Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Meal planning is a sanity saver in our house during the week. It helps prevent the what do you want for dinner argument at the end of the day. Plus is saves us from eating out a lot. We're trying to cut back our eating out expenses and menu planning has been a big help with that.

Dinners for this week:
1. Lasagna (family favorite and the only lasagna my husband will eat)
2. grilled ham and cheese
3. steak and macaroni and cheese
4. Spaghetti with Italian sausage
5. Tuna quesadillas (new recipe I’m trying)
6. Pizza-dillas

My family favorite meal this week is lasagna. I don’t really have a recipe for it because it changes slightly each time I make it depending on what ingredients I have on hand. I taught my brother how I make it and he has even made shrimp lasagna based on this recipe. Once you have the basics down it is very easy to modify this recipe and still have yummy results. Here is how I made it this week though:

2 jars Spaghetti Sauce
1 box Lasagna noodles
1 lb ground Italian Sausage
1 small container Ricotta cheese
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese (5 cups or so)

Note that I do not cook my lasagna noodles ahead of time. I take them straight from the box to my lasagna pan.

1. Preheat oven to 325 (I use the convection setting, but it cooked just as well without it in my old oven)
2. Brown Italian sausage, drain grease. Combine cooked sausage and one jar of spaghetti sauce in a bowl.
3. In a small bowl mix the ricotta cheese with season salt to taste. Instead of season salt you could also use an Italian Seasoning mix to reduce the sodium.
4. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with half a jar of spaghetti sauce
5. Top the sauce with the first layer of uncooked noodles. The noodles can have some small gaps between them. Remember that the noodles will expand when they cook
6. Put dollops of the seasoned ricotta cheese on top of the noodles. Spread some parmesan cheese on top; Spread some mozzarella cheese on top of the other cheeses. Add half of the sausage and sauce mixture on top of all the cheeses.
7. Add another layer of noodles
8. Repeat step 6 for this layer
9. Add top layer of noodles
10. Top the noodles with the remaining half jar of spaghetti sauce. Be sure to spread the sauce out so that all the noodles are covered.
11. Add your top layer of mozzarella cheese
12. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 2 hours at 325

2 responses:

Frugal Finds said...

I never heard of tuna quesadillas before!!

Holly said...

I hadn't even thought about it either, but I saw the recipe on the back of a tuna pouch and it sounded pretty good so I figured we'd try it. We love quesadillas and have them a lot so I'm up for trying a new variety.