Slowing it down
Sometimes I wake up at 4:30 in the morning to work at the surf shop before having back-to-back tutoring sessions in the afternoon. So when I come home, the last thing I want to do is worry about what to eat. That's why I love my slow cooker. I throw the ingredients in when I come home for lunch and, when I walk back through the door four hours later, dinner is ready!
Chef Meg's Slow Cooker Lasagna (Courtesy of SparkPeople.com)
NOTE: If you can't find the Italian five-cheese blend, mozzarella will work just fine.
Important: Cooking time should not exceed 4 hours. This is not an "all day" slow cooker meal.
Brown 1 pound of 96 percent lean ground beef in a skillet over moderate heat; drain any excess fat. Stir in ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, 2 tsp thyme, 1 jar low-sodium marinara sauce, 2 cups diced eggplant, and 1 ¼ cup water. In a bowl combine ¼ cup egg substitute, 15 ounces part-skim ricotta, 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, and 1 tblsp chopped parsley. Place one-third of meat sauce in bottom of slow cooker. Top with 3 no-boil lasagna noodles, broken up to cover the meat sauce. Repeat with another third of meat sauce and more noodles. Top with cheese mixture and the remaining meat sauce. Cover and set slow cooker on low. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
Number of Servings: 8
Nutritional score per serving: 271 calories; 10g fat