Monday, September 24, 2012

Recipe - Weight Watcher's Slow Cooker Lasagna Stew

I crave Olive Garden often, but I will NOT eat there. I wanted some pasta, but I wanted to eat it at home and I also wanted to ensure that I stayed on track with my weight loss. I found this Weight Watcher's recipe for Slow Cooker Lasagna Stew and it was absolutely delicious. I'll definitely make it again. I'd never heard of making lasagna/lasagna stew in a slow cooker until now. Have you heard of that? It did turn out very nicely though and it wasn't incredibly expensive to make. Also, if you are single, you will have TONS of leftovers. Below you will find the recipe. If you make it, let me know how it went for you. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Lasagna Stew

PointsPlus™ Value: 9
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 360 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

1 pound uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced 
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
6 dry lasagna noodles, no-cook
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano

 Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

 Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving. 

Note - To boost your vegetable intake, add a can of zucchini in tomato sauce to the meat mixture. You can also add 2 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms to the beef mixture.

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