No-Need-To-Layer-Or-Turn-On-The-Oven Lasagna

Food!

It’s been a while, eh?  It’s about time I posted a recipe on this blog.

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So we’ll get to that in a minute.  But first let’s chat about what’s been going on.

Not this past weekend, but last weekend I went to a wedding of a friend I went to University with and it was awesome!  It was such a beautiful day and their ceremony was lovely and it was amazing seeing a bunch of old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen since graduation.  Plus I got to get dressed up, drink wine, dance to some classic maritime tunes, and stay in a hotel.  Fun times!

But after the emotional high that came from being social and having fun came the low.  But thankfully I have discovered Songza, which is only like THE BEST website there ever was.  I’m pretty sick of my own iTunes library, and the local radio tends to play the same songs over and over again every single time I’m in the car (and there is only so many times I want to listen to Stutter, When I Was Your Man, or Just Give Me a Reason).  And since I’m Canadian, I’m can’t use Pandora.  But Songza!  They so helpfully ask you what kind of music you’re interested in… and that is how I stumbled upon their 90’s Crowd Pleasing Hits playlist which has been keeping me company ever since.  The 90’s School Dance one is pretty great too.  Call me nostalgic… but the Wallflowers, Live, Third Eye Blind, Backstreet Boys, Matchbox 20, Everclear… they all take me back to a simpler time full of awesome memories and they seem to have greatly improved my mood.  I really wish I could listen to it in my car.

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And speaking of improving my mood, last Monday I woke up to the best news ever!  Which is that Matchbox 20 and the Goo Goo Dolls are coming to town for a concert in August!  Color me one happy lady!  Push, 3AM, Slide, and Name are like some of my favorite songs of all time.  And I’m pretty sure that just within the last month I was listening to my homemade Matchbox 20 CD, circa early 2000ish, and thinking about how they were on my list of must-see-in-concert bands.  The powers that be were listening!

I feel like I’ve got so much stuff to share with you, but I guess I’ve rambled on enough for one blog post.

So this lasagna that’s not really lasagna in that it doesn’t require you to layer anything or turn your oven on, but it still satisfies that craving for something cheesy and Italian.  And it’s even got your green veggies built right in.  It’s pretty darn easy and pretty tasty.

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No-Need-To-Layer-Or-Turn-On-The-Oven Lasagna

adapted from Kraft

Serves 6

1 pkg ground beef (I used extra lean)

1 large green pepper, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced

1 large can (796ml) diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings

2 cups water

12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, uncooked broken into quarters

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried parsley

Salt to taste

340 gm chopped, frozen spinach, thawed (my frozen spinach comes in a bag as pucks. I used 12 pucks)

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1/4 cup parmesan, grated

In a large, pre-heated flat bottomed pot or very deep skillet (should be able to hold 4 L), brown the meat until no longer pink.

Add garlic, water, tomatoes, dried herbs, salt, and lasagna noodles.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 20 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t stick.  Drain the thawed spinach by squeezing it in a clean kitchen towel.  Add the spinach and green peppers to the pot.  Simmer another 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the ricotta.  Top with mozzarella and parmesan.  Cover and let sit 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  If you really wanted to, and your cooking vessel was oven proof, you could turn on the broiler and brown the cheese if you wanted to.

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Happy Monday!  It’s going to be a long week for me.  At least I’ve got Songza and leftover lasagna to help me through it.

Now, what’s your favorite 90’s song?

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