Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Joy of Leftovers

"Leftovers make you feel good twice. First, when you put it away, you feel thrifty and intelligent: ‘I’m saving food!’ Then a month later when blue hair is growing out of the ham, and you throw it away, you feel really intelligent: ‘I’m saving my life!’" George Carlin

I absolutely love being able to bring delicious leftovers (without the blue hair!) for my lunch at work. Not only does it taste way better than a "frozen dinner" or a sandwich, but it saves loads of money over going out to eat during your lunch break. My daughter and I just started going to a "Financial Peace University" class at our church, and I know that I can really save a few dollars by staying in during lunch time!

Here's one of my favorite leftover meals. Share yours with me, too, please!

"Mom's Lasagna"

1 1/2 pounds lean ground sirloin
12 pieces Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Lasagna Noodles
4 cups Chunky Ragu (Tomato, Garlic, Onion)
2 14.5 oz. cans Hunts Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2 eggs
16 oz. 1% milk fat cottage cheese
2 c. shredded mozarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup shredded asiago

Brown your ground sirloin and cook those noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain the fat from the ground beef (obviously) and rinse your lasagna noodles in cold water.

In a big saucepan, heat up the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes. I really liked the taste of the Fire Roasted Tomatoes! While that's heating up, mix up the eggs and cottage cheese.

Now for the layering into a 9 x 13 pan....
Start with a layer of the sauce (use 1/3)
Add a layer of 4 lasagna strips
Add a third of the cheese/egg mixture and a third of the mozarella

Repeat with sauce, lasagna and cheese/egg mixture and mozarella
One more time!

Finish off the top with the asiago and parmesan! (You can skip this extra cheese if you must, but the different cheese flavors add a nice touch). You can also make this dish a little healthier by using low fat mozarella (I usually go with what's on sale at the store!) Cover the whole thing with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes. I take the foil off near the end of baking time to give the cheeses a nice golden brown finish.

Toss it all in a 350 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes. If you have the willpower, let it sit for about 10 minutes to "set" but eat immediately if you can't wait!

Voila! You now have 12 servings of warm and tasty lasagna! Enjoy! I usually leave it in the fridge overnight and then the next day, cut it into individual servings for the freezer. When you want to bring one for your lunch, just pop one into the fridge before you go to bed, and you're ready for a delicious, home made, low cost lunch!

If you've gotten this far, send me your favorite leftover meal that you like to bring to work! Think of the money we can save working together on this!!

Now go find something joyful to do today!
Jean :)