Thursday, May 28, 2009

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Originally uploaded by IowaSunshine
My mom often makes lasagna during lent on Fridays when we are abstaining from meat. Instead of the hamburger in this recipe she substitutes another can of olives and fresh mushrooms. I had heard about making lasagna in the slow cooker and decided to give it a try, so I used my mom's recipe (using hamburger instead of mushrooms since Jeff loves meat) to create tonight's dish. NOTE: You do not pre-cook the lasagna noodles.

1 lb. ground hamburger, browned with ground pepper
1 can black olives, drained and chopped (I just break them apart with my fingers)
1 can spaghetti sauce (I use Hunt's Four Cheese)
About 1/4 cup water, used to "swish" out the spaghetti sauce jar
1 24 oz. container fat free cottage cheese
2 cups 2% cheese, shredded--I used a blend of white mild cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss
1/2 c. Parmesan, shredded--combine with the 2% cheeses.
9 dry lasagna noodles

Spray the bottom and sides of your slow cooker. Mix browned ground beef, black olives and spaghetti sauce together, ladeling about 1-1 1/2 cups of the mix into the bottom of the slow cooker. On top of that layer place 3 dry lasagna noodles, breaking them if you need to in order to make them fit. Over the noodle layer spoon about 1/3 of the cottage cheese over and smooth. Combine the shredded cheeses and sprinkle about 1/3 of the mixture over the cottage cheese. Next, begin again with the meat mixture and continue for 2 more layers (for a total of 3) and end with the meat mixture. Try to keep about 1/2 c. of the shredded cheeses on the side to put on top of the meat mixture.

Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 4-6. Let it sit on warm or shut off the cooker for at least 1/2 an hour before serving.

I was happy with this, because not only does it taste great, but I didn't have to heat up my kitchen in this warm weather! Summers are always an obstacle for cooking, because I HATE hot weather. I'm one of those people who would be happy living in 50 degree temperatures most days. Anyway, when I was growing up we didn't have air conditioning (ok, we did, but my parents own a 130-year-old house and only have window air, which is a major suck-o) so my mom would use the slow cooker a lot when it got hot. I don't know about you, but even standing in front of a grill during 90 degree summer evenings is not fun. Thus, I've been trying to find recipes I can make using the slow cooker year round.

Jeff really likes this recipe and he felt that it turned out well--in other words, I'm allowed to make this again. I did have to turn this to warm for over an hour, though, because he got home from work late.

Stay classy food readers! (Yes, we're watching "Anchorman" right now.)

No comments: