The Covered Dish: Faux Lasagna

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After a warm holiday in Florida, with my family, its back to work we go.  Our resort in Orlando was beautiful and it’s wet my appetite for more ‘holidays’.  The men in our group enjoyed the Daytona 500, and I absorbed a day of coffee, steam saunas and relaxation.  Now, that’s my kind of vacation!  If there was a downside it was driving through big cities like Atlanta!  Next time we will find a road that skirts ‘way’ around this metropolis!

 

After returning home I’ve been in the ‘chill’ mode, just trying to relax more, before I go back to work tomorrow.  In every home there’s a time when you want to pull together a fast and filling meal.   This week I’m sharing exactly what my family is having for supper tonight.  Add a salad and vegetable to this faux lasagna and you’ve got a more than adequate dinner.

 

As versions go there are lots of different ways to create a faux lasagna.  In some recipes you cook the ravioli before putting the dish together.   I wanted to keep mine as quick and easy as possible.  You will note I used the ravioli frozen and didn’t boil it first.   When a recipe is supposed to be easy I like to keep it just that way.  It could be glorified by using a ricotta & egg mixture layer, mushrooms & onions and a variety of cheeses.  Cheese ravioli could be implemented and fried Italian sausage sprinkled within.

 

The cost of this dish can be kept fairly low by purchasing the ravioli when it’s on sale, same thing with the spaghetti sauce.  Making the sauce from scratch is even smarter on the budget.  Cheese, I just start grabbing bits and pieces of cheese, in the refrigerator, that needs to used!

 

One question I am frequently asked is:  ‘Do you eat out on vacation?’  The answer is very little, unless it’s a cruise!  We stay in a condo where I can cook.  I like to have enough supplies on hand that folks can make sandwiches and salads for lunch.  Then I’ll do the morning breakfasts and dinners.  We ate out one evening and I just cringed because it was such poor quality.  When I travel I also cook a great deal in foil pouches so the clean-up is low.  The ‘star’ meal this time was baked salmon, broccoli and carrot in a foil steam and a lemon/ basil rice pilaf.  Grandpa Ed commented that if you paid for our wonderful dinner, in a restaurant, it would probably run around $120.00 for the six of us.

Actually the best meal out on the road occurred, on the way home, at a ‘Cheddar’s’ restaurant.

 

One saving grace on our trip was the number of ‘Love’s’ that we encountered. You could get gas and enjoy wonderful coffee and donuts, at the ‘Dunkin’ Donut shop, inside the ‘Love’s.  As a big coffee lover this was right up my alley.

 

One thing I did, after we got home, was to make a permanent dry kitchen box.

Mine contains things like spices, coffee, teas, flour, sugars, utensils, paper plates and dry bouillon.  I know it’s ready and all I have to pack are menu ingredients.  Many times I just purchase things after we reach the destination.  Other times it may be in the ice chest, ready to go.

 

This will be a busy first week back at work.  Nothing like jumping in with both feet and hitting the road running.  Silver Dollar City opens on Wednesday, March 14th.  Start making your plans to come visit us at the culinary school.

 

Simply yours, The Covered Dish.  www.thecovereddish.com

 

Faux Lasagna

2 bags (18 oz. each) frozen sausage ravioli

2 jars (23 oz. each) spaghetti sauce

3-4 cups Italian shredded cheese

9 x 13 baking dish

Vegetable Spray

 

Lightly spread a bit of spaghetti sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.  (This keeps the noodles from sticking.) Lay down one bag of ravioli, spreading as evenly as possible.  Cover with spaghetti sauce and top generously with cheese.  Layer 2nd bag of ravioli, cover with remaining sauce and cheese.   Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour.

 

This is pretty high in sodium if you use commercial spaghetti sauce.

 

 

Debbie Dance Uhrig

 

 

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