This week was not as successful as last. Our grand total was $68! Bummer.
We’re entertaining some guests tonight, so a lot of the extra comes from a bigger, fancier than normal spinach lasagna that we’re making tonight. We also had to stock up on some staples like flour, peanut butter and jelly, soy sauce, tea bags and coffee filters.
I know – excuses, excuses. I’m consoling myself by reminding myself that grocery bills like this one have now become the exception instead of the rule. We’ve been within budget for the past three weeks, so I’m willing to cut myself some slack for going over.
Here’s our menu plan for the week:
Saturday: Spinach and four-cheese lasagna with salad and fresh garlic bread
Sunday: Roasted chicken with potatoes and green beans
Monday: Chicken quesadillas with refried beans
Wednesday: French dip sandwiches
Thursday: Chinese style chicken and broccoli
Friday: Homemade pizza
As part of Menu Plan Monday’s Family Favorite edition, I’m also posting a recipe that’s been passed down from my mom. Her classic lasagna includes meat sauce, but we’ve adapted the recipe to be meat-free. It’s delicious. Hope you enjoy!
Classic Marinara Sauce:
1/2 of an onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 (5- to 6-ounce) can of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of parsley
¼ teaspoon of sugar
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of dried basil
½ cup of red wine
3 cups of ricotta cheese
½ cup of Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 package of frozen spinach, thawed and pressed to remove excess water
1lb. lasagna noodles
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Saute onions and garlic in 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, parsley, salt, and basil. Stir until tomato paste is blended into sauce. Bring to a slight boil. Add red wine. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and oregano.
Thaw spinach in a microwave or stove top. When it’s cool enough to handle, put it in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove excess water. Incorporate into ricotta cheese mixture.
Boil lasagna noodles for 10-15 minutes according to instructions on packaging.
Build lasagna in an 8×8 pan beginning with a small layer of sauce to avoid sticking. Lay down noodles with no gaps followed by cheese filling, sauce, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat twice for a total of three layers. Top with a layer of sauce, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 4-6 people.
If you’d like to make this recipe my mom’s way (with ground beef), just add beef to the onion and garlic and cook it completely before adding the tomato sauce. She also uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta. It’s saltier, and may be a bigger hit with the kiddies.
Keep in mind, this recipe is three in one. The marinara sauce is absolutely divine on spaghetti, and the cheese filling is perfect for stuffed manicotti. Mix it up to maximize your meals!
Check out OrgJunkie for more meal plan inspiration!