During the work week, do you find yourself stopping by the fast food joints more often than not? Do you and your spouse both work and when evening comes you each ask, “What’s for dinner, dear?” In harmony, you both sing out, “Reservations!” Maybe you’re single and think, what’s the point of cooking when I only have myself to cook for? And every day you vow to begin eating better but your schedule is simply too tight. Day after day you continue to shovel super-sized meals down your gullet and wonder why your pants no longer fit as they used to. You even start to feel a bit pale and your skin is taking on a pallid color. Oh, yes, a steady diet of fast food will definitely make a bigger you and that bigger you will begin to feel abysmal. Yet, you’re the proud owner of an LG Range and an LG Refrigerator. They sure look nice sitting there, almost as if they’ve never been used! A year has passed since you had them installed in your newly remodeled kitchen. You can count on one hand the number of times you’ve actually used either one. Your schedule needs to loosen up a bit if all you find time for is sleeping and working. In the meantime, we have a couple of cooking recipes on how you can begin using your new LG appliances. During the weekend, why not cook up some delicious meals and put them in your freezer to be eaten during your work week? Sure, it will mean putting in a bit of extra effort but the time spent preparing delicious cuisine to eat during the work week will make it all worthwhile.
But before you start throwing any type of food in your LG freezer, consider that some foods do not freeze well. Cabbage, celery, endive, lettuce, parsley, and radishes will become limp and water-logged and develop a bitter aroma and flavor. Potatoes, whether they are baked or boiled, will become mealy and water-logged. The creamy flavor of a Boston clam chowder is ruined if you attempt to store it in your freezer for later use. However, frozen french fries seem to store up nicely. Fried foods, such as fish and chips, lose their crispness and become soggy as they thaw. Any baked foods that contain cooked egg whites become soft, tough, rubbery, and spongy. Think meringue. Icing made from egg whites become frothy. The recipe we are sharing with you today freezes up and will be as good out of the freezer as it was when it came out of the oven.
Easy Going Lasagna
- 3 cups penne, rotini, or some other large pasta
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 12 ounces lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup finely chopped or grated carrots
- 1-25 ounce prepared tomato pasta sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano or basil
- 1-17 ounce container light ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Boil 8 cups of water in a 6-quart pan. Add the pasta and cook pasta al dente style, tender but still firm. Drain and toss with olive oil. Set aside.
In a 10 or 12-inch skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until browned. Add the onions and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the pasta sauce and the Italian seasoning. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
Assemble: Spread half of the meat mixture on the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. Top with all of the pasta. Spread all of the cheese mixture over the pasta. Top with the remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven, uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until bubbling and brown on top. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. However, you will not be serving this one. Allow to cool and then follow the freezing directions below.
To freeze: Allow lasagna too cool. Wrap tightly in freezer plastic wrap and then in heavy foil. Seal, label, and date. Freeze up to 3 months.
To serve: Thaw in the microwave or in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the lasagna. Bake in the center of your oven for 25 minutes or until heated through.
When you have the time, cook two batches of this lasagna. Enjoy one batch with your Sunday dinner and divide the other one into individual portions and freeze in airtight containers. Use as needed throughout the week for lunch or dinner.
Tip of the day: If you are planning to freeze this lasagna use fresh ground beef, not previously frozen!
For more delicious recipes you can cook with your LG appliance, contact us today!