Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Crock Pot Lasagna

I don't remember exactly where I got the idea to make lasagna in my Crock Pot, but I'm sure it came from the Internet. Well, I did it first a few weeks ago, posting but a couple of teaser photos on my Facebook, and the feedback was all positive. So this time I took photos of the process. You're welcome.
Disclaimer: I used an additional can of tomatoes that isn't pictured.

This method of cooking lasagna is so easy that you, like me, will never make it in the oven ever again! And p.s., if you aren't already using Crock Pot Liners, you're doing it completely wrong. Plus, way healthier than the pre-fab lasagna you get in the grocery store. I took the opportunity to add carrots, which cook down to tender little salty/sweet morsels, and onions, which are essential for flavor. I just now realized that I didn't put any garlic in the recipe! Oh well. Still delicious. And I'm sure there was some in the sauce and the sausage. I did sneak in a bit of this, though:

It's my favorite spicy go-to: authentic Hatch Red Chili powder

So, for those of you who need it spelled out (no hate, I love you anal types!), here it is:

Crock Pot Lasagna

1 lb ground sausage or beef
1 small onion (I used 3/4 of a medium one)
2 carrots (optional, but highly recommended)
Handful of black olives (optional - they were in the fridge!)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 jar marinara sauce
1 cup shredded Parmesan
3-4 cups shredded mozzarella (I love cheese....)
Lasagna noodles (approximately 9, broken to fit)
Additional spices to taste

Brown meat in cast iron skillet until fully cooked. Dice onion, carrot, olives and any other veggie you wish to incorporate (experiment!! The first time I made it I used spinach, and it was great. As far as I'm concerned, there are few slow cooker recipes to which you cannot sneak in some additional veggies), add to skillet, mix, let cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Line your slow cooker, or coat with cooking spray if you don't know about liners yet (seriously, go get some). Start with a layer of tomatoes and marinara sauce, then cheese, then noodles, then meat mixture, covered in more tomatoes and sauce, cheese, noodles, etc., ending with noodles, heavy tomatoes/sauce and cheese. Cover and cook on High for 3-4 hours, uncovered for the last 30 mins or so to let some of the excess moisture out.

This was obviously a huge hit at my house. You really can't go wrong with meat and cheese and pasta, nor with the Crock Pot. It's super delicious, and will make your mouth start watering after about the second hour of cooking. If you're still in the house, of course. The beauty of slow cooking is being able to do other things while your food is cooking.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Polls Show: Everyone Wants GMOs to be Labeled

According to ABC News, 90 percent of Americans want to know whether or not the food they are eating has been genetically modified. While there is no conclusive data showing that GMOs are bad for human health, health is not the entirety of the issue. Full disclosure is the issue, and it's this writer's opinion that knowledge is power. Consumers should be fully informed about what they're putting into their mouths, but so far, Monsanto is winning the battle against full disclosure.

But public opinion and outcry aren't going to change just because Monsanto was, essentially, granted immunity from prosecution for any possible consequences their genetic horseplay causes. Monsanto is dead set on controlling the food supply for the entire world, it seems, even though the data doesn't back up their claims that GMOs increase productivity. According to the Rodale Institute, which conducted a 30 year study of organic and conventional farming methods, GMOs do not do what Monsanto wants us to think they do:

In a 30-year study that pits organic farming against conventional farming (including genetically modified (GM) farming starting in 2008), organic practices outperformed conventional practices leading to higher yields and higher net incomes for farmers.

The above is quoted from this article on KSL. So, that being the case, why, OH WHY, are we still having this debate? Oh, that's right, because money talks. Don't believe me? Why don't you just go ahead and find out who is heading up the FDA these days. You don't really have to, though, because I looked it up for you. His name is Michael Taylor, and he was appointed to the position by President Obama in January 2010. Guess what his employment history looks like? He was a lawyer, then a lobbyist, for (you guessed it) Monsanto. Shocked? Yeah, me neither.