Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

There are a few things I've figured out thus far in my life:

1) Peeps need to eat,
2) Pees love to eat homemade meals they don't have to cook, 
3) Peeps love lasagna, it's a classic, 
4) And, most people don't say peeps, but I'm not one of them (obviously).

I've figured out how to cook with a one month old in tow. This basically means cooking one handed or putting him in his vibrating chair and talking to him while he watches me cook. Let me say this again, he has a vibrating chair. Need I say more? How could he not be happy? I don't have a vibrating chair and I'm his MOTHER!

His vibrating chair is exactly how I was able to make this delicious Chicken and Spinach Lasagna my honey to show my gratitude for all his middle of the night diaper changes, water fetching, and general great daddy-liciousness. 

This recipe encompasses easy and delicious. I got the first half done while my little home sliver was napping and finished it after he was done nursing while he sat vibrating. 

This lasagna is a little different because I used chicken instead of the most commonly used beef and I didn't use ricotta and instead combined mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to make that ooey gooey cheesey layer. 

I also only used two layers of lasagna noodles making this less carbohydrate focused and more filled with more 'good stuff'.

What came out of the oven was shear bliss. It had delicious flavors of creamy cheese, moist chicken,rich oregano notes and a slight sweetness from the tomatoes. 

What I'm saying is that this meal was perfect. The great thing is that we got to eat it twice. Two meals for the price of one! Now that's what I'm talking about when I say easy recipes for busy people and especially new moms. 

Not to mention it's nutritional and also loaded with lean protein and fiber! Great for the whole family!

Now on with the recipe!

Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
5 Cloves Garlic; Minced
1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
1 (28 Ounce) Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Large Jar of Pasta Sauce (approx 3 Cups)
1/2 lb. Mozzarella Cheese; Shredded
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 Box Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles
4 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
Basil for garnish (optional)
1. Make sure all the fat has been removed from the chicken breasts. Then place them in a food processor and process for about 20 seconds or until the chicken is broken into small pieces.
2. Heat a skillet with the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and the chicken and oregano. Saute over medium-high heat stirring constantly until the chicken is cooked through. It will take about 4-5 minutes.
3. Combine the tomatoes and the pasta sauce in a large bowl and stir with a spatula. Set aside.
4. Shred the mozzarella cheese and combine with the Parmesan cheese in another large bowl and set aside.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Grease a 9 X 12 baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan then add 5 of the lasagna noodles covering the entire bottom. Layer the cooked chicken breast on top of the un cooked pasta. Then add the pasta sauce on top of the chicken, then half the spinach and a third of the cheese. Then top with pasta sauce. Add another layer of chicken, using it all. And top with the remaining spinach and another third of the pasta sauce and cheese.
8. Top with another 5 pasta noodles covering the entire top of the lasagna. Top with the remaining pasta sauce and cheese. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until it bubbles all over! Serve with a nice salad with balsamic dressing and you have a great meal ready to go whenever you need it!

Servings: 10

Nutritional Skinny:

288 calories / 8.4 g fat / 28 g carbohydrates / 5.4 g fiber / 24.4 g protein

Mental Health Tid Bit: Casseroles and lasagnas rank right up there with crock pot dinners in terms of ease of delivery. It involves loading lots of delicious ingredients into one dish and cooking. It doesn't get easier than that. This lasagna can also be made and baked ahead of time, frozen for up to three weeks, and baked in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. Perfect prep for a busy week ahead or a nice gesture for a busy family! Now eat on!



Anonymous said...

"putting him in his vibrating chair"
Oohw! I wish I had a vibrating chair.

Stephanie said...

These lasagna looks so good :)
I completely understand the whole cooking with one hand thing. People don't realize how much they use both of their hands for everything.Will totally make this probably with beef though - the boys in my house LOVE meat and if I can hide spinach in something with meat I am golden. I love spinach. Someday I won't have to keep hiding it in their food :) Kudos :)