamon really adds a nice hint of something extra.
I had made Yogurt Bread as well…so yummy!
I follow a lot of amateur cooks, chefs, and foodies on social media and this has been making the rounds lately. I am fascinated by Julia Child, and one of these days hope to purchase one or all of her cookbooks (or maybe will get them as gifts-hint hint).
But, I find this so interesting that her last meal would be a chicken – not beef or duck – but a perfectly roasted chicken. I like roasted chicken, but for my last meal? Maybe I just haven’t have the perfect roasted chicken? I understand the seafood, and the dessert, but again, I come back to the chicken.
Have you had such a perfectly roast chicken that you would want it as your last meal? What would you have as your last meal?
Mine would be cold as ice oysters on the half shell, a heavily marbled bone-in rib-eye steak medium rare, and steak fries – crispy, crunchy ones. If I could have anything, cooked by anyone, it would be my Oma’s kase spaetzle with my Mom’s chocolate cake.
I ended up making taco meat with onion, and getting a Rotisserie chicken for my two ingredient meat pies and pizza. I let the taco meat cool a bit, and chopped up the chicken. I had used a half of a purple onion in the taco meat mixture, and reserved the other half for the chicken portion. Rolled out the chilled dough mixture with some flour on the counter. Somewhat sectioned out the portions. Scooped the meat in each, and folded the dough over.I added some shredded cheddar cheese to both meats, and yes, I cheated and used packaged shredded cheddar cheese. For the remaining dough, I rolled it thin, and placed it in a baking sheet that I sprayed with baking spray.Spread the remaining taco meat on half, and the chicken on the other half.Added BBQ sauce to the chicken, and cheese to both.For the pies, I pressed the edges down, and used a fork to seal the edges.Baked them both at the same time with the pizza on the bottom rack at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. These were really good. I will make the dough again, and the pizza. Not sure about the meat pies. I need to vary the recipe a bit, and work out the kinks on the moisture with the chicken ones. I loved the taco meat ones.
David really enjoyed all of it, and we had plenty left over. I will only make enough dough next time for one serving of pizza or meat pies as this was too much dough to use up in one serving.
David found this recipe for Instant Pot Lasagna – but we don’t have the spring form that fits into our Instant Pot. So, I decided to modify the recipe and make lasagna anyway.
- 1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef (85% to 93% lean) You can use all ground beef
- 1/2 lb Ground Italian Sausage (you can use all sausage)
- 1/2 tsp Coarse Salt (1/4 tsp table salt)
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 cup Ricotta Cheese (or Cottage Cheese)
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Salt (if your pasta sauce is salty, decrease to 1/4 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1 24oz jar Pasta Sauce (about 3 cups) (marinara, or your favorite brand)
- 1/2 cup Chopped Spinach Leaves (fresh, or frozen, thawed)
- 5-6 No Boil Lasagna Noodles
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Cook the meat mixture (beef, sausage, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning). Cook, stirring, until the meat is cooked. Remove meat, drain, and set aside. Mix the Cheese Mixture: In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta, egg, mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper, and parsley. Use a fork to mix thoroughly. Set aside.I used a pasta sauce, and spread about 1/2 jar on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Then layered the no-bake noodles, then more sauce. Then layer the meat mixture.Then the cheese mixture.I used fresh, baby spinach (almost the entire small package).Another sauce layer.Continue with the noodles, and repeat until meat and cheese are done. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Spray aluminium foil with non-stick spray and cover the pan, bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.Uncover, and bake until cheese is golden or about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool for about 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!David liked this, and I was not able to eat a lot of it at all. I mainly ate the everything but the noodles. Ugh.
The first meal that we prepared was the Hello Fresh Meatloaf Balsamico. (Instructions copied from the Hello Fresh Site):
Wash and dry all produce. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix 1 TBSP vinegar (we sent more) and ketchup. Mince 1 clove garlic (use other as you like). Chop parsley. Halve and peel onion. Using the large holes of a grater, grate one onion half into a large bowl (use the other half as you like).
Add garlic, parsley, ¼ cup panko (we sent more), beef, and ½ tsp salt to bowl with onion. Crack in 1 egg (use the other as you like). Season with pepper, then mix with hands to combine. Shape into two 1-inch-tall loaves, then place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush with ketchup mixture.
Roast meatloaves in oven until cooked through, about 25 minutes total (we’ll check on them after 10 minutes). Meanwhile, peel sweet potatoes, then cut into ½-inch cubes. Place in a medium pot with a pinch of salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
After meatloaves have baked 10 minutes, remove baking sheet from oven. Toss green beans on same sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. (TIP: Use tongs to avoid burns.) Return to oven and roast until meatloaves are cooked through and green beans are tender and lightly crisped, about 15 minutes more.
Drain sweet potatoes and return to pot. Mash in pot with a potato masher or fork until mostly smooth. (TIP: If potatoes have cooled, quickly reheat over medium-low heat.) Add 1 TBSP butter and honey. Continue mashing to combine and melt butter. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Once meatloaves and green beans are done, sprinkle almonds over green beans and toss to combine. Divide meatloaves between plates and serve with sweet potato mash and green beans on the side. The photo of their meal, and David’s plate in comparison:
We will definitely do this meatloaf again. David really enjoyed it, as did I. He isn’t a fan of sweet potatoes but we both enjoyed these. Overall, really easy instructions, well laid out in timing and portions sizes. So far, this one is a winner.
I had planned on making lasagna with zucchini noodles, but things don’t always work out the way I plan.
Most of the zucchini went bad, but one survived. So I decided to shred it, and make mini-meatloaves. The zucchini add a ton of moisture, and with some other flavors, really nice mini meatloaves.One pound of ground chuck, half of onion, and one small zucchini shredded. Added Italian seasoning, two eggs, and some panko breading.I have the Brownie pan from Pampered Chef. I love the little square portions I am able to make with anything I cook.
These are about two ounces each piece, and works out to be about 95 calories each.My plate with the vinegar smashed potatoes (another post). Perfect, juicy and the right portion size.