Well, not right away at least. I’ve lived nearly 6 months without one and I haven’t been living solely off McChicken sandwiches and microwaved Bagel Bites. I’ve been getting creative with the cooking options that we do have: rice cookers, slow cookers, George Foreman grills, an electric skillet, a toaster oven, and of course a microwave. Did you know that you can make lasagna in a slow cooker? I had never even thought of it until I found a recipe for it. Of course the recipe sounded dreadful… it called for canned tomato sauce only, no eggs, no basil, no seasonings at all really… gross. So I made up my own that turned out way more delicious than I expected.
yelley’s slow cooker lasagna
-1 box lasagna noodles
-3 jars prepared spaghetti sauce (I only used 2 jars of Prego original, but next time I will use 3 so that I won’t have to skimp on the sauce layers)
-4 tbsp white sugar and 1 tsp dried basil per jar of sauce used (this is optional, but I like a sweet sauce and I always doctor my jarred sauce this way)
-1 lb. ground beef
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-3 tbsp olive oil
-1 large container ricotta cheese (or 1 medium container ricotta and 1 medium container cottage cheese)
-16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
-kosher salt, basil, oregano, parsley
-non-stick cooking spray
Heat the oil in an electric skillet on medium heat (or I guess use a stove and large frying pan if you want to be super fancy) and cook the onions until translucent. Brown the ground beef and season with salt as desired. Add in the jarred sauce, sugar, and basil and heat thoroughly. Reduce heat to low and stir periodically.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs then add the ricotta and mozzarella (and cottage cheese if you’re using it) and mix well. I like to add generous amounts of basil, parsley, and oregano to my cheese mixture but it’s not vital.
Spray the slow cooker dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread a layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish, then cover the sauce with uncooked lasagna noodles. My slow cooker is oval shaped so I had to do a lot of noodle breaking to make the layer even. Spoon a thin layer of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles, then cover with another layer of noodles. Keep layering like this, sauce-noodles-cheese-noodles, until you run out of one of them (or if you’re super awesome like I am you will end after a sauce layer with no noodles or cheese mixture leftover, but not everyone can be as awesome as I am, I guess ^_^). Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Cook on low setting for 3 and a half to 4 hours.
Next up on my to-cook list: slow cooker enchiladas.