• Meat Lasagna

    meat-lasagna.jpg

    We are a meatless lasagna kind of household, but I saw a meat lasagna recipe on Paula Deen’s show, and it sounded and looked really good.  It was quite tasty and made an enormous amount, so we divided the leftovers and froze them for future yummy dinners.  From start to finish it does take nearly 2 hours, so it’s more of a project meal than a quick week night meal.  Adapted from Lots O’Meat Lasagna from Paula Deen.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pound ground Italian seasoned turkey
    • 1 onion
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp. salt (If using unseasoned turkey meat)
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper (If using unseasoned turkey meat)
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
    • 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
    • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
    • 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
    • 1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmigianno-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
    • 2 (8-ounce) packages shredded mozzarella

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. In a large saucepan, combine ground turkey, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until meat is browned and crumbled; drain.
    3. Return meat to pan and Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, if using. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, uncovered.
    4. In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan, and eggs.
    5. Spoon 1/4 of sauce into bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan. Place 3 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Do not overlap noodles. Spread 1/3 of cottage cheese mixture over noodles, top with 1/4 of sauce and 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sauce, reserving 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.
    6. Bake 45 minutes, uncovered. Top with remaining cheese and bake 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

    Meat Lasagna:

    4star.jpg

  • Taco Soup

    taco-soup.jpg

    This Taco Soup recipe is an adaptation from Paula Deen’s recipe. Her recipe serves 12-16, while our adaptation serves 5-6 hearty portions.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 package of ground turkey, chicken or beef (approximately 1lb.)
    • 1 cup diced onions
    • 1 15 oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed\
    • 1 cup frozen corn
    • 2 15 oz. cans of Stewed Tomatoes (Mexican or Regular)
    • 1 15 oz. can of tomatoes with Chiles (such as Rotel)
    • 2 4 oz. cans of diced green chiles
    • 1/2 of a 1.25 oz. package of taco seasoning
    • 1/2 of a 4 oz. package of ranch salad dressing mix
    • Corn chips for serving
    • Garnishes: sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green onions, pickled jalapenos, olives, hot sauce (we used Tabasco Chipotle)

    Directions:

    1. Brown the meat and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned meat and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove.
    2. What did we do differently from Paula Deen’s recipe? Other than halving it, we used ground turkey instead of beef, we adjusted the tomato products by adding 2 cans of stewed tomatoes and the entire can of tomatoes with chiles, and the original recipe calls for cooking olives in the soup, but we opted to omit this step. Next time we make this recipe, we’ll add 2 cans of green chiles (that’s why I included it in the above recipe).
    3. We used the slow cooker method and cooked it for 6 hours. The turkey was very tender and the flavor of the soup was excellent. There was a lot of flavor without being too spicy, which is great if you are serving this dish to children. Each diner has the ability to make this soup his own by adding the toppings, thus you can adjust the spice level too. The soup is extremely easy to make, and requires no attention if you are entertaining. If you have a large crowd this also makes for a great entertaining dish since the full recipe (basically double everything) serves 12-16.
    4. We’ll definitely make this soup again.

    4star.jpg