Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna

Need a new Meatless Monday recipe? This is a good one. I adapted this recipe from a spinach lasagna roll recipe I found and tried.

Ingredients

    10-12 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
    1/2 lb lasagna noodles, broken in half, cooked halfway
    16 oz small curd cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese)
    16 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
    24 oz pasta or marinara sauce (about 1 quart)
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1 tsp garlic powder

Process

  1. Spray a 5-6-quart slow cooker crock with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cottage (or ricotta) cheese, half of the Parmesan, and the seasonings.
  3. Add about 1/4 of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the crock. Layer 1/3 of the noodles over the sauce (about 6 lasagna halves). Pour over another 1/4 of the sauce. Spread over 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Loosely spread 1/2 of the spinach over. Then repeat layers of noodle, sauce, cheese, and spinach. Top with final 1/3 of noodles, 1/4 of sauce, and then the reserved half of Parmesan.
  4. Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.

Tips

  1. If you forget to thaw the spinach ahead of time (ahem…), dump the bag out into a colander. Rinse with hot tap water briefly (about 30-60 seconds). Then, to drain, squeeze the spinach very well and place in a separate bowl.
  2. To doctor a jar of store-bought marinara (you know, if it’s on super mega sale and so you buy a dozen jars only to discover it’s rather sweet and fairly bland…), add directly to the jar 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1 tsp red wine vinegar. Stir with a butter knife or tea spoon. Ah, much better. 😉
  3. If your family appreciates a gooier lasagna, substitute shredded mozzarella for the Parmesan (about 2 cups total).
  4. Don’t like spinach? Missing the meat? Substitute 1 lb cooked, crumbled, and drained Italian sausage or ground beef for the spinach. Or 1/2 lb for half of the spinach.

Easy One-Pot Mac & Cheese

In our house, this is more commonly called “cheesy noodles”.

(For step-by-step photos, check out my Instagram highlighted story @belovedbrowneyesblog)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta of choice
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch each of salt, black pepper, ground mustard
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Process

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Set aside
  2. In same pot, melt butter on low heat.
  3. Whisk flour into butter thoroughly. Cook on low about 1 minute.
  4. Raise heat to medium. Whisk in milk. Cook, whisking often, until thickened.
  5. Add seasonings and stir well.
  6. Turn off heat. Whisk in sour cream, then cheese, until well-combined and smooth.
  7. Stir in cooked pasta.

Stovetop Southern Biscuits Recipe

I’m still without an oven, but that hasn’t stopped me making old-fashioned Southern American biscuits. I don’t know if anything could stop me making these!

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour (may need up to 1/4 cup extra)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

2 tsp sugar

1/2 cup cold butter, diced

3/4 cup cold milk

Process

Place a cast iron skillet (or other pan; oven-safe if intending to brown the tops under the broiler) over low heat on the stove while making biscuit dough. Grease thoroughly with bacon fat, butter, or lard.

Combine the dry ingredients. Add the diced butter. Use a pastry blender, fork, or your fingertips to cut in the butter until it is pea-sized.

Add the milk and stir to combine. If dough is too sticky, add small amounts of flour. The dough will be shaggy, but should not be very sticky or crumbly. Knead it in the bowl a few times to combine well.

Portion into 8 pieces. Roll each into a ball and then slightly flatten. Place into preheated skillet.

Return to the stove over low heat. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes. Do not raise the heat or the bottoms will burn before the biscuits are cooked through. Begin checking after 15 minutes. When touched, biscuits should be firm and not sticky. Use a fork or spatula to lift and check the bottoms which should be lightly browned.

Biscuits may be served as is. If desired, put them uncovered under a hot broiler to brown the tops.

FoP: Slow Cooked Cowboy Pinto Beans (Recipe)

Beans are on the menu often at our house because they are an inexpensive protein. Canned beans are easy, but dried beans are cheaper.

This recipe is from The Lady Behind the Curtain blog. These beans were delicious. I didn’t modify the recipe at all — it was perfect as written.

I intended to have these served atop baked potatoes, which I tried to cook in a slow cooker. But they didn’t cook in time (I do intend to try that again someday). So I cubed the partially-cooked potatoes and fried them in bacon grease and salvaged supper. We layered the beans on top of the potatoes and added crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Pickled jalapenos would have made the dish perfect. We called this “cowboy nachos.” The next night, I sliced potatoes very thinly, boiled for just a minute or two to soften, and then pan-fried them, like French fries. They didn’t stay crisp once under the beans but were still very tasty. I’ll certainly make this whole meal again sometime. 🙂

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Slow Cooked Cowboy Pinto Beans | Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl Blog

FoP: Copycat Chick-fil-A Coleslaw (Recipe)

Everyone needs to know a good coleslaw recipe. This is the one we like. I’ve made it a few times — it’s usually the pairing for French dip sandwiches at our house. However, we found it a great accompaniment to the one pot chili mac and cheese recipe I tried recently. You can find the recipe all over the Internet, now, but here it is from Chick-fil-A itself. They retired the side item a couple of years ago, but were kind enough to offer the recipe.

Sometimes, I buy coleslaw mix for this recipe. Other times I shred cabbage and carrots myself. But otherwise, I don’t modify the recipe at all. It’s best made a half-day ahead of time. 🙂

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Copycat Chick-Fil-A Coleslaw | Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl Blog