Lasagna Cups

I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but….

this was my very first time to use won ton wrappers.

It won’t be my last though!

I don’t know why I’ve never used won ton wrappers before. I guess I thought they were hard to find or use or something.

I was in the big city when I picked up these:

won ton wrappers

I really hope I’m able to find them at my local Supercenter.

I had some ground beef in the freezer that I had cooked up one day.  Boy, was I glad it was there. Now that school is back in session, we tend to meet each other coming and going! The time I spent days ago frying up that meat was definitely recouped when I made the Lasagna Cups!

I also had about a 1/3 of a jar of pasta sauce in the fridge.

Pasta Sauce

The recipe called for the won ton wrappers to be cut into circles. I did not have time for that. I didn’t even have time to get out the good camera. These pictures were shot with my cell phone.

It’s pretty much Lasagna 101–the won tons take the place of the noodles.

Won Ton

Cheese Mixture

Meat Mixture

Layering lasagna

Repeat

Ricotta cheese mixture

Top with Cheese

Bake

Lasagna Cups with melted cheese

I loved these! So did the family. I did miss the noodles a little. However, the fact that the won ton substitute saved a ton of calories made me forget all about the noodles!

Bonus: the leftovers worked well in lunch boxes the next day.

I served these with a Caesar Salad (bagged).

Since these can be fork or finger food, they would work well as appetizers, too.

Lasagna Cups

Ingredients:

24 won ton wrappers

Cheese Mixture

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese

Meat Mixture

  • 1/3 pound ground beef, browned
  • 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce

Topping

  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

• Preheat oven to 375˚

•Spray 12 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray

•Line muffin cups with won ton wrappers, one per cup

•Fill cups with half of the cheese mixture. Just enough to cover the bottom.

•Spoon half of the meat mixture on top of the cheese mixture.

•Repeat for second layer–won ton, cheese mixture, meat mixture.

•Top with cheese topping.

•Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden!

Let the Lasagna Cups cool a bit before you try to remove them from the pan. You might even need a knife to help get them started.

If you have basil growing in your garden, grab some for the top to make it look all fancy!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: You really got the flavor of the cheese and meat without all those annoying noodles to get in the way–delicious! Maybe better than lasagna!

Megan: It’s not quite as good as with the noodles, but it’s much more fun to eat. (Plus it tastes pretty darn good!)

Katie: These are amazing little inventions of life!

 

This summer I tested out a daring, new recipe. Well, it was daring and new to me. It was a green vegetable, so THAT was daring in and of itself!

In an attempt to incorporate more vegetables into my diet, I tried Brussels Sprouts! Being part of the cabbage family, Brussels Sprouts tend to get a bad rap. I’ll admit, I was in that camp.

However, here is website that has tons of positive things to say about Brussels Sprouts.

In the spring we tried roasted Brussels Sprouts with bacon and apples. That was yummy! It did have bacon in it.

Since that recipe was a success with everyone, we went bold and tried the stuffed Brussels Sprouts.

I found the recipe on Pinterest which led me here.

Stuffed Brussels Sprouts 2

Let me just say, I thought these would be a lot harder to make than they were.

Most of these pictures are from the first time we made them. I made them again for our Christmas dinner. I was just too busy fixing the food to photograph it.

(The family went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty the other night. There is a line in the movie where a photographer is talking about taking a picture or not taking a picture.  “Sometimes, it’s just for me” was the gist of the statement. That’s kinda how I felt about Christmas “blog photos”. Anyway, I ‘m rambling!)

Jerry James Stone does a great job of explaining exactly how to prep the Brussels Sprouts. He even has a little video on his blog.

Now, at my little semi-super Walmart we don’t always have a large selection of, well, anything. All I could find the first time I made these was frozen Brussels Sprouts-and they weren’t particularly large.

I actually thought that was okay, because I didn’t really have high hopes. I thought, the smaller, the better–less “green” taste.

Prepping Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

Turns out, when stuffing Brussels Sprouts, bigger is better–so is fresh rather than frozen. The picture above is of my nice, large, fresh sprouts from Sam’s.

The frozen ended up tasting good. (That’s why we made them again.) They were just a little harder to handle.

stuffing

And handle you must!

kitchen helper

The recipe calls for 15 large sprouts. Since I knew how yummy these turned out the first time, I made extra. I sure had plenty since I had bought mine at SAM’S!

I did not, however, increase the filling proportions. When I made this recipe this summer, I had quite a bit of the filling left over.

I didn’t go exactly by the recipe on the original recipe. (See link above)

stuffed and ready

Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

15-30 large, fresh Brussels Sprouts

1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded Parmesan

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs-this is key! The Panko breadcrumbs add more crunch than regular breadcrumbs.

3 cloves minced garlic

1 T dried thyme

1 T dried basil

1 t. dried sage

1 t. salt

Olive Oil

(The original recipe called for 1 t. marjoram but I didn’t have any, so I skipped it.)

•Trim Brussels Sprout stems and cut in half length-wise.

•Blanch sprouts. (To blanch: Drop sprouts into boiling water for a couple of minutes-literlly about 2 minutes. Transfer from boiling water to a bowl of ice water.)

•Scoop out middle of the sprouts, leaving enough for a shell wall. (Watch the video for help on this.)

•Finely chop sprout middles.

•Sauté chopped sprouts with minced garlic in olive oil until everything is tender and smells really good!

•Mix your garlic-sprout mixture with the other ingredients.

•Use a spoon to fill the sprout shells with the mixture. You will have lots of mixture!

•Bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes or until golden on top.

I used a piece of parchment on my cooking sheet just to be sure there was no sticking.

Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

I am so glad I tried this recipe. I think it is a keeper! These would be great to take to your New Year’s Eve party. Surely people are getting tired of rich, heavy food. They are ready to at least think healthy!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: The “stuffed” part of this dish was really good. The Brussels Sprout part tasted too much like Brussels Sprouts.

Megan: I think this batch was a little more herb-intensive than the last, but either way, these tasty little things are definitely winners.

Katie: Everyone is always like, “OOOOoooo! Brussels Sprouts! Let’s feed this to the dog!” Ha-ha-ha NO!  Wait’ll they try these! They have this nice blend and blast of flavor.

You’ll eat ’em, to be polite.

You’ll have some more, to be polite.

You will be very polite.

Trust me on this one. : )