CHOCOLATE LADYBUG PRETZELS

WHEN I SAW THESE, I COULDN’T RESIST WHIPPING THEM UP! YOU JUST NEED CHOCOLATE AND RED MELTING DISKS, PRETZELS AND CANDY EYES.  EYES AND DISKS CAN BE FOUND AT MICHAELS.  DIP THE MAIN PART IN RED AND CHILL TO SET.  DIP SMALLER PART IN CHOCOLATE-ADD EYES AND POLKA DOTS TO THE BODY!

CROCKPOT CHICKEN & VEGETABLE ALFREDO LASAGNA

 Summer officially began just a few weeks ago and already we’ve had more 100+ degree days than I can count. Days like this I just want to order dinner in! However, for the sake of not massacring our budget, I instead have been looking for some oven-less meals that feed the family healthy food.

I’ve seen several recipes for crockpot lasagna, but to be honest, most had mixed reviews. Not only that, but I wanted an Alfredo lasagna where I could add in some veggies from the garden. So after reading a ton of different recipes and comments, I came up with this easy recipe and oh my heavens~ it’s a winner!! It’s so delicious and the noodles and vegetables were cooked perfectly. It’s not dry and has wonderful flavor. It came together really quickly and I have a meal’s worth of leftovers, which is a bonus! My kids and husband were all raving about it, so it will certainly go into our normal rotation of meals.

Crock Pot Chicken & Vegetable Alfredo Lasagna
Serves 10-12 people
Recipe is made up of 3 parts, which you layer inside your crockpot:


Noodles & Veggies-

  • 1 9-oz box No Boil Lasagna Noodles {I used Barilla Flat Lasagna Noodles}
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced thin
  • 1 tomato, diced

Cheese Mixture-

  • 1 16-oz container cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided in half {half goes on top of the lasagna}
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided in half {half goes on top of the lasagna}
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • salt & pepper

Sauce mixture-

  • 1 15-oz jar Alfredo sauce {I used Bertolli}
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp onion powder {I opted for powder over real onion because I worried the onion wouldn’t have enough time in the crockpot to sufficiently cook/ soften and give off flavor.}
  • 2 cups diced, cooked chicken {I used 1/2 a rotisserie chicken}

Slice vegetables and dice chicken. Combine ingredients for both the sauce mixture and cheese mixture. Arrange everything close to your crock pot much like I have in the picture below.

To layer your lasagna, the noodles will be divided into 3 portions. You can set them into 3 groups now to make it easier when putting it all together. The sauce mixture will also be divided into thirds. The cheese mixture will just be divided in half, as will your vegetables. It’s okay to overlap the noodles- just try and cover as much as the crockpot as you can. I usually layed out a few, then broke others into pieces to fill in the gaps. 

Here is how I layered my lasagna: {start at the bottom, since that’s what will go in first!}

TOP
Remaining 1/3 of sauce mixture
remaining 1/3 noodles
remaining 1/2 of cheese mixture
remaining 1/2 of vegetables
1/3 sauce mixture
1/3 noodles
1/2 vegetables
1/2 cheese mixture
1/3 noodles 
1/3 Sauce mixture
BOTTOM

Once you have everything layered in your crockpot, turn the heat onto low, put the lid on and cook it for 3 hours.

Once 3 hours have passed, take a fork and make sure the top layer of noodles are all submerged in the dish and they aren’t drying out. {Push it down a little if you need to.} Add the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses to the top of the lasagna. Replace lid and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

Turn crockpot off and let sit for about 20 minutes or so before serving. {This allows the lasagna to soak up more liquid and helps the pieces hold together better. You can see also that I was able to cut and serve the portions we needed for dinner and the rest of the lasagna held together really well inside the crockpot!

Cut and serve- ENJOY!

I was prepared for a not-so-pretty lasagna, but was actually amazed at how well it held together. Here are 2 large pieces leftover that I plan to serve for another meal.

 
 

Roasted Ratatouille Crêpes for #SundaySupper

Ratatouille is one of my favorite summertime dishes – the richly layered stew of vegetables is a great way to take advantage of the abundant produce that’s available this time of year. It’s simple to make and incredibly versatile: toss it into pasta, serve it over soft polenta, stir into an omelet, or pile it onto a pita for an impromptu pizza.

Serving ratatouille in a crêpe is something I never would have thought of on my own – the whole concept of savory crêpes is pretty new to me – so you can thank Sara Moulton for this one.

Sara is going to be the keynote speaker at the Food and Wine Conference later this month and this week the #SundaySupper crew is sharing recipes inspired by hers. (I unfortunately can’t attend the conference and I have to admit that I’m a little jealous of my friends who will be there – Sara is one of the first chefs I remember watching on television and I love her straightforward, simple style of cooking.)

Instead of cooking the ratatouille on the stove, Sara came up with the idea of roasting the vegetables. Roasting them concentrates their flavor and makes the ratatouille extra delicious. Plus, you get to add roasted garlic to it, which doesn’t even compare at all to regular old garlic. Although it only takes a few minutes of actual work, roasting the dish does mean that this take a little longer than normal to prepare. Luckily, it’s easy to split to work over two days by making the ratatouille one night and filling the crêpes the next.

If you don’t like goat cheese, try it with feta or mozzarella!

Roasted Ratatouille Crêpes with Goat Cheese

Total time

1 hour 45 mins

Author: Lauren Keating

Serves: 6

  • 1 medium eggplant, stem end cut off
  • 2 medium zucchini, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup shredded fresh basil
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (chrevre), crumbled
  • 6 prepared crêpes (9-inch)
  1. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and the zucchini into ¼-inch-thick slices. Toss with 2 teaspoons salt and place in a large colander. Set a plate on top and place the colander inside a large bowl or in the sink. Set aside at room temperature and drain for 30 minutes. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
  2. Heat the oven to 450°F. Add the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion in a shallow roasting pan large enough to fit all of the vegetables in one flat layer. Cut a ¼-inch slice off the root of the head of garlic and place the garlic in the center of a large square of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring up the corners of the foil and crimp to seal tightly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the vegetables and add the thyme; season with salt and pepper and place in the oven with the wrapped garlic on the oven rack next to the roasting pan. Roast, stirring often, until the onions are browned around the edges and the peppers are crinkly, about 45 minutes.
  3. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large bowl and cool. Unwrap the garlic and cool. Finely chop the vegetables; stir in the basil. Pull the garlic apart and squeeze the pulp from the individual cloves onto the vegetables; stir well. Crumble in the goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon about ½ cup of ratatouille into each crepe. Serve at room temperate or place on a baking sheet and crisp in a 350°F oven for 30 minute.

Calories: 273 Fat: 15 Carbohydrates: 26 Fiber: 6 Protein: 10

3.2.2089

Be sure to check out all of the other great dishes inspired by Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners  that the Sunday Supper participants made this week and join in our weekly twitter chat tonight (Sunday) from 7-8pm to chat with Sara!

Breakfast for Dinner:

Family Dinners:

Spectacular Sides and Salads:

Don’t Skip Desserts and Drinks:

You can also follow Sara Moulton and her recipes on www.saramoulton.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. 

www.foodandwineconference.com

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