Monday, August 19, 2013

Easy Crockpot Lasagna

So remember my last post about how I mentioned that since becoming a mom, cooking lately has needed to be something quick and fairly easy? Well, my crockpot has been getting a lot of love from me lately because it does just that. Its easy and is automatically done at dinner time. Earlier in the day is when Lincoln is content playing with something for a few minutes and its an easy opportunity for me to throw together a crockpot dinner. This recipe is one of my favorites! 

*1 lb ground beef (You could use ground turkey or veggie meat substitute to make this vegetarian)
*Lasagna noodles
*28oz of marinara (or your favorite jar spaghetti sauce)
*1 small onion, diced
*1 container low fat cottage cheese
*12 oz light mozzarella cheese
*Parmesan cheese & dried parsley for topping
*salt and pepper to taste


Brown ground beef with the diced onion. Drain the fat. 

Spoon 1 cup of your marinara in the bottom of your crockpot.

Mix the remaining sauce with the beef. 

Place your lasagna noodles over the sauce in the crockpot. Doesn't have to be fancy. Mine sure wasn't ;)  

Spread about 1/3 of the meat mixture over the noodles. 

Put about 3/4 cup cottage cheese evenly over the meat mixture.

Top with around 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (you guys should know by now I don't measure, these are all close estimates ha!)

Do another layer of noodles, meat mixture, cottage cheese, shredded cheese

Repeat once more and end with your shredded cheese on top. 

Sprinkle on some Parmesan and some dried parsley and cook on LOW for 3.5-4 hours. 

Serve and your done!

I made mine with some lazy garlic bread (basically just french rolls with butter, granulated garlic, parm & parsley broiled in the oven!) :) Enjoy!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quick & Easy Pesto Pasta with Peas & Tomato!

I love cooking, love it. My love for it has developed over the years and its something I've really grown to enjoy. Now, with that being said, since becoming a mom my time has become just a tiny bit limited-as you can imagine-and I don't mind it one bit! BUT, it has put cooking on the backburner a bit. We hardly EVER go out to eat, 1-because have you taken a 5 month old to a restaurant before? Enough said. 2-Its 'spennnnsive! $$$ 3-fast food makes me want to hurl. So I have to get creative in the kitchen! Lately, I've been making really quick and easy recipes most of the time otherwise we won't eat until 9:00pm (yes, its happened before, more than once!). So tonight I threw this together and it was great! Definitely a hit, and something I will continue to make. I've TRIED making homemade pesto once in the past and wasn't a huge fan. Trader Joes has a great pesto I've found, and that's what I used tonight. 


*1/2 lb pasta (so half your bag of rigatoni, or any pasta you like basically)
*Pesto- however much you like, I ended up using about two large spoonfuls of it
*Small tomato, diced
*1/2 onion, diced 
*3/4-1 cup of frozen peas (however much you like)
*Salt & Pepper to taste
*Grated Parm for topping


Boil your water for your pasta.

Add pasta and cook according to package directions. 

In a small saute pan, cook your onions. This ingredient is absolutely optional if your not a big onion fan. I am, and I pretty much put them in everything, ha! :)

When your pasta is about 4-5 minutes from being done, here is my secret trick. I dump my frozen peas in the water with the pasta and let it finish cooking. Peas end up being perfectly done and I didn't have to dirty another pot! 

Strain pasta and put back into the pot, add your onions, tomato, pesto, salt and pepper.

Combine and your done! Enjoy!