Before you start this recipe, please promise that at some point while making it you’ll stop and curse violently. It would make me feel better about myself.
I’m not saying this is hard…It’s pretty easy, actually. I just had to stop and curse at my lasagna noodles for sticking to the pan.
My mom has always used the lasagna recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook she got as a wedding present in 1979, so that’s what this is loosely based off of. I won’t post the original recipe here because…well, because I just don’t feel like it.
9 Regular lasagna noodles (use whole wheat if you like), no salt added diced tomatoes, 2 cans no salt added tomato sauce, garlic powder, parsley flakes, basil, salt substitute and onion. Let’s pretend oregano is also in this photo ’cause you’ll need that, too.
16 ounce container of fat free cottage cheese, shredded fat free mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. I used the parmesan and romano blend ’cause it was already in the fridge but you can use whatever variety you want. I give you my permission.
Brown your beef and about half of a large onion in a skillet with some garlic powder and salt substitute. I threw in some ground black pepper, too. I couldn’t tell you how much…Probably 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic and a teaspoon each of salt substitute and pepper.
Once it’s good and brown dump it in a strainer for a while… I like to also pour it (in two batches) onto a paper towel lined paper plate and press it with another paper towel to soak up even more grease.
The beef and onions go back into the pan with the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add in 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon oregano, and about a teaspoon of salt substitute. You can also add a teaspoon of sugar at this point to cut the acidity of the tomato sauce. Get the mixture boiling, then turn it down to a simmer until it reduces to the consistency of spaghetti sauce. You might want to go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get a pot of water heating on the stove now, too.
Once your water’s boiling, cook the noodles according to package directions. I didn’t salt the water, but you could use the salt substitute here, too. Ok, honestly? I just forgot. This, by the way, is the part that made me curse because I didn’t use a big enough pot. Please use a giant pot so your noodles don’t stick, ok?
While your noodles are boiling, taste your meat sauce and adjust seasonings as needed. It should have reduced by now, so you’re safe to add a little more sugar or salt if you need it.
Once your noodles are done and the sauce has reduced to your liking you can start building the layers. I used 3 noodles per layer and I didn’t worry about covering the bottom of the dish or overlapping them. Spread about half of the meat sauce on the first layer.
Put three more noodles on top of the meat sauce, then spread all of the cottage cheese mixture on with a decent handful of the mozzarella cheese. Add the last three noodles, then spread the remainder of the meat sauce on top. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese (and a little more mozzarella if you like), then put it in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Once you get it out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before you serve it.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Do you know of a way to make this even healthier? Let me know in the comments or send an email to willfullydisobedientblog(at)gmail.com.
As I’ve mentioned before, at one point in my life I weighed 180 pounds… And I was NOT happy with that considering I spent most of my life weighing between 110 and 130. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about a year ago and put on Levothyroxine, but after immediately losing 5 pounds (likely water weight) I got stuck at 175.
I don’t know exactly why, but recently I’ve been losing weight pretty steadily. I have made some changes, like cutting soda out completely and drastically decreasing the amount of beer I drink. It’s not like I was an alcoholic, but I’d say I drank every weekend…Now I might have two or three once a month. I also haven’t been eating fast food and in the last week I’ve only been eating heart-healthy foods. I haven’t added exercise to the mix yet, though I do plan on it. I have a couple of audio books on my iPod and I keep saying I’m going to walk but things come up and I don’t have time.
I weighed myself the other night and was shocked to see the number on the scale… 145?! Really?!
I’m 15 pounds from my college weight…when I thought I was the biggest heifer on the planet…And 25ish pounds from my goal weight. Huh.
I’m certainly thrilled with this effortless weight loss…but it has caused some troubles. For one thing, none of my clothes fit anymore. Certainly not the clothes from my heaviest days, but even some of the clothes I had saved from before I totally blew up like a whale.
If I were employed, this wouldn’t be a problem…I’d just go shopping and maybe even enjoy it for the first time in years. Unfortunately, clothing stores expect you to give them money in exchange for pretty new skinny clothes and I don’t quite have the bankroll for that.
I have a couple of pairs of jeans that I can wear… but they’re big enough that I don’t have to unbutton or unzip them to take them off. I’ve managed to shave about .2 seconds off of my bathroom time thanks to that. Walking for any distance can create a problem, because I have to stop and hike my pants up every few steps (extra annoying when I have my hands full). Walking up stairs is worse because after two stairs my pants have reached what I consider the ‘danger point’. After walking up the porch steps earlier today I felt a draft and noticed that I had a good inch of butt crack showing. I mean, I am a plumber’s daughter but I prefer not to advertise it quite in that way.
I’ve noticed that my boobs have been shrinking, too… It’s just not fair. Why can’t I lose weight and keep my boobs?!
Not that I’m complaining… I hope this trend continues!
So I’ve been spending my evenings with my nose buried in the American Heart Association cookbook while The Boyfriend plays Playstation… I’m convinced my Dad shouldn’t have to replace good-tasting food with healthy food. I’d been telling my parents how good Cornflake Fried Chicken is and I thought I could probably come up with a more heart-healthy version.
I made it for dinner tonight and I’m pretty darn proud of myself.
I used fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts*. I wouldn’t recommend frozen chicken simply because it can contain a lot of sodium (1200 mg in some cases…eek!). Also? I said before to rinse your chicken…uh, don’t. I was wrong.
Mark your calendars guys…You probably won’t hear that again anytime soon.
Anyway, rinsing your raw chicken can get salmonella all over your sink and make cross-contamination easier. Don’t want that, do we? So don’t do it anymore. Unless you already didn’t, in that case just carry on.
Set your oven to 350 degrees. While that’s heating up, pour egg substitute* into a shallow dish and dump some Cornflakes into a bag OR another shallow dish. You can add seasoning (I used cayenne pepper, garlic and paprika…no salt!) to either the egg or the Cornflakes*, though adding it to the egg might make it a little more evenly distributed. Crunch up the Cornflakes a bit, you don’t want any giant flakes.
I’m sure you know the drill by now…Dip chicken pieces into the egg, then into Cornflakes and put them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. Use a meat thermometer if you’re not sure, or do what I do: pick the thickest piece and cut into the middle of it. If the meat is white and the juices are clear, it’s done! When it’s time to serve, give that piece to yourself or just flip it over on the plate so the hole isn’t visible. Sometimes ya gotta be sneaky.
I served the chicken with mashed potatoes (boiled without salt…just garlic and onions, then mashed with skim milk and Smart Balance ‘butter’*) and corn. I would have preferred fresh corn, but we already had a couple of cans in the pantry. Since the sodium was higher than I wanted I just dumped the cans into a strainer and rinsed the corn before I cooked it.
We also had light cottage cheese. I like to mix it with my mashed taters. Yes, I realize that might be weird.
We have some leftovers so tomorrow evening I’m going to attempt heart-healthy gravy.
Yep. I’m gonna attempt to make the least healthy food I can think of better for you. I’ll let you know how it works out.
*I linked to the nutrition info for all of these products…I’m in no way an expert, but I checked them all out to make sure they fit the guidelines in the AHA cookbook.
What I’ve been up to lately:
I made some bows for my cousin’s baby shower gifts…
Fixed some heart-healthy meals for my Dad…
An adorable little puppy got lost and ended up at our house…
We found her owners pretty quickly and got her back to them. I was a little bummed because honestly? I wanted to keep her…I mean, just look at that face!
Rooty got so excited that he knocked a few keys off of my laptop’s keyboard. It’s my own fault for leaving it open on the couch…
I’m a dumbass.
BUT it still works, I just have to re-position the backspace key when I need to use it. Hopefully it can be easily (and inexpensively) fixed…Whenever I have time for that.
Thrown for a loop…
Thrown out of balance…
However you want to phrase it, that’s how I feel.
I know I haven’t been around much lately, and I’m sorry about that. Two weeks ago there was a death in the family…something that was completely unexpected. I didn’t feel like writing and I really didn’t have anything funny to say.
I’d like to say my absence is over but I don’t know that I’ll feel much like updating for the next couple of weeks.
Yesterday my Dad went in for a heart cath because of an abnormal rhythm the anesthesiologist noticed during his back surgery in June. I went with he and mom so she wouldn’t be stuck waiting by herself… We were hoping they’d tell us he could go home that evening and that no stents were necessary.
They did say he could go home that evening. They didn’t put stents in…but there were several blockages. Because of the location and the size of the arteries, the doctor said he felt that the best option for my dad would be surgery.
…As in…Open heart surgery?
Talk about feeling like you’ve just been punched in the face and the gut at the same time…
His surgery has been scheduled for October 28th and he’s taking some prescriptions this week. The cardiologist says this will help prepare his heart for the surgery.
Mom and I went to the grocery store today to get Dad some heart healthy food… He’s not thrilled about the diet but we’re doing our best to come up with stuff he’ll like. It’s amazing how much sodium is in food… Even the stuff that’s supposed to be healthy!
We’re all still trying to get used to the idea around here so for a while there won’t be any stories about me pestering my mother. I feel like she needs a break.
If you’re so inclined, prayers would be appreciated. Even if you’re not the praying type feel free to send good thoughts our way.
I’m still unemployed. I had hoped that I’d be hired for one job in particular, but someone from that company was kind enough to send me an email letting me know the position was filled.
They couldn’t even be bothered to spell my name right.
At any rate, I’m still applying and hoping but it’s starting to be almost impossible to hang on to a positive attitude. I’m down to about $100.00 in my checking and I’ve exhausted any money I’d saved up.
If you ever want to know who your true friends are, just spend some time being unemployed. I was pretty surprised at how quickly some “friends” quit calling. I guess when I can’t afford to buy rounds at the bar I’m no longer useful to some people.
I’m also getting really sick of people asking if I’ve found a job yet. It’s never, “Have you found a job? ‘Cause I know of a place that’s hiring…” That would be fine and I would appreciate the suggestion. But when you’re just asking to make conversation? Please don’t. I’d rather stand there in silence than deal with the feeling of awkwardness that comes after I answer your question by telling you no.
If you encounter me in a social setting and you don’t know what to say, here’s a list of topics I like to talk about:
New and inventive ways to pester my mother
“Hey! Didja find a job yet?!” = BAD
“Hey! Have you seen Scream 4 yet?” = Good
“Hey! Didja find a job yet?!” = BAD
“Hey! Watch out for the bathroom.someone really dropped a bomb in there.” = Good
In other news, today’s central Indiana forecast says we’re to expect a high of 65 degrees and a low of 45 with possible wind gusts up to 40 mph.
…So The Boyfriend and I are going camping.