Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday’s Helping: Alternative Ingredients for Cheesy Meat Lasagna

Chicken and Turkey Lasagna, Too

The Mixed Stew crew revisits meat lasagna with this week’s dish.  Remember that you can take a short-cut using no-cook lasagna noodles.  We recommend substituting the Italian sausage with sausage made from turkey, chicken, or even tofu for lighter fare.  Meanwhile, substitute the Parmesan cheese with another pungent cheese, such as Grana Padano. Asiago, and Romano.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background of Cheesy Meat Lasagna

Rich Parmesan Inside

The Mixed Stew folded Parmesan Cheese into the layers of our Cheesy Meat Lasagna for additional oomph throughout the finished pie.  This week’s recipe, in comparison to our previous meat lasagna, calls for pre-boiled pasta noodles and the shredded Parmesan cheese.   Make sure to allocate for the necessary and extra prep time.  Finally, remember that baked lasagna has to rest before serving.    

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday's Bread Bowl: Cheesy Meat Lasagna

A Three Cheese Bake

The Mixed Stew crew recently made a big haul of lasagna.  We already featured a very veggie eggplant.  This is the meat lovers’ rendition.

What you will need:

1 aluminum baking pan
Non-stick cooking spray
Aluminum foil
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large skillet w/ lid
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic toes, minced
2 cups lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 lb Italian Sausage
1 ½ lb ground beef
1 (24 oz.) jar Ragu Tomato Pasta Sauce
1 (28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 (32 oz) tub of Ricotta Cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Pinch of Salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Heat skillet on medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic, pepper, and salt.  Sautee ingredients until onion turn translucent.  Crumble in Italian Sausage and ground beef.  Stir well.  Let meat cook through and brown.  Pour in jar of Ragu sauce and can of crushed tomatoes.  Mix well.  Lower heat to medium-low and cover with lid.  Ingredients should simmer slowly for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Add mushrooms to reduced sauce then cover with lid.  Let ingredients cook for another 10 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Grease baking pan’s bottom and sides with cooking spray.  Start building layers of lasagna with a layer of meat sauce.  Spread well to cover bottom of baking pan.  Place a layer of lasagna noodles over the initial meat layer.  Spread a layer of Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on lasagna noodles.  Repeat and lay-down alternate layers until you run out of noodles or the baking pan is full.  Cap off lasagna with a generous layer of shredded cheeses.  Cover with aluminum foil.   

Place unbaked lasagna in hot oven.  Let pan bake for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.  Take out lasagna from oven once cooking time is finished.  Let the lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes then cut into and serve.     

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Japanese Chopped Salad

Rice crackers instead

You know it has an Asian twist once you bite into cracklin’ rice crackers that have been seasoned with soy sauce.  Meanwhile, iceberg lettuce has the crisp and cool texture that forms the foundation for a satisfying salad.  The Mixed Stew crew also included fresh tangerine pieces for a sweet flavor component.  Forget the same ol’ croutons and try making this yummy and leafy green salad.  Remember that you can substitute the Japanese Rice Crackers with crumbled Ramen noodles.  We recommend Thousand Island Dressing for this dish.      

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Japanese Chopped Salad

Lettuce with Asian crunch

The ingredients in this one-of-a kind salad make it a treat with Asian influences to satisfy for your taste buds. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large serving bowl w/ lid
1 pair of tongs
1 medium-sized iceberg lettuce, coarsely chopped
2 tangerines, quartered
½ cup rice crackers
1/3 cup dried seaweed aka nori`
1 large tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon sesame seed

Preparation and Directions:

Combine lettuce, tangerine quarters, tomato pieces, and seaweed in large serving bowl.  Toss well.  Add rice crackers, seaweed, and sesame seeds.  Serve with thousand-island dressing.   

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday’s Helping: Alternative Ingredients for Very Veggie Eggplant Lasagna

Spice up the layers

Remember that you can different varieties of eggplants to make this dish.  Italian eggplants make for convenient slicing of large round pieces that are more conducive for building lasagna.  Try adding some paprika, red pepper flakes, or even a bit of chili powder for some extra heat.  Try adding fresh basil to the recipe for more minty zest in each bite.  Lastly, we suggest adding shrimp, canned tuna, or canned salmon if you wanna take things in a different direction.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Very Veggie Eggplant Lasagna

Meatless but yum yum

Slicing into servings of this lasagna means a few yummy tidbits.  The Mixed Stew grilled the eggplants on the stovetop before mixing them into the cheese sauce.  The extra effort, in grilling, adds a lot of smokey flavor that’s unusual in traditional vegetarian lasagna.  Meanwhile, the spinach ensures the leafy green nutrition.  The Mixed Stew crew also sprinkled in Yancey’s aged-cheddar cheese that’s seasoned with Japanese horseradish aka wasabi.