Saturdays are usually my clean out the fridge day. I must say, this is one of those jobs I loathe. It's right up there with ironing my girls cotton, pleated uniform skirts... YUCK!
My Main Man scores major points when he does this task for me, and bless him, he often does. Today I decided to take some of these ingredients that were well on their way to being yucky, and squeeze some supper out of it. See that wrinkly green pepper?... nothing can save it now but a hot skillet! The sour cream has 2 weeks left, so it needs to be used soon too.
I had enough of the right things to make my "Faux Lasagna". I call it "faux" because I think all "real" lasagna is required to have ricotta cheese. I don't hate ricotta, but I'm certainly not a fan, so I replace the ricotta with two things I do love... sour cream and cream cheese! I know, I know... sounds a little weird, but I promise, it really is delicious! I'll share my recipe. It's really simple!
(I know, I know... fattening!) I'll be healthy Monday...pinky swear!
Here's what you'll need:
- ground beef
- lasagna noodles
- onion (I used green & white onion, because I had a little of each)
- sweet peppers, any color (again, I had a little yellow & a little green)
- one container of whipped cream cheese
- Olive oil
- a cup or so of sour cream (sorry, I just don't measure much)
- a variety of shredded cheese (I used what I had some Italian mix, sharp cheddar)
- grated parmesan cheese (Pah-leeze don't use that powder in the green bottle! If you don't have fresh grated, at least get some "real" cheese!)
- a jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I love Bertoli, plus I had coupons for it. I make homemade sauce for usually, but its just not necessary for this recipe. Bertoli does a pretty good job!)
- an extra fresh tomato
- salt, pepper & Italian seasoning
I want to be sure you understand that this is what went into today's lasagna, but next time it might be a little different. It's all about what's in the fridge at the time.
Start by chopping the onion and peppers. I had never used green onions in this dish, but I had some leftover, so I used the tops and all, along with about a forth of a large white onion.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, and get those veggies sauteing.
(Please note that awesome cool magenta pinky nail! I was trying out nail polish for church tomorrow, but THAT is another post!)
After your veggies have cooked and look something like this...
Add your ground beef and then it should look like this...
It will soon look like this...
Drain any excess oil from the meat, then add one jar of spaghetti sauce, and a diced tomato,
so it looks like this...
Let it simmer over medium low heat until it looks like this...
How did you like my mad time-lapsed photography skills?
Anyhoo, in the mean time you can mix together the sour cream, cream cheese. You could use a regular block of cream cheese, but you will get a sore shoulder from beating it! Lucky me. my chilins had not eaten all my whipped cream cheese on their Wheat Thins! Season this mixture with salt, pepper & Italian seasoning. It should resemble this...
Next, get your sassy, adorable, robin's egg blue, polka-dotted casserole dish ready.
WHAT? You cannot be serious! You have NO sassy, adorable, robin's egg blue, polka-dotted casserole dish? Ok, then, you can use that plain ole' white pyrex with the rust colored flowers that Grandma gave Aunt Myrtle in 1972, but be warned...
it won't taste as good!
Well, line whatever casserole dish you choose with the noodles.
I use Barilla no-cook noodles. They are always just perfect, and no boiling? Me likey!
Now, just line your casserole dish with the noodles, and spread a layer of your cream cheese mixture, and sprinkle with grated parmesan. So you should be at this stage...
Next you add a layer of sauce and the other shredded cheeses, top with a layer of noodles, and start over layering, It should look like this:
and then this...
Until you have this...
I had two boxes of noodles, so I was able to squeeze two pans out of my ingredients, but it didn't even take a second half of a box. Now I can run some dinner by to some friends, or I could wrap this well, and freeze it.
Pop this in a 350 degree oven, and cook until hot and bubbly. Mine cooked for about 45 minutes. I wanted to show you a picture of that beautiful pan of cheesy lasagna, but when I went back to take a picture, this is what I found...
Maybe that says it all, right? So, clean out the fridge, and don't be afraid to try something a little out of the ordinary. You may love it!
Thank you for all your support! My blog is now two weeks old, and I'm having a fabulous time. I've already met some really genuinely lovely people... those are my favorite kind!
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The Woo-Hoo Gal
Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.