Mexican Lasagna

I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman’s blog (awesome pictures!) and thought it looked fantastic, BUUUT, it called for a ridiculous amount of ingredients. 3 lb of ground beef, to be exact. No offense, I do love the PW recipes, but 3 lbs! That’s easily 3 weeks of meat for us! lol ! So, I had to make a few downsizings… We went to Trader Joe’s this weekend which was not only FUN, but we got lots of fresh ingredients for this meal and I must say, it tasted really fresh and wonderful. 🙂

Mexican Lasagna

2 packages of Steamfresh Whole Grain Rice
4 tomatoes, diced
2 onions, chopped finely
4-6 garlic cloves chopped finely
1 lb lean ground turkey
Cheese (we used Cheddar & shredded it ourselves…mmmm. Mexican blend cheese would also be great.)
1 c frozen corn, microwaved.
1 jar salsa verde
1 can enchilada sauce
chili powder, paprika & cumin (to taste)
Flour tortillas

1. Prepare rice in microwave.
2. Chop tomatoes, onions & garlic. Saute in pan. Add chili powder, cumin and paprika to taste (this is “taco seasoning”… fun fact)
3. Mix with rice & set aside.
4. Brown turkey and add taco seasoning stuff to taste, and add 4-6 oz water.
5. Assemble the lasagna in a 9×13 casserole dish. Here’s how the layers go:

1/2 salsa verde
layer of tortillas
1/2 of rice mixture
1/2 of grated cheese
layer of tortillas
enchilada sauce
rest of salsa verde
rest of rice

Bake at 375 for 25-35 min. Serve w/ Sour Cream and say “mmmmm” a lot.


Jamie’s "Use Up the Ingredients" Ziti & Super Creative Italian Bread

Scott’s on his way home from the interview in Boston and I’m picking him up in about 2 hours from the airport. I was a good girl and ran this morning before work, and had fun making dinner for 1 and reading Moloka’i (LOVE it so far!)

So, for fun, here’s what I made for dinner, which I ate in the living room while watching reruns of The Office. How I love being a grown up sometimes!

Jamie’s “Use Up the Ingredients” Ziti
Noodles, cooked
1/2 of an onion, diced up as small as possible
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Cheese (cottage, ricotta, mozzarella, parm…whatever ya got)
1/2 lb of meat (either ground turkey or beef, you get the picture right?)

Boil the noodles. Mix up the rest of the stuff in a casserole dish you think will fit all the stuff. Then mix in the noodles. Then put cheese on top and bake if for a 1/2 hour or so, until it looks delicious. 🙂

Tonight I used 1/2 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 lb grilled chicken breasts ground up, whole wheat penne and mozzarella. I love when I have leftover cottage cheese or ricotta, bc that makes it even more yummy. I’ve been known to throw in some spinach too… but no such luck tonight.

Jamie’s “Super Creative” Italian Bread
1 thing of Pillsbury Italian loaf
Olive oil
Italian spices
Parm cheese

Get bread dough prepared according to the directions on packet. In a small bowl, mix up some olive oil and spices. W/ a brush, brush it all over the loaf and bake at 350 for 25 min until golden brown and wonderful. 🙂

Mac & Cheese

I love this recipe – I don’t even know why I tried it, since I’m not a big fan of cottage cheese. It grosses me out. But even though it’s a pretty prominent ingredient, it doesn’t really seem like cottage cheese. It’s also really healthy too. I made it with some marinated chicken in the oven! Scott’s pulling another long day, followed by some sculpting of his guns (ie: the gym) but he’ll be so excited when he gets home!! 🙂

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (2 cups uncooked)
2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tbs. chopped onion (The food processor is awesome for getting the onion ground to a pulp)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
4 tbsp breadcrumbs (I used saltines then threw ’em in the food processor)
1 tbsp. reduced-calorie stick margarine, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine first 9 ingredients. Spoon into an 9×12 casserole dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Combine breadcrumbs and margarine. Stir well. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over casserole. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover casserole and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Stuffed Shells & Roasted Veggies

This was a fantastic meal, if I do say so myself!!! I think we were a little inspired by our upcoming Italian vacation, so Stufed Shells sounded wonderful. Scott was only mildly excited, until he ate them… then he got really happy. Apparently when I said “Stuffed Shells” he thought of some other dish I made once which was kinda gross… He definitely likes the stuffed shells, and is now giving them the enthusiasm they deserve.

And a picture, for your viewing pleasure…

Stuffed Shells
(from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook)
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can tomato puree
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 c part skim ricotta cheese
1 1/4 c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
3/4 c grated Parm cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c parsley flakes
1 box jumbo pasta shells/12 manicotti shells, cooked. (I use shells bc manicotti is harder to stuff!)

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Saute garlic until golden, about 2 min. Stir in tomato puree, oregano, basil and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for about 15 min.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F; spray a 9×13 baking dish w/ non-stick spray.
3. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, parm, egg and parsley. Fill the shells w/ cheese mixture; place seam down in the baking dish. Pour sauce over the shells. Bake until browned and bubbling, 30-40 mins.

(As manicotti, 2 manicotti shells were worth 8 points, and it’s very fuzzy pointswise as stuffed shells… So about 1/6 of the pan = 1 serving, and therefore 8 points.)

Roasted Vegetables
From my dear mom 🙂

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice (I use RealLemon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 yellow squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
Zucchini, broccoli or any other vegetable your heart desires, cut into 1 inch pieces

Stir together 1st 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add veggies and toss to coat. Place in a single layer of aluminum foil lined bowl. Bake at 400 for 10 min, stir. Bake for another 10 min until tender.

(Sometimes I add parm cheese to it too, which is also delish.)

Weight Watchers Lasagna

…but it is soooo good! And it’s super fun because the serving is HUGE so it’s not some wimpy little 1/12 of the pan. A serving is 1/8th of the pan!! It was seriously the

Lasagna w/ Meat Sauce
From The New Complete WW Cookbook (which is awesome.)

9 lasagna noodles (not the oven ready kind…IDK if they’d work, probably would, but I’m just telling you what the recipe told me.)
3 cloves garlic, minced (this is a Jamie substitution for fennel – not a big fennel fan)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb lean ground beef or turkey burger
1 onion finely chopped (I use my sweet KA food processor and it’s chopped so fine you could drink it. Not that you’d want to but…you know.)
1 red bell pepper
1 zucchini, chopped
2 15-oz containers of refrigerated marinara sauce
1 1/2 c fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 c part skim Mozz cheese (LOL – I used way more than this…oh well)
1/4 c grated Parm or Romano cheese


1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Drain & rinse and set aside.
2. In a skillet, heat olive oil and toast garlic until fragrant. Set aside.
3. Over med-high head, add beef, onion, bell pepper and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally until all pan juices evaporate and beef browns, about 10 mins. Stir in the marinara sauce and garlic. Bring to a boil (yes, that’ll be messy…) Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until slightly thickened, aobut 10 mins.
4. Preheat oven to 375. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread 1/4 of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Top w/ 3 noodles, 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1/4 of sauce. Repeat. Finish w/ sauce mixture and shredded cheese.
5. Cover w/ foil and bake 30 mins. Remove foil and finish baking for 20 more mins. Let stand 10 min before serving.

If you only use the 1/2 c of shredded cheese, it’s 6 WW points for 1/8th of the pan. As I said… I was much closer to the 2 cup mark, but it’s worth it to me. 🙂 Enjoy!!

Not for Kids Only Casserole

This is a favorite my mom used to make all the time growing up! Yummy!!

Not for Kids Only Casserole

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1/3 c onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
2 c elbow macoroni noodles, cooked. (we use wheat noodles & can’t tell the difference)
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup (condensed)
1 c cheddar cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese

Brown ground turkey, onion, garlic & oregano until no longer pink. Boil noodles according to directions on box. Combine meat mixture and noodles and tomato soup in 9×13 baking dish. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Pizza Mac & Cheese

I was so intrigued when I saw this recipe – those of you who know me well know that I love Kraft Mac & Cheese… and though I’m all grown up and have expanded my horizons considerably since that “phase” (ie…vegetables & stuff) this recipe still hits the spot. Scott is also a big fan.

Pizza Mac & Cheese

1 can (8 oz.) pizza sauce, divided
1 pkg. (7-1/4 oz.) KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, prepared as directed on package (I always half the butter to keep it healthy, you could also use Smart Balance for an even healthier option.)
1 lb. extra lean ground beef, cooked, divided (No surprise here, we always use turkey burger)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup 2% milk low moisture Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Remove and set aside 1/4 cup of the pizza sauce for later use. Combine prepared Dinner, the meat, the remaining pizza sauce, egg and seasonings.

SPOON evenly into 9-inch pie plate. Top with reserved 1/4 cup pizza sauce; sprinkle with cheese.

BAKE 15 min. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

OH, and the best part! It makes 4 VERY generous servings…