Every morning I go to Dunkin’ Donuts and get a coffee for my dad and a half-decaf for me. We have a great set-up, I get the coffee and donuts and he makes a fruit plate for us. It continues to amaze me how Americans order, “Gimme 2 chocolate and bagel wit’ cream cheese”. Gimme?! Really?! And the best part is that these people are completely unaware of how offensive they sound. I have heard this “gimme” not just at the Dunkin’ Donuts, but many fast food or even family style restaurants.
Last week I took my kids to a park in Bluebell (a far cry from inner-city) and a heavy-set boy ran past me out of breath. I looked at his T-shirt and it said “GIMME SNACKS and NOBODY GETS HURT!” with a chubby cartoon character on the front. Really?! It’s soo funny and soo not funny all at the same time.
I am one of the few Italians that doesn’t like ricotta cheese and therefore, I have never been a big fan of lasagna. I also think that it’s a pain to boil the noodles for lasagna and baked ziti. Here is an easy recipe for lasagna that I made instead that requires 1 pot and 1 baking dish. Make it with meat and/or veggies – I did both.
- Optional: Cook 1 lb. ground turkey or beef in a drop of olive oil in a heavy pot. Set aside.
- Optional: Heat some garlic up in EV olive oil. Add any veggies (spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini) and toss until cooked through. Set aside and take out garlic.
- Dice ½ onion (grate some carrot in too) and cook in a little olive oil (and garlic) until soft.
- Add one can of crushed tomatoes and fresh basil and stir with salt/pepper and let cook at least 15 mins.
- Spray bottom of baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Layer 1) NO BOIL lasagna noodles 2) meat/veggies 3) sauce 4) shredded mozzarella 5) sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Do this in 2 layers.
- Cover with plastic and foil. Put in fridge for a day or freeze for a month.
- Cook at 375 for 25 minutes covered with foil only – spray to avoid sticking) and 10 minutes uncovered.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving (so it won’t fall apart).
How Can the Kids Help?
- Help decide which veggies should go into the lasagna.
- Help stir/chop ground meat.
- Open can of crushed tomatoes – learn to use can opener (with help)
- Help layer the lasagna (they will LOVE this)
Did You Know?
- In Italy, lasagna noodles are totally flat – in the U.S. they are ruffled at the ends to help trap sauce.
- The term “lasagna” comes from the Greeks.
- Nutmeg is used in several versions of lasagna.