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Francine's Blog

Lowfat Lasagna in the Slow Cooker

Lasagna in Pompeii
Photo by James Yu

Shopping season is upon us! On a day when i have spent at least six hours on my feet trying to decide which Chinese yo-yo is going in whose stocking the last thing I want to do is cook. Using my thinkin brain…On days like this I throw a slow cooker meal together and turn it on low and leave. Clever. When I come home, like today, I smell lasagna. The house smells like I slaved all day and I did, but I was haggling with Thom over dinner napkin rings and linen pattern and “No, we are not getting that new dining room table yet even if it is 25% off.”

Dinner was quiet, settled in and I did not have to worry about anything more than the four-year-old in the kitchen putting the olives in her mouth rather than in the salad.

In the spirit of giving, I’m sharing the recipe with the rest of the war weary exhausted shoppers. Also, I ran it through my Weight Watchers calculation and according to that, one serving is 7 points. This makes up for the 16 point Jimmy Johns grinder I had for lunch. Hey, shopping makes you hungry or can you think of another good reason for IKEA to have a smorgasbord cafeteria?

Low-Fat Slow Cooker Lasagna

Ingredients

1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground beef
1 small uncooked onion (s), chopped
1 clove(s) garlic clove (s), minced
2 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
2 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
1½ cup(s) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
6 item(s) uncooked lasagna noodles, (does not need to be no-boil)
½ cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano
1 large egg(s)

Instructions

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

2. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, and parmigiana (or like cheese).

3. Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Add a third of the remaining can of crushed tomatoes around the edges. Break enough lasagna sheets to fit and make an even layer and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture top with 1/3 of meat and 1/3 of crushed tomatoes as before. Repeat with another layer of noodles, cheese, meat mix and crushed tomatoes.

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

Serve topped with freshly grated parmigiana.

Try it. It’s good!