How many meals can you make out of 50 pounds of ground beef? I gave myself a challenge to see how many meals I could make for my family of 2 adults and 6 children (4 teenagers) using ground beef as the only meat in the meal.
Meal 6 – Addy’s Lazy Man’s Lasagna I sent my oldest daughter Addy (age 10) to an afterschool cooking program where each week the kids learned to make dinners and desserts (which they then ate).
At the end of the session, she came home with a recipe book and much to my delight insisted on making some of the family dinners (talk about a good investment!) One of the kids’ favorites quickly became Addy’s Baked Ziti. The recipe fills a large casserole sized dish and when you add salad and bread, it makes for a filling meal.
Last night we set out to make the Baked Ziti for The Great Hamburger Experiment but when we got to the part where you are supposed to add a ½ cup (yup a ½ cup!) of parmesan cheese, we realized that we had no parmesan cheese in the house.
But, as all moms know, being thrifty really comes down to being creative.
So I got out a 2 pound tub of Ricotta cheese (that had been on sale the previous week) and put one half of the tub (1 pound) into the mix. It’s just a mild creamy cheese, I told my daughter as she wrinkled her nose at the large white blob in the bowl.
I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Baked Ziti, but this resulted in a creamy lasagna-like ziti of which all the kids (and my husband) had seconds. (And there was still enough left over for a lunch today).
For this meal I used 1 pound of ground beef.
Recipe – Addy’s Lazy Man’s Lasagna
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 one pound box Ziti noodles
- 3 cups total shredded Mozzarella cheese (reserve one cup for the top)
- 1 pound Ricotta cheese
- Italian herbs (optional)
- Pasta Sauce 7.5 cups (Large jar of Sauce – we used Prego)
Brown 1 pound of ground beef and a chopped onion. Drain oil when done
Boil a box of ziti noodles until cooked, drain
In a bowl, add:
- The beef and onion mixture
- 1 pound of Ricotta cheese
- 2 of the cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese
- The ziti noodles
- A few pinches of Italian herbs (optional)
- Pasta Sauce
Mix together and scoop into a large 9 by 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining shredded Mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake in a 350 oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the cheese on top melts.
Serve with salad and bread.
Note – this created such a nice creamy sauce for the noodles that the next time I would be tempted to add beans, cooked spinach, olives, or any other vegetables into the casserole.
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