Lasagna Love

It may be the New Year and time for better eating habits, but it is also cold, dark and the most blah month of the year.

January nights call for stick-to-your-ribs fare, and yesterday after a long but great day, I couldn’t warm up. Lasagna with meat sauce, made with whole wheat noodles, was the cure.

The bonus, with all of the cooking going on in the kitchen, my usually cold house is much warmer!

lasagna ingredients

I started by making a veggie-heavy sauce with two chopped red bell peppers, four cloves of garlic and quarter of an onion. This photo shows a white onion, but soon after I realized I had a red onion already cut, so I used that.

Lucini basil olive oil

After sautéing the veggies in a glug of awesomely fragrant Lucini basil olive oil, I added in a few cups of ground turkey, stirring constantly until the turkey was browned and the vegetables sizzling.

peppers and onions

Then I poured in a can of whole tomatoes with basil. Pastene tomatoes, one of my favorites, were on sale at Market Basket, and we stocked up, so be prepared for more tomato recipes in the near future!

Rather than mash the tomatoes as I usually do, I grabbed a handy tool from my Foodbuzz Festival swag bag. These vegetable scissors are meant for chopping salad veggies, but they have come in handy when making pulled pork as well as a bunch of other veggie dishes. They worked perfectly to thoroughly chop the tomatoes and incorporate it with the turkey.

meat sauce

While I caught up on some work and blog reading, I let the sauce simmer. When it was time for dinner, I boiled up some whole wheat Hodgson Mill lasagna noodles and started the layering process.

whole wheat lasagna noodles

A layer of meat sauce, topped with a layer of noodles, topped with dollops of part-skim ricotta, and repeat.

meat sauce

lasagna

At the very end, I topped the lasagna with a few handfuls of shredded mozzarella, wrapped it in foil and put it in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. During the last five minutes, I removed the foil so the cheese got nice and melty. I was so hungry, I forgot to take a photo of the final product, but it was yummy and really quite healthy.

Random aside, although Rachael Ray annoys me sometimes, I got the idea of a garbage bowl from her show a long time ago, and I find it to be so handy! Our trash bin is across the kitchen from the counter, and the garbage bowl keeps everything on the counters neat. Love it.

garbage bowl

Since I am cutting back a little to ensure my pants fit in 2011, I made myself decide between wine and dessert last night. I chose a small glass of Ladera Malbec, purchased on our visit to Ladera back in the summer. This is one of my current favorite wines, and with hints of vanilla, it provided the perfect end to my meal. While I really enjoyed slightly overdoing it in the snacking department over the holidays, a little balance feels really nice.

I spent the evening curled up with new TV, an episode of Pretty Little Liars and the Craigslist Killer movie. After weeks of repeats and in the midst of a million thoughts about my future, I was more than a little excited for some mindless entertainment!

Have you gotten any great tips from cooking shows like the Rachael Ray garbage bowl trick? Smile

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Tags: Food, lasagna, meat sauce, whole wheat pasta, wine

  1. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    I haven’t made lasagna in probably years and now I am craving it! When I have to choose between dessert and wine, I usually choose dessert. But with a meal like this, wine seems like the perfect option!

    Reply

  2. Justin’s avatar

    I like those veggie scissors! I’m always just crushing the tomatoes by hand and getting tomato juice all over myself (and my kitchen). Did the basil flavor in the olive oil come through in the finished lasagna?

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      The basil flavor was very subtle. The tomatoes had some basil with them as well, so I just didn’t add any dried basil as I might if I just used butter in the sauce. Which I still think is my favorite way of making sauce!

      Reply

    2. Heather’s avatar

      I haven’t made lasagna in years! In the past, I was a meat loving lasagna person – interestingly, my meat-loving husband, hates meat in his lasagna.

      This would be a great meal to make and then freeze some for a dinner later in the year…

      thanks for posting!

      Reply

    3. Roxan’s avatar

      I love lasagna! I just bought a can of san marzano tomatoes yesterday. I’m totally planning on making lasagna with it. the best part is that it’s just me and my husband so I can make one and it’ll last us a few days. Happy new year :)

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        Same with us! I actually packed up the whole thing and sent it to work with my husband so he has lunch for the rest of the week! Happy New Year to you as well!

        Reply

      2. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

        I love the garbage bowl – it is a great idea, and much better than tossing that stuff in the sink like I see some people do!

        Reply

      3. Michelle’s avatar

        I totally use the garbage bowl trick too! I try to avoid collecting plastic bags but Peapod unfortunately delivers with them. I use a plastic bag in a bowl to put all the trash in and then throw the bag out for easy clean-up.

        And great minds think alike…I totally watched Pretty Little Liars and the Craigslist Killer movie last night too!

        Reply

        1. traveleatlove’s avatar

          I SO love Pretty Little Liars. I looked forward to its return for months!

          Reply

        2. Megan’s avatar

          I wished we lived closer so we could have dinner parties every night. I’m craving a nice, warming lasagna like this now.

          At Flour, we’d keep little bins near us for compost, and then dump them all into the big compost bin when they got full.

          I watched The Bachelor last night, so I got my share of mindless TV too!

          Reply

        3. Daisy’s avatar

          This looks wonderful. Cool idea to chop the tomatos as they are cooking with scissors. Tell us what you thought of the Criagslist killer!! (I didn’t watch!) eeks.

          Reply

        4. Grace’s avatar

          Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food! I love that the whole wheat noodles and addition of red peppers adds some extra nutrition.

          Reply

        5. Ashley’s avatar

          I used to watch a lot of cooking shows on the Food Network. These days i don’t have as much time, but I still enjoy some cooking shows when I’m at the gym. Don’t know that I can say I’ve gotten any great ideas, but I always find them entertaining : )

          Reply

          1. traveleatlove’s avatar

            I watch Food Network at the gym too. It makes me so hungry! :)

            Reply

          2. Renee’s avatar

            That is so funny that you say that, because I HATE RR, but the trash bowl idea has been working in my kitchen for a couple of years now! Its the little things…

            Reply

          3. alicia’s avatar

            I agree that RR is kind of annoying, but I will say she knows a lot more about what its like to be a home cook than say, Bobby Flay! Her garbage bowl idea is pretty smart.

            Your lasagna looks delicious. I made one right before the holidays, and it was perfect for reheating when Rafe would get home late from the ‘brary.

            Reply

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