Crockpot lasagna

18 Nov

A coworker recently brought me a recipe she had found for a crockpot lasagna. Naturally I was inclined to take it and use it to experiment on a low cal version. Lasagna is a dish I love to make, but it’s time intensive. This recipe still requires some prep time, but I can do it the night before and just have my husband pop it in to cook.

Ingredients:

- 12 oz lean ground beef (I used 93%)
- 12 oz Italian turkey sausage
- 1 jar prego light smart sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 medium onion, dice
- 2 TBSP minced garlic
- 15 oz part skim ricotta
- 3 egg whites
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 9 standard lasagna noodles
- 1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Sauté beef, sausage, onions and garlic together in a skillet, breaking up meat until it’s all cooked through.

2. Add tomatoes (don’t drain them), prego, water, salt and garlic powder to the skillet and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl mix ricotta, egg whites, oregano, and basil.

4. Line the inside of your crockpot with aluminum foil. I used one large piece going longways, and one long piece going too to bottom. Press foil down to conform to the shape of the crockpot. Spray with nonstick spray.

5. Pour 1 1/2 cups of sauce mixture in crock and spread evenly across the bottom.

6. Use 3 noodles and lay them side by side across bottom of crock, longways. They’re too long for the crockpot so you’ll need to break the end off to make them fit. Lay the middle noodle down first. The edge noodles may overlap the middle noodle which is fine.

7. Spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles.

8. Spread 2 cups of sauce mixture over ricotta.

9. Repeat steps 6-8. Noodles. Ricotta. Sauce.

10. For the The last layer of your lasagna, arrange noodles, too with remaining sauce, and mozzarella cheese.

11. Place lid on crockpot and cook on low about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

12. Use aluminum edges to carefully remove lasagna and foil from the crockpot. Set the foil and lasagna on a platter and allow to cool 15-20 min.

13. Peel aluminum edges away and slice and serve your lasagna.

6 servings= 605 calories per serving
Appx 16 weight watchers points plus

8 servings = 455 calories per serving
Appx 16 weight watchers points plus

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Pork chops with white wine and mushrooms

13 Nov IMG_8315

Ingredients:

- 4 (5 oz) boneless pork chops
- 1 TBSP light margarine
- 1 Medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
- 3 TBSP flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 TSP dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Salt and pepper both sides of your chops.

2. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet.

3. Place chops in the pan and cook about 4 min on each side.

4. Remove chops to a separate plate.

5. Add mushrooms, onions, rosemary, and a little broth to the pan. Sauté about 5 min, and sprinkle with flour.

6. Stir flour around, incorporating it into mushrooms and onions. Add remaining broth and wine. Stir until Lumps disappear.

7. Replace chops back into the pan with mushroom mixture. Cover pan with lid and summer 10 min.

8. Uncover and cook 5 more minutes until sauce begins to thicken a bit.

9. Allow to cool 5 min.

Makes 4 servings

1 serving= 210 calories

Approximately 5 weight watchers points plus per serving

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Low calorie tuna salad sandwiches

9 Nov IMG_8299

This is your basic tuna sandwich, with a few substitutions to bring down the calorie count and up the flavor. My memories of tuna sandwiches are based on a slightly sweet variety of tuna salad, which is what this recipe is based on. It tastes just like my Granny’s and my Moms. If you prefer a more savory version, you can sub fat free mayo and dill relish for great results and about 5 calories less per serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (5 oz) cans of chunk light or white tuna in water
  • 3 tablespoons fat free miracle whip
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons of onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of celery, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 egg, hard boiled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Drain tuna and mix in a bowl with all other ingredients.

editors Note: Serve with 2 slices of 35 calorie bread for a 140 calorie sandwich!

Makes 4 servings.

105 calories per serving

Approximately 3 weight watchers points plus per serving

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Pork, Sauerkraut and Dumplings

8 Nov IMG_7958

This recipe was handed down from my mother-in-law. It is a comfort food for my husband, who remembers it fondly from his childhood.  I have to admit, I had never heard of sauerkraut and dumplings, and I wasn’t sure about it.  After trying it at my in law’s house, I had a change of heart.  This stuff is pretty good, and, it’s way outside my comfort zone, which, for me, makes it even better.,

 

Ingredients:

- 4 boneless pork chops, 4 oz each

- 1 cup original bisquick mix

- 1/3 cup 1% milk

- Chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups

- 4 cups, or 1 bag of sauerkraut, with juice

- Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Mix Sauerkraut and chicken broth in a crock pot.

2. Salt and pepper pork chops, and add to crock pot, on top of sauerkraut mixture.

3. Cook on low 5-7 hours.

4. Remove pork from crockpot. Pour sauerkraut mixture into a large pan (with lid) and place on the stove, on medium heat until nearly boiling.

5. Mix bisquick and milk in a bowl.  Divide mixture evenly into 4 segments, and use a spoon to drop each one into the pot.

6. Allow dumplings to cook for 10 minutes uncovered.   Cover with lid and continue cooking and additional 10 minutes.

7. Serve Pork with 1 dumpling, and 1/4 remaining sauerkraut.

 

*Note: this is delicious with mashed potatoes

 

Makes 4 Servings: 408 Calories per serving

Approximately 11 Weight watchers points plus

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Crockpot Taco Soup

1 Nov IMG_7765

This is prime soup weather, and it doesn’t get much easier than this delicious soup! Serve with a little 2% shredded cheese , Greek yogurt and tortilla strips if you’ve got calories to spare!

Ingredients:

- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 envelope Taco Seasoning or 2 tbsp homemade taco seasoning
- 1 envelope ranch dressing seasoning
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can corn
- 1 can chili seasoned beans
- 1 can rotel original
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 can diced green chiles
- 1 can beef broth
- 1 small can (6-8 oz) tomato sauce

directions:

1. In a skillet, cook ground beef and onions until done. Drain fat if there is any.

2. Throw all ingredients in a crockpot and mix.

3. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Makes 10 (1 cup) servings.

215 calories per serving

Approximately 5 ww points plus per cup

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Apricot Chicken

29 Sep 20140929-191814.jpg

This was good, easy, and definitely a repeat recipe :) Enjoy

Ingredients: 

  • 4 (4 oz) boneless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

Directions: 

  1. Heat your grill to high heat and let it sit about 5 minutes before cooking chicken.
  2. Salt and pepper chicken to taste.
  3. Mix apricot preserves, vinegar, salt, and rosemary together in a microwave safe measuring cup.
  4. Turn grill down to medium heat, and add your chicken breasts.  Cook about 5 min on first side, or until chicken is cooked about 1/2 way through.
  5. Turn Chicken over on grill, and spoon/brush half the apricot mixture evenly over the chicken breasts.  Continue grilling another 3-5 min or until completely cooked through.
  6. Remove chicken from grill, and distribute remaining apricot mixture evenly over the top of the chicken breasts.

 

Makes 4 servings= 207 calories per serving

approximately 5 weight watchers points plus per serving

 

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Beef Stew Shepherds Pie

25 Sep 20140925-173944.jpg

This is not a pretty dish, but it tastes SO good! I’ve always been intrigued and a bit weirded out by the concept of shepherds pie. I mean, why would you mix all those foods together when you could eat them nice and separately, in their own little OCD compartments??? It just seems so strange to mush everything together like that!! So, i thought to myself “self. i don’t think you’ll ever be a true shepherds pie kind of girl..but you know what’s delicious together? beef stew and mashed potatoes!” and so beef stew shepherds pie was born! It’s so rich, and flavorful, and hearty. This will really be great this fall and winter, and I’m so glad I made it. I hope you enjoy! PS you could make your own mashed potatoes and probably lower the calories further, but since i found these little gems, potato mashing has become a time consuming effort reserved only for Christmas, and days off. We do what we do to get the kids fed, homework done, piano, softball, girl scouts meetings, and school plays in, right? right.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of stew meat
  • 1 onion, quartered, then cut in half (so, eighthed, that’s a word right?)
  • 15 baby carrots
  • 2 Cups hot water
  • 1 packet mcCormick beef stew seasoning mix
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 container of prepared bob evans original mashed potatoes

 

Directions:

1. place beef, onions, and carrots in a medium crockpot.

2. Mix 1 1/2 cups of water with beef stew seasoning mix, and pour over top of beef mixture.

3. cook on low for 5-7 hours, stirring occassionaly if you’re available to do so.

4. Once 5-7 hour time is up, transfer mixture to a large oven safe skillet (cast iron if you have one). Add frozen peas and mushrooms to mixture.

5. Remove about 1/4 cup of liquid from stew mix, and mix with corn starch in a separate container, until mixture creates a smooth slurry.

6. Add the corn starch slurry into the stew and stir well with mixture. Continue to cook on low for about 10 min, or until mixture begins to thicken.

7. Microwave the bob evans mashed potates according to package directions. Spoon carefully and evenly over top of stew inside the skillet.

10. Place the oven-safe skillet into the Oven, and Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

 

Makes 4 servings= 530 Calories per serving

Approximately 14 weight watchers points plus

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