Individual Lasagna Cups {Toddler Approved}

IMG_5055

Every time John makes The Pioneer Woman’s lasagna (his go-to lasagna recipe), Lily gobbles up what we serve her and often asks for more. He makes a huge pan of it so there’s plenty of leftovers for quick Lily meals during the week.

IMG_5059

Although Ree’s lasagna certainly is delicious, it’s not exactly the healthiest recipe out there. I wanted to make a lasagna using whole wheat noodles, low-sodium marinara sauce, and spinach to ensure Lily is getting whole grains and veggies without too much salt.

IMG_5062

I also wanted to make individual portions so I could freeze them and easily defrost and reheat them as needed.

A quick google search for “lasagna cups” yields a ton of recipes; most of which call for wonton wrappers instead of lasagna noodles. Although the former are quick to prepare and easier to stuff into muffin cups, I wanted to stick with the traditional lasagna noodles.

IMG_5063

Each cup is stuffed with a meat & spinach sauce, an herby ricotta mixture, and – of course – plenty of mozzarella cheese. The cups are baked to a bubbly & crispy perfection, and they pop right out of the muffin tin if you grease it beforehand.

IMG_5068

One or two cups is the perfect serving size for a toddler, and Lily loves them!

IMG_5069

 

 

 

Individual Lasagna Cups {Toddler Approved}

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Keywords: bake main entree cheese beef pasta spinach

Ingredients (12 muffin cups)

  • 6 whole wheat lasagna noodles (make sure you buy the noodles that DO require boiling)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling baking sheet and muffin tin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef, preferably grass-fed
  • Kosher salt, optional (I didn’t add any because the lasagna cups were for Lily)
  • 1 cup low-sodium marinara sauce
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, preferably organic, chopped or whole
  • 1 cup ricotta, part-skim or whole milk
  • 1 egg, preferably organic, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated low-moisture, part-skim or whole milk mozzarella cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook noodles according to package directions, gently stirring every couple of minutes; drain. Lay drained noodles on a large baking sheet lightly coated with olive oil; set aside.

Meanwhil, heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and sauté for 20 seconds or until fragrant. Add in ground beef and a couple pinches of salt if using; cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add marinara sauce and spinach. Stir until spinach has wilted; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, whisked egg, dried parsley, dried oregano, a pinch of salt if using, and black pepper; stir until well-combined.

Lightly coat a 12 cup standard muffin tin with olive oil.

Cut each lasagna noodle in half. Lay one half of a noodle into the bottom of each oiled muffin cup. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture into each noodle-lined muffin cup. Top with a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture, followed by a heaping tablespoon of the grated mozzarella.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Let cups cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing with a butter knife. Let cool to room temperature before serving to your toddler.

Powered by Recipage

Deli Cold Cuts at Home: Basic Roasted Turkey Breast

IMG_5025

Cold cuts are an American lunch staple, but unfortunately most of the deli offerings contain nitrates and/or nitrites. These preservatives are added to keep the meat from drying out, but it is generally thought that they could be detrimental to our health. Hence why cold cuts are on the list of foods to avoid while pregnant (though everyone should be cautious about eating too much).

IMG_5026

Lily loves the Applegate Organic Roasted Turkey Breast - which is free of antibiotics, nitrates, and nitrites – so I thought I’d try my hand at making my own version.

I bought an organic skin-on boneless turkey breast from Whole Foods, seasoned it simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted it until done. Roasting with the skin on ensures that the meat stays nice and juicy, but I prefer to remove the skin before eating.

IMG_5027

I did have a little bit of difficulty slicing the meat super thinly, but I assume the only way to replicate the slices from the deli counter is to buy a meat slicer… which I doubt we’re going to invest in.

The turkey is delicious sliced and stacked high in a sandwich or chopped and folded into a yogurt/mayo dressing for a play on chicken salad.

This recipe could also be used on Thanksgiving if you just want enough turkey for a few people.

I’m looking forward to trying various flavor additions, such as maple syrup, herbs, and seasonings.

IMG_5028

 

Deli Cold Cuts at Home: Basic Roasted Turkey Breast

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40-60 minutes

Keywords: roast entree main sandwich turkey

Ingredients (8-10 servings)

  • 1 boneless skin-on turkey breast, preferably organic, about 2-3 lbs (I bought one that was already tied with butcher’s twine)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450°F. Drizzle turkey breast with olive oil and season all over generously with salt and pepper. Place the turkey breast skin side up on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan.

Place in oven. Immediately lower oven heat to 400°F. Roast until juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 170°F, about 20-25 minutes per pound.

Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let cool completely. Carefully cut and remove the twine before slicing thinly.

Powered by Recipage