Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Tried & True Lasagna

I've mentioned before that I was a terrible cook (understatement!) when I first got married. To make matters worse, my mother-in-law, Audrey was a great cook and I heard about this several times from my new husband. I know he didn't mean it in a bad way, but as a new wife you can take things a little more to heart than you should. I have since learned much from my mother-in-law in regard to cooking and life in general. I couldn't ask for a better second mom and she did an excellent job raising the man whom I have shared my life with for almost 15 years now! She loves to smile (as you can see) and she loves a good home-cooked meal! She raised, along with her husband, Dale, 4 children: 3 boys and a girl and they are all serving the Lord which is a great testimony and I am blessed to be a part of her family.

Momma with all 3 daughters-in-law: Hannah, Beth and Me!

You can imagine that because of the standard set, if I can make something that Audrey raves about, well, it makes me feel pretty good! And this lasagna is one of those recipes and therefore I am thrilled to share it with you because I'm sure it will be a hit in your household as well. It is a healthier alternative to other lasagnas due to the fact that I use all natural ingredients including my Homemade Pasta Sauce and I make it gluten-free simply by using brown rice lasagna noodles. However, I made this long before our family went gluten-free just with regular whole wheat noodles and you can do the same if you and your family aren't following a gluten-free lifestyle.


Be sure to watch all the way to the end to see our Special Guest Taste Testers!





Ingredients:
1 lb Lean Ground Beef (or ground turkey, chicken or omit completely)
1 Jar Prepared Pasta Sauce (I added diced zucchini into this batch...highly recommend!)
1 1/2 c Water
1 1/2 c Plain Yogurt
2 c Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)
1/2 c Parmesan Cheese
1/4 c Bragg Seasoning (or Italian Seasoning)
1/2 tsp each Salt & Black Pepper

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown meat in skillet over medium-high heat, drain. (You'll notice in the video that I didn't have to drain the meat at all...using lean or extra lean ground beef  means there is less fat to drain which leaves more of the good stuff!)
Add pasta sauce and water, bring to a boil and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
While sauce is simmering prepare the filling: Stir yogurt with half the Mozzarella, Parmesan, Parsley and Salt & Pepper.
Spread a quarter of the meat sauce in bottom of a lasagna pan.
Arrange noodles lengthwise over sauce.
Cover with another quarter of sauce and half of the yogurt filling.
Repeat layers and top with remaining noodles, sauce and reserved Mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.
Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting then slice and serve.

This goes really well with a simple side salad (which I would like to point out, Audrey brought a delicious one over to share!), or if you're feeding a larger crowd, make the Gluten-free Bread sticks which are the perfect compliment to a good pasta meal!

I'm not going to be humble here...this Lasagna was DELICIOUS!!! Everyone had seconds including my constantly-eating 5-year-old, Kaleb. Here's a picture of him with his second helping! He cleaned his first plate, this plate and then asked for dessert and a banana! I am dreading the teenage years for sure!

I would like to point out, that Kirk is constantly raving about my cooking now! It truly is amazing how far I have come in the last few years. I get so much pleasure out of feeding all my boys well and their compliments and encouragement go a long way...I am very blessed!

Please continue to try these recipes and share your experiences! You can comment directly under the videos on YouTube, right below this blog post and on my Facebook page. I love to hear from you! And post pictures if you have them and any alternative ingredients you used. You never know, someone may see it and find a great alternative for an allergy with which they suffer. If you head on over to my Contact page you will find quick links to all the ways you can stay in touch! And stay tuned...Almond Butter Healthy Hint is in the works! ;)

Treat yourself well,