Here is how the slow cooker can come to the rescue in solving the “slaving over the stove” issue. Follow these easy instructions.
-The night before, you need to cooked up the ground beef or turkey—it doesn’t take long and is really simple. I use just a bit of olive oil and sautee it. If you like onions and garlic and lots of spices, you can definitely add them in! Then added a bit of tomato sauce (about a ½ jar per 2 pounds of ground beef). Once you’ve sauteed the meat until there is absolutely no pink left (determine this before you add the tomato sauce), you might want to drain most of the fat off to reduce the amount of saturated fat in the meal.
-In the morning mix up the cheese filling—1 part shredded mozzarella and 1 part ricotta cheese.
-When you get to the office, just start the assembly process… which means a layering of the four parts: 1) meat, 2) pasta noodles, 3) cheese filling and 4) sauce.
Before you place the first layer (the meat) in the slow cooker, rub some olive oil all around the slow cooker so that the noodles don’t stick to the side. This had happened to me on test runs, and I solved it by rubbing the olive oil all around in the slow cooker.
For the pasta noodles I used whole wheat noodles—the no bake kind. For the sauce I used Muir Glen pasta sauce.
I found that it helped to add a little water (about ¾ cup per slow cooker) to the pasta sauce to give the whole pot enough moisture to properly soften the noodles. When I didn’t do this on test runs, the noodles came out a little hard at the top where there was not enough moisture. See how much moisture is in the slow cooker pot?
Then cook it on HIGH for about 2-4-hours.
Serve with a green salad, and you’re set for an amazing lunch!
If you are planning this meal for your office, here is your shopping list for a single slow cooker serving about 8:
-ground beef (look for the leanest sirloin if you can; ground turkey is another great option)- 1 pound per slow cooker
-Muir glen pasta sauce (1 jar)—use half in making the meat and half when layering the lasagna. Remember to add water so there is enough moisture
-Ricotta cheese (1 tub will be more than enough…I used ½ a tub in each slow cooker)
-Shredded mozzarella cheese (1 bag will be enough… I used a ½ bag in each slow cooker)
-Optional: garlic, onions, dried herbs/spices (Italian seasoning would be great, oregano), fresh herbs (basil)
-Optional: to get your veggies in the lasagna itself, you could add spinach, zucchini, mushrooms or even winter squash (the list is really endless here—be creative with things like fennel, kale, chard, etc.).