Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 3 and 4 Week 1 – I think I can... I think I can...

I took a day off from the blogging. That part is going to be difficult to keep up with, but the challenge is not cook everyday AND blog everyday. So I will spend my time and energy on the cooking and blog when I can. Wednesday was Easy Beef Lasagna day. This meal is always good but afterwards I started to get bored with this and thought about stopping. You can probably guess that I have never been good at keeping New Years Resolutions. I get bored easily. Anyway, I had a few friends give me some encouragement telling me that I had actually inspired them to get out of their dinner rut. So that inspired me again... (I am a people pleaser and really thrive on compliments. I should get an app that will say "great job!" and applaud for me every time I need it. Does that exist? It should, people like me would LOVE it!)

Back to the food... So Easy Beef Lasagna recipe came from my friend Amanda who always has it together. Seriously. She is a doctor and has two kids and cooks every night and is annoyingly thin and her house and kids are always spotless. I get exhausted just thinking about it. Whew. That was hard. Thanks Amanda!

Easy Beef Lasagna
3 cups ground beef, cooked, drained (I used ground turkey)
26 oz your favorite pasta sause
15oz ricotta (I used part skim)
1/2 cup parmesean
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 lasagna noodles (the NO COOK kind)

Mix beef and pasta sauce

Mix parmesean and ricotta in a small bowl

Grease a large baking dish

Layer it up!
1/3 beef sauce mixture
1/2 noodles
1/2 parm/ricotta mixture
1/2 mozzarella
1/3 beef sauce mixture
1/2 noodles
1/2 parm/ricotta
1/2 mozzarella
1/3 beef sauce

Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 min to 1hr. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Bonus: Make a double recipe and freeze one!

Lasagna - Cheesy yummy deliciousness

Last night I tried out another new recipe from Real Simple. Steak Fajitas. Fabulous on every account! Super quick, super easy and super delicious! (and I think it was pretty healthy too. bonus!) This a great make-ahead meal. Just mix everything and throw it into ziplocks and toss it in the freezer. You can take it straight out of the freezer and put it in in a skillet and it will be ready in 10 to 15 minutes! I have no pictures because we ate it too fast. You have done it again Real Simple. If I had that applause app it would be going crazy for you right now!

Make Ahead Steak Fajitas
1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced (I only had green on hand because they are cheaper. Turned out great.)
1 jalapeno, seeded (if desired) and thinly sliced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp hot sauce
Kosher salt
Olive oil
4 quart size ziplock bags

In a large bowl combine the steak, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, chili powder, hot sauce, and 3/4 tsp salt. (Oh and I added a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to the mix just because I love it.) Divide evenly among 4 bags. (or if you are making it right away and don't want to divide the servings just dump it all in a gallon size ziplock and put it in the fridge until your ready to cook.) Freeze until ready to cook, up to 3 months.

Cook It:
In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the oil (use 1 tsp per serving). Empty the frozen contents of the bags into the skillet (use 1 bag per serving). Cook, covered, stirring occasionally to break up the ingredients, for 10 min. Raise the heat to med-high and cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender and the steak is cooked through, 2 to 6 min. Serve with warmed tortillas and salsa and sour cream. Yum!

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