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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Who said that lasagna is not healthy? Cottage cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses not only provide a creamy texture to this dish, but lots of calcium, protein and vitamin A. It is delicious and satisfying at the same time.

1 1/2 lbs. ground round
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
20 oz. tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp. crushed fennel seeds (don't leave this part out if you can help it-I also use it in my spaghetti and meatballs)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (more to sprinkle over the top)
1 9oz. pkg. Barilla Oven-Ready lasagna noodles or the old stand-by noodles that you boil
1 (12oz.) carton cottage cheese (large curd)
8 oz. sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (the good kind, not that stuff in the cans, at least the shredded in the bags)

Cook beef, onion and green pepper in a large skillet until meat is browned, stirring to crumble...as if you didn't know that. Duh. Add tomato sauce through the 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so, stirring every now and then.

If you are using the noodles that you have to boil, do that, omitting the salt that is called for on the package; drain.

Combine cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese; mix to a smooth consistency. Grease a large (13X9) casserole dish. Spread 1/2 cup or a little more of the meat sauce over the bottom of the dish. Layer half each of noodles, cottage cheese mixture, meat sauce and mozzarella. Repeat layers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Top dish with more chopped fresh parsley...not that dried stuff, it has its place but its place is not here! Bake for 30 minutes; and now for the most important step in the whole recipe, ALLOW TO REST ON THE STOVE FOR AT LEAST 12 TO 15 MINUTES before you go cutting into it. I realize that you are going to be very impatient at this point, BUT, I am watching you.....this allows the juices to settle down, mingle and marry, you know what I am talking about!

Now, get out your prettiest serving plates, red ones are best, toss the salad that's been chilling in the fridge, and take the garlic toast out of the oven. Pull up a chair, say a lil' prayer, and dig in.

"I have partaken of alot of different lasagnas through the years and I never met one that I didn't like."~Adele Forbes

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