Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Lasagna, Unhappy Camper

By the time you read this post, I will, hopefully, be much happier than I am at the writing of this post. 

This is me writing. 
No, it's not a nose piercing gone bad. I'ts what the doctor calls a 24 hour PH test. 
I call it cruel and unusual punishment. 

I've been dealing with severe acid reflux for over a year now and they're trying to find out what's causing it. The first test was a scope. They knocked me out for that one and it was one of the best naps I've ever had. This one? Well, I'll be doing well to get any sleep. Not just because of the tube running from my nose to my esophagus, but because I'll be counting down to its removal.

Let's keep things in perspective, though. This is nothing compared to what my poor hubby had to endure after kidney surgery in 2011. He had an NG tube for days. And it was much larger than mine.

Yes, I can--and am supposed to--eat with this. Sure wish I still had some of this lasagna I made at the ranch last weekend.
It was so yummy, I'd forget all about this dreadful tube.

One of the things I like about this particular lasagna is that it's heavy on the meat and cheese, but light on the tomato sauce. Of course, my men love that. And, as you can imagine, heavy tomato sauces aren't exactly a friend to those with acid reflux.

So here's what you're going to need:
  • 2 lbs of lean ground beef
  • 1 lb sweet (or hot) Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • One 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (I went for the petite diced)
  • One 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 8-10 lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb. mozzarella, shredded
  • a dozen or so fresh basil leaves (or 2 tsp. dried basil)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley)
  • 3 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Cook ground beef, sausage and garlic in a large skillet, crumbling meat as you go, until the meat is browned.
Drain off fat.

Add the tomatoes, including the juice, and the tomato paste, along with 1/2 tsp. salt and some ground pepper. 
Stir to combine and simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

While that's simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and some salt. 
Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions.
Drain noodles and lay flat on a piece of foil to help them keep their shape.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Chop your basil and parsley. The easiest way to do the basil is to stack the leaves, roll them up, and slice the roll so you end up with these little strips.

Add half of the herbs to the meat mixture.
Love the way that bright green looks against the meat and tomatoes.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining herbs, the cottage cheese, half of the Parmesan and the eggs.

Place 4-5 lasagna noodles, depending on the size of your pan, in the bottom of  a 9x13 pan, or lasagna pan, overlapping if necessary.

Spoon half of the cottage cheese mixture atop the noodles, spreading to cover.

Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over that.

Then spoon half of the meat mixture over that, again spreading to cover.

Repeat the process, starting with the noodles and ending with meat sauce.
Then top it all off with the other half of the Parmesan.
Doesn't that look yummy? 
At this point, you could cover this with foil and freeze to use at another time or pop it into a 350 oven for 40-45 minutes. 
Better yet, double the recipe and make two--one for the oven and one for the freezer. 

This is a great dish to take to a potluck or if you're taking a meal to someone. 
Make two and you've got one for you and one for the road.
Throw in a salad and garlic bread and you're talking some mighty fine eatin'.

However, I recommend taking it easy on the bread.
(rubbing stomach) I speak from experience.

Have you ever had to have tests done on you? Tests that were totally unpleasant?
What helped you muddle through?


  1. So sorry to hear about this!! And I'll have to try this recipe. I love my Joy of Cooking one, but this looks DELICIOUS.
    Hoping all goes well with your test!

    1. It really is delicious, Virginia. Nice and meaty.

      We're about to head off to the hospital to get the tube removed! Slept well, but I'm happy to bid this thing good ridence. ;)

  2. Random comment to check my new profile pic...

  3. looks yummy - I like sauce though.but I've been dealing with reflux too and sometimes it's a lot worse :-( you need one of those pampered chef mixer thingies for the ground beef!

    sorry you're going through this.


    1. Susanna, my PC mix and chop would have come in handy. I even thought that as I was stabbing at the meat with a wooden spoon. I have one at home, guess I'll need to order one to have at the ranch.

      I didn't even know I had reflux until I went to the doctor complaining of a perpetual lump in my throat. They did a scope and told me that my vocal cords had nodules, caused by severe acid reflux. News to me. Ready to be done with it though.

    2. You're lucky you weren't having heartburn!

  4. I avoid doctors. Let's just eat that great lasagna. Yummy, yummy, yummy!~~~~

    1. I'm with you, Tina. Lasagna for everyone!

  5. The test is over now? I hope!

    Your lasagna looks yummy, and I like the fewer tomatoes part. My favorite part of lasagna is always the cheese :)

    1. Yes! They yanked that nasty tube out just after 8:30 this morning. Such a relief.

      And you are correct, Jan, you can never have too much cheese. :) Of course, now I'm craving lasagna. I just might have to make another batch or two.

  6. Mindy, this is making me crave lasagna!! I don't think I have any noodles on hand, though. Maybe have to make some form of pasta tonight, though. :)

    Hope your test results turn out! And that all is well. This is my year for a colonoscopy, and we all know how fun that is. :) But I'm thankful for the test since my dad had colon cancer several years ago. I keep a close watch on myself now!

    1. Ugh...I'm dreading the colonoscopy. Mostly because I hate having to drink things. They can given me whatever shots they want, just don't make me drink something nasty. Bleck!

      I don't blame you for keeping an eye on things, though, Missy. Better to stay ahead of the game.

      Has your ice storm started yet? Ours kind of fizzled out, but I know you guys are really supposed to get hit.

    2. I hate to drink a gallon of ANYTHING! Even if it were tea or Coke! It's just awful. The scope part isn't bad at all.

    3. Still waiting on the ice. Coming tonight.

  7. I'm craving lasagna now big time!

    I've had 2 colonoscopies - the first I took some huge pills that made me sick (found out this last time they don't do those now because they can casuse cancer..figures...) and the last time the nasty liquid. not sure how I made it through but one sip at a time and alternated some sips of white grape juice I think..she said I could have certain colored juice but just a bit. just dont' stray too far from the bathroom 'cause that stuff works!

    wonder if I should stop by store for rest of the lasagna ingredients...wont' leave work til 8 tonight and it's cold and rainy..


  8. Oh, I avoid doctors, too. :( That's probably a BAD thing. But really, they want to DO Things, and I prefer eating lasagna. I will focus on the FOOD. And not on how remiss I am!!!