Monday, April 9, 2012

Some Random Resource Links ~ Lasagna

What's Cookin'?


I stretch things out so this is not a fancy recipe. I only use 1/2 pound of beef because I only get grass-fed organic ground meat and need to stretch those dollars. If I could I would use the whole pound plus I would get a jar of organic pasta/spaghetti sauce with the herbs already infused. Oh well...

I also make it as simple as possible - combining the meat, sauce, egg, and cheese together saving a bit of cheese for sprinkling on top.  You could call it lazy, efficient, good use of limited energy/time, or just faster.

Unfortunately, nowadays one has to really look at cheese ingredients.  There is that "anti-molding" additive now (it starts with an /n/), especially on shredded cheeses (grrr! - just eat the cheese before it molds or cut it off the block like when we were kids!  I also freeze cheese all of the time.  We all know that cheese molds, right?  That's okay; we don't need some new additive in our nation's perpetual food experiment with us as guinea pigs, sigh, stepping off soapbox...).  The store-brand block cheeses tend to just have milk, salt, enzymes, and annatto for coloring.  I've been able to make ricotta successfully recently and plan on trying cottage cheese again this month.

What makes this recipe better or worse are the ingredients one uses.  As mentioned, I stay away from CAFO beef, additives in cheese, non-organic tomatoes (they are on the 'dirty dozen' list regarding high amounts of pesticide), and other weird additives.  Unfortunately, when faced with organic cottage cheese with additives or "low fat" options I end up getting NON-organic Daisy brand because the ingredients are just... cultured skim milk, cream, salt (I get the minimum 4% fat one) and no hormones.  It's also less expensive and I appreciate that they try to keep it all natural in a fake food world.  I'm thrilled to have access to inexpensive free range eggs right now but don't always have that option.  I plan on freezing some for later.

This is a pretty cheesy, thick sauce so feel free to add another 8 oz of sauce or a little bit of water.


1/2 lb browned ground beef
1 box Barilla No Boil Lasagna Noodles [I don't make my own... yet, so this is a compromise ingredient. I like the no-boil kind and like that they are flat.]
8 oz cottage cheese
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz shredded mozzarella (set aside 1/2 of this to sprinkle on top)
8 oz tomato sauce
1 egg
basil to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon of our dried basil from the garden last year so it's leafy, not powdery)
oregano to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon; same as above)
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste


Set aside 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella for the top.  Mix everything else except the noodles together.  Lightly grease a 9x12 glass pan.  Spread a very thin layer of the sauce/meat mixture on the bottom.  Layer the noodles.  Layer about 1/3 of the sauce mixture.  Put another layer of noodles and another of sauce/meat mixture.    Put one last layer noodles and of the sauce/meat mixture and sprinkle the reserved shredded mozzarella.

Bake at 350F for about 60 minutes.

Could it be any easier while still using real ingredients and making it from scratch??  If so, please let me know :).

This recipe is part of Kelly's Real Food Wednesday:

What's Schoolin'?

Here are some random resources.  Hope they are helpful to someone!

~ Writing Contests:

~ Free Constitution Class at Hillsdale.  In our state, citizenship is one of the big 4 homeschool requirements.  I've always found that interesting since it is NOT an annual requirement for public school.  However, it is such a natural extension of our family discussions anyway that it's never difficult to find ways to fulfill that requirement.  We watch gubernatorial debates; go see candidates; talk (a LOT); study US and state History; and one dd even did her 4-H Record Book one year in the Citizenship category.  This class would be a nice structured way to check off that 'box' for the year:

~ Free online budget:  Budget Simple

~ Free Math placement tests and other Math resources:

~ Free religious printables:

~ The sourdough recipe I used way back when and plan on using again as soon as our starter is ready:

~ This Usborne research site can be used with or without their books:

~ Online thesaurus:

~  Here's another:

~ Intro to classical art history:

~  Free online typing [all my dc have used this through the years]:

~ This is a little more advanced and could come after the Dance Mat Typing [we have not tried this yet]:

~ Some typing games:

~ Free interactive math games:

~ More free math games [There is a tool bar with math topics also]:

~ More math games:

~ Dinosaur website:

What's Green?

For Easter this year we used clay pots (made in USA!) for Easter baskets.  The dc got to enjoy opening their 'baskets,' I got some much-needed pots to container garden this year, and there are no unnecessary plastics for the landfill.  I have strawberries, cucumber, and herbs from a local feedstore (that does NOT use GE plants) ready to transplant.

The dc are painting them right now as I type :).

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