Sunday, April 18, 2010

On the Menu, with Lasagna Recipe

Finally, I'm getting back to my regular menu planning! Not only has my family been suffering from careless and random meals for the past few weeks, but I'm also afraid that my friend Diane and her family have been suffering. She tells me that she plans her meals according to my menu plan, so I'm truly apologetic to her husband and son, who have possibly been eating spaghetti o's a little too much lately. (There, Diane! You made my blog!)

Not having a menu plan seriously adds stress to my life. I'm not crazy about grocery shopping, and Dr. H. does help with that a lot, and I often dislike thinking of things to eat; but being resistant to fixing supper does not make the need for meals go away. I secretly look forward to the day when I can eat yogurt or cereal every night for supper, like my parents do. But until then…

This week we'll be having:
Ginger Beef
Potato Crusted Tilapia
French bread pizzas
and lasagna

My lasagna recipe changes every time, but here is the basic recipe. I make mine half-carnivore/half-herbivore, so an omnivore can have his/her choice of halves.

Really Easy Lasagna

6 lasagna noodles, cooked
1/2 lb. ground beef, if desired
1/2 c. onion, chopped
2-4 gloves garlic
1 can tomato sauce (14 oz)--or more
1 small can tomato paste
lots of spices: oregano, basil, hot pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste
spinach (if you want a vegetarian side)
1 container ricotta mixed with 1 egg
1 lb. mozzarella, shredded

Cook the lasagna noodles. Brown the ground beef. If your family deals well with onions, add 1/2 cup chopped onions and 2-3 gloves garlic in with the ground beef as you brown it. My kids scream if they see a piece of onion, so I leave this out. But I never leave out garlic, unless I am feeling terribly lazy.

Cook the tomato sauce and paste together. Add about 1/2 cup water. Add all the spices. If you like a really saucy lasagna, you should add another can of tomato sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes. If you are going to make an all-meat lasagna, add the meat to the sauce now. If you are doing all vegetarian, add the spinach to the sauce now. If you are doing a 1/2 and 1/2 lasagna, leave the sauce alone.

Begin layering your lasagna. If you are making a 1/2 and 1/2, stick a piece of foil at the halfway point of a 9 X 13 pan. Yes, I really do this. We would not want the meat side to touch the vegetarian side. Put a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Add 3 noodles (cut in half if you are doing 1/2 and 1/2), then more sauce. At this point, you can sprinkle beef on one side and spinach on the other. You don't have to cook the spinach ahead of time—just layer on the fresh leaves. Now add half of your ricotta/egg mixture and half of your mozzarrella. Repeat sauce and meat/spinach and cheese layers, then add the rest of the noodles. Put one more thin layer of sauce on top and finish off with lots of cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.

You can also, of course, add all kinds of delicious things to your lasagna, like sauteed mushrooms and roasted eggplant. Or you can make a kids' half and an adult half, if you want more delicious things than your purist children.

Serve with a salad and Pioneer Woman's Buttery Bread.

Have a happy eating week! More recipe ideas can be found on my On the Menu link at the top of the page and at Menu Plan Monday and Tasty Tuesday.


  1. I am WITH you on the future days of cereal for supper...

  2. Wow, I'd never thought of being able to just eat "whatever" for dinner when my husband and I are older. Hmmm, I can see it know, cereal and sandwiches most nights eaten over the Scrabble board! I love it!


  3. You can never go wrong with lasagna if you're after a hearty meal. It can be very easy once you've learned the basics, and frankly from there, you can make as much variations as you want. You can go nice and simple for a quick fix. Or go elaborate on the ingredients on a special dinner.

  4. Sarah, I must admit my family has been suffering! Thankfully, now I can shift the blame to you when they complain :) Also, you are right about the rice in Randy's fried rice - it DOES need to be made the day before!

  5. P.S. That was my first blog comment EVER! I guess I am past the "lurking" stage?? Diane

  6. ... "careless and random meals" - this seems to be my habit, uh-oh! I need help. I'll be checking in on your meal plans.

  7. This lasagna looks great. We will try it for sure. Thanks for sharing on Beauty and Bedlam.

  8. Hoe exciting, you lured Diane out of the shadows. You are such a wonderful mother to make a two-sided lasagna. I would have never thought of that and probably would never do it.


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