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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Make Ahead Meals-Lasagna

This weekend I'm making freezer meals to use later this month. I am breaking down 2 10lb. tubes of ground beef we bought at Fareway this week, and along with mini meatloaves, hamburger patties, taco meat and pasta bakes, I also took the oportunity to make a couple of big trays of lasagna. Here's what I used:

1.50lbs. ground beef $3.00
1.5 boxes of lasagna noodles $2.25
2 8oz tubs of cottage cheese $1.50
1 cup of grated parmesan .75
1 8oz package of mozzarella, grated $1.25
2 eggs .15
1 8oz package of white mushrooms, chopped $1.00
1 medium onion, chopped .30
1 jar of spaghetti sauce .00 (can my own)
1 jar of tomato sauce (or 16oz can) .00 (can my own)
1 can of crushed tomatoes (24 oz can) $1.00
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained $1.00
2 bay leaves
2t italian seasoning
1t sugar
1t garlic pepper
1/4t nutmeg
1/2T garlic pepper

I used aluminum pans for this- spray each with non-stick spray. For sauce, heat large pan over medium high heat. Brown beef, onion and mushroom until meat is no longer pink. Add both sauces, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, italian seasoning, sugar and 1t garlic pepper. Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For filling, place cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, parmesan, 2 eggs, spinach, nutmeg and garlic pepper in a large bowl. Stir.

To assemble, place about 1.5 cups of sauce in the bottom of each pan. Lay 4 uncooked noodles in each pan. Spread 1.5 cups of filling in each pan. Place 4 more noodles in each. Spread another 1.5 cups of sauce in each pan. 4 more noodles, then 1.5 cups more filling in each pan. 4 last noodles in each, 1.5 cups of sauce to top, then sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Seal well with foil and place in freezer.

To serve, thaw in refrigerator, then bake in oven with foil still on for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake 10-15 more minutes until top is golden.

Each pan of lasagna will easily serve 4 hungry people with leftovers for $6.10. My cost is a little lower with the homemade sauce, but you could also take out the mushrooms and spinach if you desire.


The Halton Mom said...

This looks and sounds great. I love having "freezer pantry" days. I've recently enjoyed stocking up so I can have leisure time in the week. Thanks for sharing!