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