So our family is going through this kindergarten transition very well, but there are some signs of stress. My baby is becoming a young man and I feel so, so proud of him. The day feels long without him and even though I was ready to sell him to a band of gypsies by the end of this summer, I miss him.
So, when I feel a little out of control, I either make lists or I make food to freeze. I guess the idea is that even if I don’t know what is coming around the bend, at least there will be food to eat in the freezer. I am someone who does not love to cook. But, I do like projects. So I enjoy cooking recipes in large batches and then breaking them down and freezing them in sizes that make sense for different sized gatherings. Then, on any given day (when things get even crazier than they are today), I have a bunch of homemade meals ready to thaw in my freezer. We have our standbys, our favorites and these meals are fabulous because they make the house smell wonderful and like someone has been cooking all day. But, it wasn’t me… at least not that day.
So for the last three days, since Sam started Kindergarten, we have been cooking nonstop. I have FILLED, and I mean FILLED our freezer. Mission accomplished. This mama is feeling the intensity of big changes in our family…
This recipe is adapted from an Artichoke Spinach Lasagna I found on allrecipes.com. Double the below quantities to make enough to freeze. Not only is this a great method of cooking for busy families, but it is great to have some meals available to share with friends or for impromptu entertaining.
Artichoke Spinach Lasagna
yield: 8 servings
olive oil cooking spray
9 uncooked lasagna noodles (I prefer no-cook Barilla)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (28 ounce) jar tomato sauce
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (4 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
(double or triple for freezing of multiple future meals)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a lage pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain. (Or skip this step if using no-boil lasagna noodles).
Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium high. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp. Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread 1/4 of the artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; top with 3 noodles. Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles. Repeat layers two more times, ending with the artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top.
Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Enjoy tonight or 3 months from now!
Side note: Another important thing I want to mention is how happy it makes me that Muir Glen brand of tomatoes has decided to get rid of the BPA in their cans. Tomatoes are notoriously difficult to deal with for corporations because of their high acidity. They lead the industry in their choice to take the chemical of BPA out of their canned goods. More and more companies are trying to get with the program, but for now, I trust and applaud Muir Glen for making the choice to help us keep our families safe from chemicals in our food. Just FYI, the way you can tell if your cans are free of BPA (when talking about tomatoes only) is the copper lining color that you see below. Thanks, Muir Glen!