On the way home from picking up my med leave pay (which is finally approved – yay! Only a month after I have been on it. Ugh!) I thought to myself, Self, maybe since we parked the car at the grocery store, we could stop in there on the way home and pick up something to do for dinner!
I agreed with myself (I generally do) and then started to think about WHAT I wanted to do.
What about lasagna? Hmm. Could work. Let’s see if there are gluten-free lasagna noodles in the Hippy Section today. There were. Yay.
At first I had scolded myself for not having brought the special edition of the Clean Eating magazine I just got this week – 101 Comfort Food recipes (YUM!). I was pretty sure it had some nifty pasta dishes in there. But I thought, maybe I could make my own tomato sauce without reference.
I picked up almost 2 lbs of tomatoes, some fresh oregano and basil and low-fat ricotta & cottage cheese. I just spent a bunch of time chopping up all those tomatoes. I also looked up a recipe online once I got as far as cooking the garlic in the olive oil. I needed to make sure I was cooking the tomatoes properly.
This is what I did (at the time of writing this post, the sauce is simmering, so I have no idea if it’ll work):
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bazillion cloves of garlic (because I like it)(actually almost an entire bulb)
- 2 lbs tomatoes, diced, chopped, NOT PEELED*
- fresh basil & oregano, chopped (I used about a handful each)
- 2 tbsp thyme – dried (because the recipe I saw online had it, I tossed some in)
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp chili powder (because, why not?) (EDIT: And then some more)
- 1 can organic & gluten free tomato paste (I know this needs to go in there at some point)
- 1 more can because the sauce was awfully watery, good thing you bought two!
Cook garlic (no onion, because I can’t eat them, but you could add them here!) in olive oil for a minute or so, throw in herbs and cook until they look all wilted and smell good. (I should totally write my own cookbook.) Throw in tomatoes and bring to light boil. Just before turning heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes, toss in the can of tomato paste because you know it needs to go in there, you just don’t know when.
*I saw lots of recipes that called for peeling the tomatoes. I tried with one. It’s impossible. I said “Screw, that!” and just chopped the tomatoes to death without peeling them. I don’t have patience (and am in too much pain) to deal with that nonsense. Other recipes said to toss in cans of tomatoes, but I wanted to do this without canned stuff. (paste excluded)
ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH SIMMERING SUDDENLY REALIZE YOU ALSO BOUGHT 2 LBS OF GROUND TURKEY TO THROW IN THE SAUCE!
Currently cooking turkey now in another pot, so I can toss it into the stupid tomato sauce.
Now that all the saucey things are together in one pot, I just have to let it simmer some more and then wait for my husband to call and say he can come home now. No point in putting the lasagna in the oven if he’s not home by the time it’s ready. (Also, if I have to go pick him up, I don’t want the house to catch on fire.)
Hey. here’s something you shouldn’t do… drop the lid of your olive oil bottle into the COOKING OIL when you realize you need to add more. It’s painful trying to get it out of the sizzling oil and trying to not burn your house down.
It’s always an adventure in the kitchen with me. Seriously.
So once that sauce was simmering and it had the turkey added, I found out Shawn was going to be late. So it simmered longer than it was going to therefore it just got better and better. So, yay!
- 1 box Rizopia rice pasta ready-bake lasagna noodles (I was sceptical, but it was good!)
- 1 tiny container low-fat ricotta cheese (1%)
- 1 tiny container low-fat cottage cheese (1%)
- Kraft shredded skim-mozzerella
- Kraft 4-cheese italiano (shredded – and really not much, I just dumped what little I had left in the fridge on for flavour)
In my glass baking thing I put down a layer of noodles, loaded on the sauce (box said if you didn’t cook the noodles first to be heavy with the sauce), put more noodles, added the mixed ricotta & cottage cheese, more noodles, finished up the sauce and then dumped the shredded cheese on top.
I followed the box’s cooking time – 30 mins @ 350F covered with foil, then 15 mins no foil. Let sit 10.
It was VERY good.
I am so proud of myself! I am so excited that I did this almost all from an idea I had in my head.
Shawn thinks it need a little kick, and I can accept that. I didn’t want to do too much because I wanted to know how it would taste as is. I was pretty worried it would be too watery or bitter (I didn’t add sugar and tomatoes can be tart). But I think it’s pretty good the way it turned out! Next time I might add red pepper flakes to it as well.
The result was gooey, delicious lasagna that I would totally make again – AND I think my parents would eat it! (Trust, me, Mummy, you couldn’t even taste the tiny bit of chili powder I put in there and I didn’t put in much pepper or salt – If I served it to you without you knowing what was in it, you’d have never guessed! )
Sadly, Sophie also made up her own meal idea today, too…
She ate three of the 4 corners on my coffee table… Sigh.
As you can see, she’s also chewed one of the legs up, too. That was a few weeks ago. We put hot sauce on it – and she LIKED IT MORE! Gah! She’s been good since, but today I got home, loaded down with groceries, and didn’t even notice the table until I’d been home 2 hours. I am SO mad. There are wood splinters all over the floor, too.
Oddly, when Jinx was a year and a half-ish, he ALSO chewed up the table leg of a coffee table built by my father-in-law (I was sure I’d blogged about it, but can’t find it in archives). That coffee table is one we have in the basement now. This one was newly built for our new home and it’s almost 5 years old. I suppose this gives my father-in-law an idea about what we need for Christmas now. heh
I don’t think this can be saved the way it is, but I can’t live with it chewed up like it is. I feel like I live in a slum or something.
In case anyone was wondering, I believe all Finnish Lapphunds have some carpentry skills, which start to surface about a year and half into their lives. -_-