Some Simply Filling Recipes

*** I had written this and sent it the drafts... oops!! So, after 1 week on Simply Filling...

Drum Roll...

I weighed in on Sunday at my meeting and I was down 5.6lbs!! Woohoo... this might be the program for me (for now anyway... lol)

Prepping this week, I decided to use the chilliness that has been happening to make some comfort food. I've really been wanting a lasagna for some reason. I like the meatiness and cheesiness and warmth of this dish. My challenge was to see if I could make it and 1. Still enjoy it, but 2. Still have the kids like it!

Meat Sauce Lasagna - simply filling
12 Servings

93% lean ground beef or turkey or chicken - keep it lean
30oz can crushed tomato
30oz can tomato puree
2 Tbsp Onion powder
2 Tbsp Garlic powder
Salt - Lots to taste
1/2 Tbsp Black pepper
1.5 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

Cheese Filling:
24oz Fat Free Cottage Cheese
2 Eggs
1.5 Tbsp Parsley and 1 tsp Salt

10oz box of Tinkyada Lasagna Noodles Brown Rice

4oz Fat Free Cheddar shredded
4oz Fat Free Mozzarella Shredded

**I used a packet I got at the Farmers Market Spicy Italian Garlic that you're supposed to mix with oil. 
When I told the guy selling it that I was going to use it in lasagna, he looked upset. lol**

I cooked the sauce first. Brown and drain the beef. I like to season the meat while it's browning. I don't know if it really does taste different, but it makes me think it does. Lower the burner to low-medium heat and add the crushed tomato and tomato puree. Cook it low for 1-2hrs. Let the flavors really sink in and taste throughout the process to see if it needs to be modified. 

The cheese filling is typically ricotta, but I couldn't find fat free ricotta so I used cottage cheese and put it into the blender with the eggs, parsley and salt. No one knew the difference! Cook the pasta as directed on the box, drain, rinse well and separate so they don't stick together... then it's insane trying to break them up when they stick.

I always coat the bottom of the pan with the sauce to keep it from sticking. I think I read it somewhere, but I may have made that up too. Anyway, a little sauce on the bottom and then a layer of pasta. Top with cheese filling. I use a small ice cream scoop to dollop it and then spread with the back of a spoon. Top with meat sauce and sprinkle with a little of the shredded cheese. I use the shredded cheese every other layer but the cheese filling makes up for it. 

Be sure to finish with the shredded cheese on the top, so reserve 2oz or so of the cheese to end it. Finally, put some foil over it, being sure to tent it a little so you don't lose the cheese we just topped it with. That would be so sad...

Cook it for 40mins at 350degrees to let all the flavors meld, then take off the tent and brown the cheese for 10mins. Now... cool it and put it in the fridge. Lasagna is ALWAYS BETTER THE SECOND DAY!!! Seriously. I promise. Heat it up in the oven, or even by the slice in the microwave. My family isn't into a very saucy lasagna, so it may need some extra sauce if you are into that. Enjoy!


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