Simple Skillet Lasagna

Okay, Lasagna. I have mixed feeling about you. I grew up with lasagna that contained cottage cheese and shredded cheddar cheese. It was good but as an adult, I never made it or ordered it at a restaurant. Then I discovered ricotta cheese and everything changed!

I love making “roll up” lasagna because it is fun to make and it’s different. That is the same with this Chrissy Teigen’s Simple Skillet Broken Lasagna recipe from her book Cravings: Hungry for More (why haven’t you bought it yet??)

I love this cookbook because it is more Mom user-friendly. Honestly, who wants to spend hours in the kitchen cooking a fancy meal for kids who would rather eat Mac and Cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches all day every day? This book offers more time efficient recipes, so now I only have to be in the kitchen for hours washing baby bottles or when I want to go all out for guests.

The fun part about this Broken Lasagna recipe was breaking the noodles up. I let the girls do it and I am still finding pieces in the kitchen, but their laughter was worth it.

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First, you make the sauce. It does need to simmer for about an hour so I recommend making it ahead of time or just use it when it heats up because you are starving like I did.

It calls for both ground beef and sausage which I just love! It makes the flavoring not as bland when you just use one or the other. I discovered this with meatloaf. Meatloaf with just ground beef is blah, but add spicy Italian sausage and viola! it’s delicious.

The cheese mixture is parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella. I have to admit that I used a cup less of mozzarella that was called for and it still came out cheezy.

Overall this recipe is easy, even the simmering for an hour, and tasty. The girls loved it and it saved well. I served it the next day at a family function and everyone loved it. So next time you are craving lasagna try this recipe, no more cottage cheese!

Make it and enjoy!

Sauce Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 pound ground beef

3/4 pound ground pork 

1 finely diced onion

9 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup shredded basil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Lasagna Ingredients:

2 cups ricotta cheese

3 cups shredded mozzarella

3/4 cup finely grated pamigiano-reggiano cheese

1/2 cup basil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

6 oz no-boil lasagna noodles, broken into pieces. 

Make the Sauce! Heat oil over high heat in a dutch oven or a large heavy bottom skillet. Add beef and pork. Cook unit no longer pink breaking up the meat into tiny pieces. Transfer to a bowl. Keep some fat in skillet and cook onion until tender, about 7 mins. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add tomato paste and cook stirring for 2 minutes. Return meat to skillet along with the tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 mins.

Mix the cheese! In a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, parm, basil, salt, and pepper.

Build the lasagna! Spoon 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a large (12 in and 2 in deep) ovenproof skillet. Add a layer of noodles, then sauce, then dollops of cheese mixture. repeat layers until skillet is full. Add a final layer of sauce and then dollops of cheese at the very top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Put a baking sheet under the skillet to prevent bubbly drips on the bottom of your oven.

Baby weight chronicles!

Eight weeks ago I was blessed with a precious gift. A sweet baby girl. She was a ‘surprise’ pregnancy and definitely a wrench thrown in my life plan. She was born at a difficult time in my life; my dad (the reason I moved to California a year ago to help take care of) passed away exactly two weeks before she made her debut. Being nine months pregnant while putting your dad on hospice then watching him slowly die is something I would not wish on ANYONE! It was awful. Like, completely indescribable, god AWFUL. I share this not for sympathy or excuses but because it is a huge motivating factor for me and my weight loss plan/next adventure.

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I don’t want to lose the 12 pounds of baby weight because I hate my body or feel post-baby body shamed. In fact, this is the first time after I’ve given birth that I wasn’t 20 plus pounds over my starting weight!

My motivation comes from the fact that I want to get healthy; with my mind and my body. I’m trying not to focus too much on what the scale says and instead focus on how my body feels. I want to feel strong, tough, and pretty much like a badass. Emotionally and physically.

Grief weighs me down daily. It’s scary. Days before my dad died I asked him, “what on earth am I going to do without you?!” His response was, “Live.” I have carried that in my heart every single day since he has been gone. It’s hard. I try. Countless people say that exercise has saved them during difficult times. So as I sat in my Post-Partum haze I thought to myself, get up, get moving, get healthy, and get fit. Yoga and meditation have always helped with my anxiety so this fitness goal just seemed like a perfect idea.

 

This is where my next adventure comes into play with my already in progress learning-how-to-cooking feat. I have learned in the short time of being in my 30’s (insert Hubby’s laugh) that what you put into your body and soul is so important! It can’t be all tequila and McDonald’s! (I know, I was shocked too). So I will be making and eating healthy meals (any suggestions are greatly appreciated) for the majority of my meals. I’m sorry but I can’t completely cut out Del Taco and Chrissy Teigen’s recipes. It’s a lot of cheese and carbs but life’s too short to NOT enjoy that deliciousness occasionally. Have you tried her new cookbook yet??? OMG GET IT NOW!!! Cravings: Hungry for More is out now so do yourself and everyone you cook for a favor and go order this book. Chrissy can never steer you wrong, I swear!

 

Cooking healthy meals have gotten a lot easier for me. The family H.A.T.E.S when I use sweet potatoes over regular potatoes and the Hubs doesn’t understand why recipes can’t just have a regular fried egg on it! I have been using Clean Eating Made Simple cookbook as a staple for meals this past month. Easy recipes, whole foods, and can use for every meal- even snacks. img_0858img_0878-1

I have also restarted my yoga journey. I am so behind on my practice and out of shape. But that is nothing on how hard the  6 week Bikini Body program I started has been! Oh my god, my core is so freakin’ weak! Well, was weak because I am getting stronger every day. I am currently on my second week of the program. I haven’t seen any physical improvements yet, but my head is clearer, I am happier, I have more energy, and I don’t collapse after every set anymore! And to me, that is a BIG DEAL!

I don’t know where this will take me, but like everything that I hope for, I hope it takes me somewhere exciting. I am scared to post things like this because the fear of failure is real and scary. To do it publically is even worse!  However, in the end, this is for me. My grieving process. My recovering. My journey.

So here we go!

7 weeks post-partum and starting of 6 week Bikini Body program.

 

 

ALSO!! Here is a yoga sequence that I have been using since I figured out how incredibly weak my core is! ENJOY.

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The Poached Egg Chronicles

I have been trying to poach an egg since I watched Julie and Julia in 2010. It was hard and I was unsuccessful. I make a wonderful fried egg so I decided to give up the practice but it always nagged me in the back of my head.

It is no secret that I am utterly obsessed with Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook! Seriously buy it now! She has a recipe called Crab Cakes Benedict that I have been wanting to try so I decided to try a poached egg again AND finally give into to trying Sriracha. Can you believe that in this day and age I have never tried Sriracha?! I have avoided recipes that use it or I have simply just omitted it.

After much tension and a tsp of baking soda in simmering water I successfully poached an egg. It was fantastic! The girls loved it (although to be fair they love eggs in all shapes and forms) and The Hubs enjoyed it as well!

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I went to the store and bought some real crab meat (for $8.25 a pound!), my first bottle of Sriracha, and breadcrumbs. The recipe is simple thanks to my new found skill of poaching eggs.

 

The end result was a perfectly spiced crab cake topped with a delicouly runny egg.

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I did decide to omit the baby arugula and the avocado since The Hubs was already skeptical and nothing scares him more than greens!

The girls loved the eggs and only one liked the crab cakes (she is also the one that requests “crab legs and crab arms” for her special birthday dinner. She’s six).

Now I am off to conquer another Sriracha recipe since I now have a bottle!

 

Summer Fun!

Since it has been summertime, we have hardly cooked at all. It has been so hot and humid here in Colorado that we basically have been surviving off popsicles.

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We went on an overnight camping trip and made Chrissy Teigen’s chili, why do I always make chili why we are camping? (the answer is; growing up we always had hot cha cha AKA a Frito pie bar so I just have to make it every single time we go camping) Of course, we had to make s’mores because a camping trip isn’t complete without them!

 

These past couple weeks, I have only made a handful of dinners but I have been sticking with Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings,  We made her meatloaf, – which is the BEST meatloaf you could eat- with a side of mashed sweet potatoes. I also made prosciutto wrapped chicken. If you haven’t tried Cravings recipe for prosciutto wrapped chicken, DO IT! It is so good, just do not, under any circumstance, tell your kids -or husband- it has goat cheese in it.

As a fun activity with the girls, we made homemade jam. It was seriously so easy and tasty that I may never buy jam again.

To make it all you need is:

-1 cup sliced strawberries

-3 Tbsp cold water

-2 tsp cornstarch

2 Tbsp sugar

Layla put the strawberries in a saucepan and mashed them with a fork. Lucy, using a small bowl, mixed the cold water and cornstarch, I added the sugar after. We combined them into the saucepan and heated until it started to boil, turned down the heat and cooked for 5 minutes. We had to stir constantly, which for the girls was the hardest part. We put the jam in a fancy bowl and let it chill.

The result was delicious. Lucy had hers with cream cheese, while Layla and I had it with peanut butter.

Try it!