Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ravioli Lasagna

Thanks to Pinterest, I've been having a craving.  It's really not fair.  I go on Pinterest, and pin and pin and pin.  I rarely make and make and make.  Lately, the top pins that keeps popping up on my page are for baked ravioli.  Mmmmm….baked ravioli.  It's made me crave Ravioli Lasagna.  Ya know, Lasagna the EASY way.  No boiling noodles, no messy ricotta cheese, just yummy, yummy lasagna.

Well, I gave in.  I made Ravioli Lasagna tonight for dinner.  Four ingredients.  A little bit of time, and a lot of reward for this easy meal.

Ravioli Lasagna

1 lb Ground Meat (I used Fit & Active Ground Turkey)
1 jar Reggiano Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
1 bag Priano Cheese Ravioli
1 bag Happy Valley Farms Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown ground meat in a pan, add half the jar of sauce.  Stir until just combined, it will cook more in the oven.

Pour just enough sauce to cover bottom of a 8X8 baking dish.

Layer 16 raviolis, lined up in a square (overlap if you have to) over the sauce.  Top with half of the meat mixture.  Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.  Layer on 16 more raviolis.  Top with the remaining meat mixture.  Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.  Layer on 16 more raviolis.  Top with the remaining sauce from the jar.  Sprinkle with more Mozzarella cheese.  You might have a couple raviolis and a some shredded cheese left.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes in the oven - until all warm and bubbly.

Let set for about 10 minutes before serving.


You're welcome.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Breakfast Cookies

Okay, I'm sure you read this title and have immediately called into question my parenting abilities.  Sure, Breakfast For Dinner, we can grasp that, support that, emulate that.  But DESSERT for BREAKFAST?  I must have a screw loose somewhere, right?  Nope.  I don't.

How many of you have sat and read the labels on your breakfast cereals lately?  Poptarts? Waffles? (you put syrup on them right?)….okay, so cookies for breakfast is not that much of a stretch, and THESE cookies?  Well, they're downright HEALTHY.

I'm always in search of a good grab-and-go breakfast.  Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook - or was it Pinterest? - I digress, she posted this recipe for Homemade Breakfast Cookies that she found somewhere.  I had to Aldify it, of course.  For your viewing (and dining) pleasure, I give you:


2 1/4 Cups Millville Whole Rolled Oats (you can use the instant, also, I prefer these)
3/4 tsp Sebree Salt
1 tsp Stonemill Classics Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Creamy Delight Peanut Butter (you CAN use crunchy, if you prefer, or the natural version)
1/4 Cup Golden Honey
2 Ripe Bananas, mashed
1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds (hulled and roasted, the only non-Aldi ingredient…my Aldi DOES sometimes carry these - check yours for sure, sometimes they're upfront by the checkouts)
1/2 Cup Baker's Corner Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
(or you could do 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup chocolate chips - my kids don't like raisins in cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies are the reason I have trust issues, so I used all chocolate chips in mine)

Mix all the ingredients together and drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.  Flatten the tops of each (these cookies will not spread as they bake like a normal batter would).

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes (will depend on YOUR oven, mine took closer to 20) until slightly browned.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

NOTE:  I used my normal cookie scoop and it made about 2 1/2 dozen cookies, the recipe I worked from had it only making 12 cookies, so they were MUCH bigger.  I would say 2 cookies with a half cup of milk would be a serving. :)  The original recipe also called for processing the oats a little bit - especially if you were using whole oats - I opted not to do that because I love the texture of the full oat. If you are put off by that texture, process HALF of the oats OR use the quick oats instead.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chicken Italiano Meatloaf (Crockpot)

I'm so thankful that it is fall, and that cold weather is setting in.  I have been using my crock pot A LOT the last couple weeks.  My preferred method for cooking in the fall and winter.  Warm, cozy comfort food.  Little effort.  Maximum payback.  It helps, too, on those crazy nights when each of the 3 kids go in different directions!

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a hankering for meatloaf.  But knowing that I was not going to be home over the dinner preparation hours, it had to be a crockpot night.  Now, I know you all will find this surprising, but I have NEVER made a meatloaf in a crock pot before.  Well, I have now, and quite frankly, I might not go back!

Chicken Italiano Meatloaf

2 Lbs Fit & Active Lean Ground Chicken (sometimes my store carries Tyson, but not always)
1 Tbs Stonemill Classics Minced Onion
1 Tsp Stonemill Classics Minced Garlic
1/2 Tsp Stonemill Classics Season Salt
1 Tsp Stonemill Classics Italian Seasoning
1 Golden Hen Egg
1/2 Cup Millville Rolled Oats
1 Can Happy Harvest Whole Tomatoes
1 Large Onion, sliced
1 Large Green Pepper, Sliced
1 Box Couscous (I know the brands vary by store)* OPTIONAL

In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, minced onion, minced garlic, seasoning salt, italian seasoning, egg and rolled oats.  Mix well, set aside.

In a large crockpot, place half of the tomatoes, squeezing/crushing as you put them in.  Top with sliced onion, then sliced green peppers.

Form meat mixture into a "loaf" and place over the sliced vegetables.  Top with remaining tomatoes, crushing in your hands as you add them, pour sauce leftover from tomatoes in can over the top of the meatloaf.

Cook on high for 1 hour.  Turn to low and cook for 6-8 hours.

After finished cooking, remove cooking liquid and use to make the couscous (this is optional, if you decide not to use the couscous, strain excess liquid and just serve with the cooked onions, peppers & tomatoes overtop.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cabbage & Chicken Stir Fry

Hubby is cheerfully back on Medifast.  Which means that I need to get creative to make "safe" Lean & Green meals for him.  A few days ago on FaceBook, a very good (and very healthy, and very thing, and very active) friend of mine posted this recipe.  I adapted it a little bit for Aldi, but it was so delicious.  We loved it.  Even my kids ate every single bite!  There were NO leftovers, I believe I will double the recipe next time.

Cabbage & Chicken Stir Fry

3 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
1 Tbs Carlini Canola Oil
3 Cups Green Cabbage, shredded
1 Red Pepper, julienned
1 Tbs Baker's Corner Cornstarch
1⁄2 tsp Spice Classics Ginger powder
1⁄4 tsp Spice Classics Garlic powder
1⁄2 cup water
1 Tbs Asia Specialties Soy Sauce
2 Scallions, thinly sliced * (my Aldi does not sell these, but I know some do)

Cut chicken breasts into strips.  Heat oil in a frying pan, add chicken strips and stir fry over medium-high heat, turning constantly until done.  Add shredded cabbage and red pepper strips, sauté 2 minutes until cabbage is crisp-tender.  In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and seasonings; add water and soy sauce, and mix until smooth.  Stir sauce into chicken/cabbage mixture. Cook until sauce has thickened and chicken is coated, about 1 minute.

I served with Season's Best Steamed Broccoli.  You could also add shredded carrot, if you like.  (I did not because carrots are not an authorized vegetable on my husband's diet plan.