Tag Archives: Lunch

Super Easy and Quite Healthy Crock Pot Lasagna

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The last time I was trying to lose weight, the one dinner that I missed the most was Lasagna. I was lucky to find, and adapt, this incredibly, tasty AND healthy version that is quick to put together. You can simply leave the lasagna to cook in your crock pot while you do other things around the house. It makes a great dinner, and as with all Lasagna recipes… it makes an even better lunch!

Quick and easy slow cooker lasagna that can be good to go in just a few minutes

Quick and easy slow cooker lasagna that can be good to go in just a few minutes

Crock Pot Lasagna
(6 servings)

1 Onion, chopped

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 pound Lean Ground Beef

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 1/2 tsp.  Italian Seasoning, dried

1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

28 oz Crushed Tomatoes , canned

15 oz  Tomato Sauce, canned

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1 cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese

1 package Frozen Spinach, chopped

1 1/2 cups Part-Skim Mozzarella, shredded

6 Lasagna Noodles, no-cook variety

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded

OPTIONAL: 1 cup Zucchini, shredded & 1 cup Fresh Mushrooms, diced

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1. Brown ground beef, onions and garlic with seasonings on stove in pot large enough to accommodate all the sauce ingredients.
To save time on this step I just use 3-4 cups of my usual spaghetti sauce from the freezer.

2. Once the meat is cooked, add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce (and optional vegetables). Simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Mix the thoroughly drained spinach with ricotta and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella in a bowl.

4. Snap your lasagna noodles in half (depending on the size of your crock pot) using the edge of your counter, as shown.

5. Place 1/3 of the meat mixture in the bottom of your crock pot. Then layer 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top. Lay 4 lasagna noodles on the cheese mixture, and repeat all layers one more time.

6. Place the crock pot cover on top, and turn your crock pot on low for 4 to 6 hours.

7. Just prior to serving, turn off your crock pot. Mix 1/2 cup parmesan with 1/2 cup mozzarella, and add to your Lasagna as topping, and let melt for 10 minutes.

What is the secret ingredient in favourite Lasagna recipe?
Please feel free to share your tips in the Comments section below.

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Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls

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So I took the plunged and picked up some Pillsbury Crescent Rolls during my weekly grocery excursion. And today I decided was the day to finally make an attempt at one of Pinterest’s most Pinned recipes using the crescent rolls.

These Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls were SO delicious, and got two thumbs up from my husband!

These Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls were SO delicious, and got two thumbs up from my husband!

As I love all things Mexican, it seemed a
natural choice to create a Mexi-Chicken stuffing.

These were so easy and quick to make for a simple Saturday lunch. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

These were so easy and quick to make for a simple Saturday lunch. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls

(makes 8 rolls)

1 tube Grands Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

1 Chicken Breast, uncooked

½ cup Spicy Clamato Juice (or Tomato Juice)

2 tbsp. Spicy Salsa

¾ cup Light Mayo

1/3 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, fine-grated

1/8 cup Jalapeno Peppers, minced
Taco Seasoning

Salt & Pepper

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  1. Slice your chicken breast into strips.
  2. Cook the chicken slices in non-stick frying pan (no oil) for 3 minutes each side. Sprinkle ½ tsp. of each – taco seasoning, salt and pepper over the slices.
  3. When flipping the chicken, add the salsa and juice to the pan. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from pan, and dice it into very small bite-sized pieces, and let cool.
  5. Preheat oven to 375*F.
  6. Mix together mayo, cheese, jalapenos, and cooled chicken pieces in a bowl, add a bit of the cooked salsa/tomato liquid for flavour, about 1 tbsp will do the trick.
  7. Open and unwrap your crescent rolls. Cut each triangle length-wise to form two, long triangles.
  8. Place one teaspoon of your chicken mixture on the wider end of each triangle. I like to use my “Martha” gelato scoop for this step.
  9. Roll up each triangle from wide to narrow end, and place on a cookie sheet with Silpat or sprayed with Pam cooking spray. I sprinkled my crescent rolls with poppy seeds for decoration.
  10. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. And enjoy!

This made for a very impressive lunch for hubby and I yesterday. I’ll definitely be making these again. Finally I understand what all the fuss was about on Pinterest in regards to these stuffed crescent rolls.

What do you use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls for?
Please feel free to share your Comments below.

Quick Italian Sausage Sloppy Joes

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Thank you Johnsonville for bringing out loose-form Italian Sausage meat! I don’t know about you… but I always detested having to take the sausage meat out of the casings. Here’s a quickie 5-minute meal, and my quickly written blog post.

5-Minute Italian Sausage Sloppy Joes with Feta and Dill Pickles

5-Minute Italian Sausage Sloppy Joes with Feta Cheese and Dill Pickles on the side

I had defrosted this spicy sausage meat last night, and used about half of it on our homemade pizza. It added just the right zing!

However, I was left with about half a package to cook up today along with some thinly sliced onions. Now… what to make for lunch?

I was inspired to create a twist on one of my favourite, childhood  lunches – Sloppy Joes. Typically, I use ground beef and Heinz’s Chili Sauce to make mine on toasted buns. But today… I tried something different.

In a nutshell, here’s what I did…
1. Place meat in fry pan, and use your potato masher to break it up.

2. Add the sliced onions, and fry together with a squeeze of Sriracha and Worcestershire Sauce.

3. Slather Toasted Garlic and Horseradish Dip on the buns.

A new find while traveling last summer from Robert Rothschild Farm.

A new find while traveling last summer from Robert Rothschild Farm.

4. Top the buns with the cooked meat and onion mixture, and feta (mine was homemade – salty-goodness).

5. Serve with a side of dill pickles. I like to crinkle-cut mine!

Best thing I ever bought at Ikea - a veggie crinkle cutter.

Best thing I ever bought at Ikea – a veggie crinkle cutter.

Hope you love it as much as I do!

How do you make your Sloppy Joes?
Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

Learn how to make your own cheese from scratch,
check out my instructor’s easy-to-follow RECIPES.

Hamburger Soup & Roasted Garlic Buns

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For lunch a couple of days ago, I pulled this soup out of my freezer for a quickie meal with a girlfriend who was dropping by, just in case she needed some sustenance on her Errand-Running Day. But it ended up being LunchFor1, and I had a blessed bowl of comfort after a busy, and somewhat stressful, morning. This recipe makes a nice, hearty soup that is perfect for enjoying with a big group, or to make ahead and freeze for future use. This was my #1 Choice as the go-to soup that my husband and I made a couple months ago in the days following my surgery. And it froze so wonderfully!

It’s been such a chilly week here in the middle of Canada, but it’s supposed to warm up for the weekend – YEAH!

A Spoonful of Comfort – Hearty Hamburger Soup

I REMEMBER…

I first had this soup about 30 years ago, and you’d think because I can remember exactly who made, when, and why, that I would have been making it every Winter for the past 30 years – NOPE. I only recently tracked it down again thanks to an old friend of mine (Thanks Shelley). And now that I’ve adapted it, I would like to share it with you, because it’s also inspiring my newly created blog – LunchFor1.com. Follow me on Twitter @LunchFor1 for easy meals that are good eats any time of the day!

But, back to the story…

There I was a 10-year old figure skater on test day, both nervous and hungry, and in need of a little, quick comfort. The nice lady at the rink’s canteen, Eleanor, had made a batch of Homemade Hamburger Soup for all of the hungry, little tikes to eat while we waited our turn before the judges.

All these years later, I still remember the heartiness and the smoothness of this soup, as well as the yummy chewiness of the barley. The key to this soup is spending the time to cut the veggies up into a fairly small pieces – 1/4″ to 1/2″ dice. The soup was a like a hug, and it’s stuck with my taste buds for these past three decades!

And for a great side-dish to this meal…

It’s a smart idea, at this or any time of the year, to keep a few Roasted Garlic heads in your fridge for these “lunch emergencies”. It was super easy for me to pull out the pre-roasted garlic head from the fridge, pop the cloves out, and quickly mash them up in order to dress up my lunch selection with an upscale spread.

Better than butter is this Roasted Garlic Spread made from mashed roasted garlic cloves - much healthier too!

This Roasted Garlic Spread is better than butter, and much healthier too!

From time-to-time, when you’ve got the oven roasting something, simply take a whole head of garlic, chop off the top portion, and place it on a piece of tin foil. Then I pour 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil on the garlic, add a pinch of sea salt, and grind some fresh pepper over it. Then I wrap it up in the tin-foil, and set it in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes. Then let it cool and slide it (tin foil and all) into a storage baggie, and place it at the back of your fridge for future use.

Or, for creating a big-batch of Roasted Garlic check out my Stove-Top Roasted Garlic post from March 2012.

But back to the star of this post – the soup… here’s the recipe…

Anna’s Hearty Hamburger Soup

1 1/2 pounds Extra Lean Ground Beef
(or 700g of any ground meat of your choice)
1 Yellow Onion, minced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1  can Diced Tomatoes (28 oz./840mL)
2 cups Hot Water
3 cans Beef Consomme or Broth (30 oz./ 900mL)
1 can Tomato Soup (10 oz./ 300mL)
4 Carrots, 1/4″ dice
1 Bay Leaf
3 stalks Celery, diced
2 tbsp. Dried Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 cup Pot Barley

1. Boil water in a small pot. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 cup Pot Barley. Cook for 30 minutes. Drain and add to soup.

TIP: I prefer to cook my barley separate from my soups so that my soups
do not get overly thick from the barley’s starch.

2. Dice all the vegetables.

TIP: However, I like to mince my onions and garlic in my food processor so that
it becomes very fine – it’s much faster and easier that way.

3. Brown the beef, onions and garlic in large stock pot.

4. Add the liquids and tomatoes, and bring it all to boil.

5. Add all of the vegetables, and spices.

6. Cook for another 1/2 hour (or more), and serve with Mashed Roasted Garlic Spread and fresh buns.

It’s SOOOO good that you should probably plan to make a double batch,
and freeze some for an easy lunch on another chilly day!

What is your favourite soup to use for comfort on a cold day? Please feel free to share your comments below.

Taking an old favourite 'upscale' with a fancied-up dinner roll.

Taking an old favourite ‘upscale’ with a fancied-up dinner roll.

This soup isn’t your ‘cup of tea’?
Check out the other soup ideas that I’ve Pinned on Pinterest.

Watch for my next post on Homemade Chevre Cheese!

It takes SO little to make your own Chevre cheese at home.
An expensive indulgence for much less than you would think!
STAY TUNED THIS WEEKEND!

Mama’s French Toast for Lunch? Why Not?!?

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Mama’s French Toast for Lunch? Why Not?!?

Every household has a unique way to make French Toast – right? I didn’t know this until a galpal offered to make me French Toast one morning about 20 years ago, and she added Cinnamon – YUCK!

My Mama always made my favourite breakfast using just Nutmeg. So needless to say I’ve insisted on Nutmeg throughout the past 20+ years, much to the chagrin of my husband, who is also a Cinnamon fan.

PLUS… Mom loved Roger’s Golden Syrup and used it often on both her late night snack of Corn Flakes, and also on our mutual favourite breakfast – Mama’s French Toast.

So that is what I was brought up to use on my French Toast – not Maple Syrup or any reasonable facsimile (I insist on honey on my Pancakes) It’s pretty rare for me to order French Toast when I’m out at a restaurant for breakfast, and for all these reasons I prefer to make my fav at home.

Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to improve on an old favourite…

I used to drag out my full-sized, electric griddle just to make my special breakfast, which made it something that only happened every once in a while.

Plus I only made French Toast for 2 or more people, and never just as a treat for myself. This Spring, I discovered that I could use my Excalibur-coated frying pan on the stove, and get the same effect as pulling out my griddle.

Now I could have French Toast for One, and today I missed Breakfast due to being engrossed in the Summer Olympics (Mens’ Gymnastics All Around), I decided to make myself French Toast for lunch.

Mama’s Gold Medal French Toast

2 Eggs (well beaten)

¼ cup Milk

1 tsp.  White Sugar (well almost)

½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg (or a couple shakes)

2 slices* White Bread, Thick Sliced (2 to 3 days old works best)

1-2 tbsp.  Butter (!!!)

Roger’s Golden Syrup

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STEP 1: Using an appropriate sized bowl, I cracked the two eggs in first,
and whipped them up for a minute

STEP 2: Next I added a couple of dollops of skim milk (about a ¼ cup, or less)
just to change the colour and consistency of the eggs

STEP 3: Then I shook in some nutmeg, and add a small spoonful of sugar,
and whipped it all up a bit more

STEP 4: Melt a tablespoon (or two) in your “Teflon” frying pan
over medium-high heat until bubbly

STEP 5: Dip your bread into the egg mixture,
and place them into your pre-heated pan

STEP 6: Watching closely… cook until nicely browned on each side flipping once
to brown each side. Add extra butter, if required

STEP 7: Drizzle with corn syrup and enjoy!

*This recipe would probably make up to 4 slices if you were
really, really hungry, or were using thinly sliced bread

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Today, I had also added some fresh Saskatoon Berries, which were a rare find at my local, independent grocer.

Usually, I’m a purist and don’t like anything other than Bacon with my French Toast…
but today’s addition totally made this impromptu meal into a Gold Medal Plate for me!

What do you use in your family’s French Toast recipe? Cinnamon or Nutmeg? Maple Syrup or Corn Syrup?
(Please weigh in below)