Tuesday Trials: Lasagna & the Stovetop

Two cooking successes have been added to the ‘book’ (blog?) over the past few days – I made my very first “real” lasagna, and I made oatmeal without the help of a microwave! Win, win, my friends.

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Saturday night we hosted a dinner party for an early birthday celebration (D’s). With six mouths to feed – three of whom had put in some long miles that day (20, 13 & 10), and one of whom came straight from a Rugby game – the menu definitely needed something that’s sure to satiate a real hunger. Being the only meatless diner, I took it as my personal mission to cook a veg-friendly meal and satisfy the masses.

Done, and DONE.

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Baked Italian dishes are usually a safe bet; it’s rare that anyone has an aversion to melted cheese, flavorful marinara sauce and soft noodles. Add in some vegetables & a hearty serving, and you’ll have a content dinner table.

I went with lasagna – Jenna’s Spinach & mushroom lasagna, to be exact.
There were no changes, other than I didn’t measure the cheese used. I know when there’s sufficient melted coverage, and there’s always room to add more if your pallet so desires.

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Served with a side of spinach salad (strawberries, feta, pecans & vinaigrette).

Lasagna, you will be seen in my kitchen again soon! Easy assembly, flavorful and satisfying? Yes, that’s a recipe for success!

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Moving on, oatmeal is making a slow return to the breakfast routine. I’m definitely out of the every-day habit, but with the return of cooler morning temperatures, its appeal is resurfacing.

During our last Trader Joe’s excursion, I stood and stared at their oatmeal options for a good five minutes. They don’t sell oats in bulk, and the choices they have are quite varied. I always avoid the “Steel Cut”, because to me that reads “Takes Time to Cook”.

I took a risk! The oatmeal bowl could use a change-up; I’ve only heard good things; I could probably stand to be a little bit more patient with my breakfast in the morning.

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I boiled the water, added 1/4 cup of oats, stirred regularly (after stepping away for almost 2 minutes and watching the pot almost boil over – don’t take those instructions lightly!), and added sliced bananas + a drip of vanilla extract at the end.

I topped it with my nut butter scoop (I use the 365 organic peanut butter – peanuts + salt + stirring) & a sprinkle of Sweet Cranberry Pecan Granola (Love Grown Foods).

Taste-bud heaven? There you are! These oats have a lot more flavor, a slightly fuller texture and a much lower risk of burning the roof off of my mouth.

Breakfast bowl trial: victory!

In case you’re curious: why steel cut vs traditional quick-cook rolled oats?

Steel cut oats are “less processed”, and are generally higher in fiber + protein. There’s not a huge difference, and in the end it will probably come down to what you have time for in the morning, or what your taste preferences are.

{Nutrition facts: Quaker quick-cook oats vs Bob’s Red Mill steel-cut oats}
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What are your favorite lasagna (or other baked pasta) add-ins?
Are you a steel cut cooker or quick-oat microwaver?

Tried anything new this week? Let’s see it!

14 Comments

Filed under breakfast, dinners, food, new things!, Nutrition, recipes

14 Responses to Tuesday Trials: Lasagna & the Stovetop

  1. That lasagna was delicious. I could very easily have eaten another helping.

  2. Looks really great, not too gloopy or runny, just right.

  3. spinach inside of lasagna is true love.

  4. YUM X 2!! I eat steel cut oats most mornings and just make a big batch on the weekend to reheat during the week. The texture is good reheated!

  5. Yum! Lasagna is such a great meal, especially with the cooler temperatures approaching!

    I have never made steel cut oats. I usually do the old fashioned oats instead. Making steel cut is on my list of to do’s when I have more time on my hands! :)

  6. My boys love lasagna, so I’m definitely going to try to make this. I’m a steel cut oatmeal girl. It takes about 20 minutes and it’s worth every second : ) I like the chewy-ness of it and now that I eat it almost all of the time the old fashioned oats just don’t have enough texture.

  7. Welcome to the world of lasagna! Meat-eaters always respond well to a veggie version I make involving pureed roasted eggplant (and peppers, and tomatoes) … I bet the mushrooms gave it a similar “meaty” feel. Oh, and steel-cut oats? Do overnight oats. Changed my life. The Bitten Word writes about it here: http://www.thebittenword.com/thebittenword/2009/01/overnight-oatmeal-quick-cook-steelcut-oats-in-10-minutes.html

    • Heather C

      I’ve been wanting to make another one already! We still have half of a box of noodles left, now I just need more spinach and another veggie to try. Eggplant + tomatoes are on the list for next time.

  8. It was awesome. Feel free to make it anytime.

  9. aren’t you happy to be back near a trader joe’s?

  10. Pingback: You Know it’s Race Week When… | Dietitian on the Run

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