The other day I had some celery, carrots, and a can of tomatoes I wanted to use up. I thought I'd make a tomato sauce out of them and see what happened, and the result was one of the best tomato sauces I've ever made. I think the key was the last ingredient I added, one tablespoon of butter to cut the acidity, since it made the sauce taste like the kind you get in a restaurant. If you don't have all the ingredients don't worry; the most important ones are the tomatoes and butter.
Add additional vegetables you have lying around and want to use up. I pureed my sauce at the end but it is not necessary. The butter on the other hand, definitely necessary! This sauce works really well in other recipes, or on it's own. If you use ingredients you have on hand the only thing you need to buy is a can of tomatoes, making this one of the most inexpensive recipes you will make all week!
Sometimes it's best to keep things simple. In this case I am talking about lasagna. My children love it but do not want lots of pieces of vegetables in it, so I decided to make the simplest lasagna I could, with the simplest tomato sauce while still ensuring they were both nutritious. The result was a delicious meal everyone loved. If your family can handle some extra vegetables in their lasagna feel free to add them. This lasagna does not cost a lot to make, and I froze all the leftovers which left me enough to make a second smaller lasagna the following week. Freeze leftover sauce and noodles separately and defrost before using. Leftovers make enough for an 8x8 lasagna.
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9x11 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place a heaping tablespoon of Cheap and Cheerful Tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan. There should be enough sauce to lightly cover the entire bottom.
Lay 3 cooked lasagna noodles side by side lengthwise so entire bottom of dish is covered. It is okay if noodles are broken and pieced back to together, or if noodle is too long and goes up the edge a little.
Lightly drop little spoonfuls of ricotta throughout each noodle. If you and your family like a lot of ricotta than feel free to place more. I used it sparingly.
Cover with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce so ricotta and noodles are covered. Top with slices of mozzarella so entire surface is covered.
Repeat layers of noodles, ricotta, sauce and mozzarella so there are three layers of noodles in total, end with mozzarella cheese.
Cover with with tinfoil and bake for 40 minutes. Allow to sit for five minutes before serving.
Serves 5-6 people
These muffins are my new favourite snack. I keep a bag in my freezer and defrost one in the microwave when I am hungry mid-morning. I love how the muffin tastes as if it was just taken out of the oven once I've defrosted it. If you want to make them a bit more child-friendly, add chocolate chips. Otherwise, save the whole batch for yourself and make your kids other muffins! These muffins are high in fibre, low in fat, low in sugar and made in one bowl.