I absolutely love this period in my life. When I first got married I was determined to be a dutiful wife and make huge meals for my husband and I. Seriously, just two of us and I cooked for an army. Then kids came along and careers that didn’t allow us to be home nearly as much. Cooking a large supper was no longer much of an option – at least not during the week.
But I have never lost the love of just cooking and feeding my family a nice meal and even introducing them to new ideas, flavors, textures and colors. It really started with me insisting that Sundays would be a real meal. I can tell you that only lasted a short time. I love the notion of having a family that sits down to meals together but it really is not possible with us. Between work, school, meetings, child commitments, horses (loads of work), camping, horse shows, and all the needs our special needs children have that need to be met. We are lucky if we are all in the house together at 8pm so who can start cooking at that hour when they go to bed at 9pm.
That doesn’t mean I can’t cook so when I can find some time to fit it in – I do it. I try to create a new meal for them at least once a week and sometimes the kids help to plan but sometimes I like to surprise them. This time – I surprised them with sweet potato lasagna!
The premise is simple – a lasagna that does not utilize pasta or noodles. Personally I thought it was a great idea but would the kids eat it? OH YEAH!
I didn’t follow a particular recipe but I did still do what I could to make it as quick a recipe as possible. In an ideal world I would have made my own sauce but who has time for that.
Two large sweet potatoes – these need to be sliced thinly so your world will be a great deal easier if you have a mandolin. This is the mandolin I use and I love it. I highly recommend using the food guard BUT with a hard food item such as sweet potatoes the guard isn’t really helpful – it can’t grab the potato. So yeah, you know I cut myself… Remember that blade is ALWAYS closer than you think it is. But it was worth it – it literally only took two minutes to slice my way through two sweet potatoes (and part of a finger)… Layer them in the pan just like you would noodles.
A large container of ricotta – part skim or whole and mix that ricotta with 2 eggs.
Mozzarella cheese (shredded) – pre-shredded or you can shred it yourself.
Ground hamburger OR Veggie Crumbles – we tend to use the crumbles in recipes that have a sauce base. You can’t even tell it is not hamburger and far fewer calories.
Sauce – make your own or use spaghetti sauce. This is my favorite which you can get at Aldi’s or Trader Joes.
In your typical 9×9 pan you should be able to get two sets of layers. I did the following: Sweet potatoes, ricotta blend, veggie crumbles, mozzarella cheese, sauce, REPEAT.
Yes the family absolutely loved this and honestly I would much rather slice those sweet potatoes than worry about boiling lasagna noodles before baking. Bake at 400 degrees until the sweet potatoes are tender. In my 9×9 pans (2) it took about 40 minutes.