I had heard of doing a lasagne in a crock pot but I hadn’t tried it before and I have to say I might start having lasagne a bit more often with it being so easy in the crock pot. I also got to learn something new, besides cooking the lasagne in the crock pot. Here in the UK people have never really heard of using ricotta cheese in their lasagne. Instead they use a cheese sauce layer. I haven’t yet tried this but it sounds really good and it also sounds like an even cheaper way to make lasagne as I always have the ingredients on hand to make a quick cheese sauce. This recipe is one that uses ricotta but I promise I will be attempting the UK version soon and hope to share that with you.
Originally I was going to make it with just the spinach, but after noticing I had a chorizo sausage to use up I amended my recipe last minute. It tasted like a cross between pizza and lasagne, even my toddler who right now is being a little bit picky about spinach devoured a portion. Coming home after a long day at work the smell of this lasagne filled the house and put a smile on both my husband and I’s face. Another trick to make this even easier for a busy work day is I put the lasagne together the night before and put the crock pot pan into the fridge. So all I had to do in the morning was put it back onto the base and switch it on.
I talked about last week how I am working harder to give myself a break and not ask too much. Let me give you an example of how silly I have been lately. I am always looking for new recipes to share with you on here, so much so that I rarely repeat a meal. I make a new from scratch recipe every night and since I photograph each step it often takes double the effort of just making a meal. Now I do this because I do love exploring new recipes and I love sharing them with you. But with two jobs and a husband and daughter to pay attention to this has added unnecessary stress. Turning something that I love into a chore.
So after some soul searching last week I decided that I needed to focus more on easy meals and to also give myself days off from recipe testing during the week so I can actually repeat simple meal ideas that I have already shared. This has already been a big weight off my shoulders already. A less stressed Laura means a better wife and mum, plus I hope and even better blogger.
Today I am sharing a quick meal that is perfect for a week day meal.
Gnocchi & tomato bake
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g (15oz) tin chopped tomatoes
500g (16oz) pack gnocchi
handful basil leaves, torn in half
125g ball mozzarella, torn into chunks or grated
recipe from BBC Good Food
This #SundaySupper is a second one with Katie Workman, author of the Mom 100 Cookbook. Author Katie Workman stresses one major thing in her new cookbook and that is that feeding our families doesn’t have to be stressful. Her recipes are all about simple, every day meals that help bring the family together. Sadly her cookbook isn’t going to be released in the UK for another month but I have had a great time following some of the recipes that my fellow #SundaySupper crew have been posting. This week I took one of the recipes that was featured a few weeks ago. I had to make some slight adjustments to the recipe because of what is available in my area, but this was a simple and great tasting recipe.
A little over three years ago I was visiting my, then fiance’s, family in England. We were traveling to a family wedding and to pass time on the drive we played the game 20 questions. It was my turn and I decided that my word would be ‘eggplant’. So the questions began, they had it narrowed down to the fact that it was a vegetable and that it was purple but still no one seemed to be able to guess it. After a while of being confused as why it was stumping everyone my mother-in-law asked, ‘is it an eggplant?’. Exasperated I said yes, that is when she informed me that in this country it is called an aubergine. They had answered aubergine several times but seeing as how I had no idea what that was I didn’t realize that they had answered correctly. Funny how we can speak the same language and yet still sometimes fail to understand each other.
Lasagna really is a lot like a dance, there are several steps and really until you learn how to put them in the right order it can be a bit of a mess. For me when I tried to add veggies to my lasagna it always seemed to turn into a soupy mess. So after experimenting with several recipes I finally discovered the right steps and the right order to have my lasagna turn out perfect every time. Now as I have gotten bolder I have tried variations to the recipe but like a dance the essential steps are all there. It is a longer process but the results are worth it.