Well the kitchen is finally done and we celebrated with Po’Boys of course. We finally got some snow last weekend and I enjoyed puttering around the new kitchen making the sandwiches and some brownies for good measure. It was an interesting month of cooking, we just could not change our lifestyle to eat out all the time – we are such homebodies sometimes and it is expensive! Motivation wained at times but in general it was fun to remember how great a coleman stove really is, it was been so long since most of my meals were cooked on a camp stove of some sort. I learned so much cooking on the job with friends over the years!
It was also rewarding to remember how simple is often the best and how valuable the crockpot that normally gathers dust in the garage can be. I have made some amazing meals using that tool – enchilada casserole, a casserole using the pumpkin ravioli from my blog and a maple walnut pesto, stew, curry, some AMAZING braised cabbage (definitely making that again) and lastly this wonderful lasagne.
It is the lasagne that stands out – perhaps it is just that I am biased towards these wonderful creations. It goes back to college and the start of a mostly annual New Year’s gathering of roommates that started over a Stouffer’s lasagne and of course graduated to a more refined homemade one. I instantly decided I could make lasagne whenever I wanted when I learned from my old roommate and her new boyfriend (and future husband) that you didn’t need to cook the noodles first AND you didn’t need to buy the no boil special kind either. I was skeptical that a lasagne could be made in the crockpot that would rival what comes out of the oven, but it did! Perhaps I also love making lasagne because I enjoy making things with tomato sauce; I LOVE pulling “jars of summer” off the shelf as I like to call the tomato sauce that I put up in early fall each year. I have learned to love an egg added to the cheese mixture and continue my love affair with greek yoghurt and dark leafy greens here. This delicious concoction fueled the first canyon run of the year a few weeks ago on a glorious day on Rob’s favorite loop – Kaibab-Tonto-Bright Angel. So to celebrate the new kitchen, the best of my slow cooker experiments!
Spicy Slow Cooker Lasagne
- 1 bunch lacinato kale
- 1 box lasagne noodles of your choice – I used trader joe’s
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup ricotta cheese ( Bellweather need I say more- out of this world!)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup plain greek yoghurt
- 3-4 oz goat cheese
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 pint tomato sauce plus 1/4 cup tomato paste to up the intensity
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Mix together the tomato sauce and tomato paste and red pepper flakes
- Saute or steam kale until bright green, squeeze out excess moisture and set aside
- Break up the goat cheese and stir together with the ricotta, yoghurt and beaten egg. Stir in a little parmesan cheese if desired, season with salt and pepper to taste
- Pour about 1/4 of the sauce on the bottom of the crock pot. Break up noodles as needed to fit on the bottom of the crockpot. Layer 1/3 of kale and cheese mixture on top. Repeat layering process two more times. Finish with a layer of noodles and a little sauce on top.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
- Turn on crockpot to medium and cook for 3-5 hours