|Crock-pot Chronicles Series:: Under An English Sky|
* it's an economical way to cook as they use less electricity
*it's a great way to make use of budget ingredients
*prep time is quick, and I spend less time over the stove than when I cook stove-top meals
*It's a low-fat way of cooking meals
*You can cook just about anything in a crock-pot
**Bonus - crock-pots are fairly cheap to buy!
So it's economical in both time and money and your health if you take in the low-fat factor :)
I love my crock-pot so much that I actually have two! It might seem ridiculous but hear me out. I have two different sizes, a small one for when I'm cooking for just my family of four, and a larger one if I'm cooking for guests too, or if I am cooking bulk batches of soup.
I thought I would put together a little series of posts over the next few weeks sharing my families favourite crock-pot meals - The Crock-pot Chronicles :) These recipes make it into my menu plan at least once a month. Today I'm sharing our favourite lasagna recipe of all time, and it happens to be vegetarian! Yip - this recipe tops any meaty lasagna I've tried.
Spinach and Feta Crockpot Lasagna
*2 jars tomato sauce (sometimes I buy pasta sauce, sometimes I combine passata and pasta sauce)
*No-boil lasagna noodle sheets
*1 container Ricotta Cheese
*1 packed crumbled feta cheese
*salt, pepper, oregano
*2 eggs lightly beaten
* half a teaspoon of garlic or 3 to 4 cloves chopped
*1 bag baby spinach leaves (today I used some baby spinach which I had in the fridge and topped it up with Cornish Greens (70p at Tesco)
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
*Mozzarella Cheese - I used 1 round which I slice thinly.
1. Lightly coat the inside of the crock-pot with a cooking spray.
2. Spread enough tomato sauce on the bottom of the pot
3. Arrange a layer of the no-boil lasagna sheets over the sauce. Set aside.
|Be sure to cover with the lasagna noodles, even if you have to break them up.|
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, feta cheese, salt, pepper, chopped garlic, oregano and eggs. Mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Add spinach and mix well until incorporated.
6. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta/spinach mixture over the pasta
8. Top with more tomato sauce.
9. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients have been used up finishing with a layer of lasagna noodles covered with tomato sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
10. cover and cook on HIGH for 3 1/2 hours. (see my tips below on cooking times)
11. NB! turn off the crock-pot and let it stand for 45 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
1. Keep an eye on your lasagna towards the end of the cooking time. I often find that it is cooked in less time than what the recipe states. If you leave it too long you risk burning the bottom.
2. You really want to allow for standing time after cooking otherwise you will have a wet and soggy mess.
3. If veggie really isn't your thing then fry up some bacon before hand and mix it in when you add the spinach to the cheese mixture.
4. The original recipe called for 4 cups of tomato sauce, basically a cup per layer. I found this way too much so am more sparing with the tomato sauce - it tastes just as good!
5. Don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe, add things if you want to make it more interesting. In the past I've added grated carrot, mushrooms, baby corn - all sorts of things will make this basic lasagna recipe different every time you cook it.