Healthy Meat Lasagna! (Made even healthier!!)

Healthy Meat Lasagna

Mmm... So healthy...

Mmm… So healthy…

So I haven’t really mentioned this before, but I’m not a beef eater.  When I was in 8th grade, I thought cows were pretty awesome (I also thought they tasted awesome at the time).  Since I thought they were adorable, I started to feel bad about eating them.  I then started to feel bad about eating pigs and chickens too, so I was full on vegetarian for a while.  (My love of bacon ended that one…). Anyway, after I started eating bacon, and ham, and pork chops, I also started eating chicken again.  Somehow, I held out on the beef for years.  Now, I have tried to add it back in but now I can’t stand the taste.  The pure beefy-ness is too much.  I’m going to continue my attempts to add it back in, but I’m not sure I’ll ever really love it again.

Needless to say, I did not make this with beef.  I made it with turkey. It was quite tasty.  I also think you could very easily make this without any meat by replacing the ground meat with nice meaty cremini mushrooms.

One thing that may be a little unrealistic about the recipe is the call for whole wheat lasagna noodles.  I had to search three different stores, (including a health food store!) and ended up buying something that claimed to be a lower carb noodle which I took to mean had more whole grains.  I don’t know if the search for the right noodles was really worth it.  Isn’t the turkey and eggplant enough?

All in all, it did taste really good.  I think I need to end this post so I can go warm it up for lunch!

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Un-split shift and the best “fried” shrimp ever

“Split Shift”: recipes that were supposed to be made part in the morning and part in the evening…

  • Steak with peanut sauce and broccoli
  • Crispy shrimp with tartar sauce and red-cabbage slaw
  • Black-bean tostadas with corn relish

Steak with peanut sauce and broccoli

Steak with peanut sauce and broccoli

Steak? Money’s too tight for steak. Steak?

Ok, this one I actually did part the day before and part the evening of.  The trouble with these “split shift” recipes is that they assume you have more time in the morning than in the evening.  I’m not sure for whom this is true.  People who work the late shift or odd hours, I guess. People without children.  People with excellent time-management skills.  None of these things describe me.  I do think they could be split over a couple days.  This recipe, for example, is a good one to split over a couple days.  I marinated the steak and prepped the broccoli on day one, then broiled the steak and steamed the broccoli on day two.  The recipe only takes 30 minutes…total.  So that’s an easy maybe 15-20 minutes one evening then finish it up the next.  Not bad.

How does it taste?  Do you like peanut sauce?  Me too!!!  The one thing I will say is that flank steak can be a little tough.  This was no exception.  A nicer cut of steak would have made this less of a chore to cut and eat.

Ah, but I came up with an awesome thing to do with the leftovers.

cut up steak with broccoli and peanut sauce in small tortillas

This must be blurred because I was too excited to eat it.

I also had small tortillas on hand for the tostadas, so I heated up the steak and broccoli, piled it into tortillas, drizzled it with a little leftover sauce, and had asian steak tacos.  These were so good.  Plus, once you’re eating it with your hands and teeth, the difficulty cutting it with a knife isn’t an issue any more.

Crispy shrimp with tartar sauce and red-cabbage slaw

shrimp, lemon wedges, red cabbage slaw, tartar sauce and a beer

Is your mouth watering? Mine is.

Get ready to hear me gush.  D and I keep an index card of all of our favorite Everyday Food recipes.  It acts as a sort of index, but not every recipe makes it on there.  Only the best.  Let me put it this way: There are 98 issues, and we have maybe 20 recipes on that index card.  This recipe is index card worthy.

What makes it so special is the breading on those shrimp.  I’m the first one to be suspicious of the idea that baked things can taste just like something that’s fried.  I’m not going to go quite that far.  However, this is as close as you can get to crispy fried shrimp without busting out the oil.  I’ll stand by that.  The slaw is also lovely.  It’s just Dijon mustard, oil, and lemon juice with the red onion and cabbage.  That would be good on its own.  You could bring that to a picnic and feel like a hero.  The tartar sauce is nice.  It reminds me of the ersatz tartar sauce we used to make when I was a kid to go with fish sticks, mayonnaise and pickle relish.  This is obviously classier: chopped pickles, fresh parsley, fresh lemon juice…  The shrimp is the real star.  It’s even worth buying panko crumbs for even though you KNOW you’re never going to use that stuff again until it gets stale.

I didn’t make this 1/2 in the morning, 1/2 in the evening or over two days or anything.  It doesn’t take too long to do in one evening.

Black bean tostadas with corn relish

Topped with the corn and avocado

Topped with the corn and avocado

I can sum this one up quite quickly: lots of work for little reward.  I did this one all in one night also.  Taking care of the corn relish, veggie prep, and cheese ahead of time would have saved some effort.  I’ll grant them that.

tortilla, beans, cheese (waiting on vegetables)

tortilla, beans, cheese (waiting on vegetables)

This just isn’t a very special recipe.  It reminds me of the Jim Gaffigan routine about working at a Mexican restaurant in Iowa.  “What’s a tostada?”  “Tortilla, meat, cheese, vegetables?”  “What are tacos?” “Tortilla, meat, cheese, vegetables”  Change that to tortilla, beans, cheese, vegetables, and that’s what we have here.  It’s just nothing to write home about.

Turkey Sloppy Joe’s

www.marthastewart.com/315018/turkey-sloppy-joes

September 2007, pg. 36

Let me just tell you, I agonized over my first post. To launch a blog, the recipe had to be special! It had to be beautiful and picturesque and delicious! So what did I choose? Turkey Sloppy Joe’s.

Why did I choose Sloppy Joe’s? I realized I was being silly. This is an Everyday Food tribute blog! It is a magazine that provides recipes not for special occasions, but for EVERYDAY! It helps the average home cook add a little variety to their everyday meals. And what is more everyday than a sloppy joe?

This was my first time making this recipe and here is why I adore it:

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Carrots! Do you see all those beautiful, sweet, orange carrots?! It calls for two full cups of them. I think they are the real reason the recipe is considered an Eat Smart Upgrade, forget the ground turkey.

My previous go to sloppy joe recipe was from Ellie Krieger and while her’s had lovely peppers and beans in it, it was completely lacking in carrots and I always had to remember to add them myself. If you’ve never had a sloppy joe with carrots you really must try it. It adds a sweet complexity that I personally don’t think you can get any other way.

The recipe also calls for the typical Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar that makes a sloppy joe so deliciously savory.

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The outcome is delicious. Being the cheese lover that I am I chose to serve mine with some wickedly sharp cheddar. We have lots of that in Vermont!

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I can honestly say this is probably my new go to recipe. The carrots won me over big time, and there was enough left over for lunch the next day (this is a struggle in my house – I live with a bear).

Up next from me: Sausages with Kale and White Beans