This week, I finally got around to eating meat again. After a short break from meat, I made beef lasagna that was good enough to make my lizard Moose jump up and down in his cage at the smell. Well, maybe not because of the smell, but I like to imagine that’s why he does that.
My friend and newspaper co-worker Nicole gave me some beef that she and a friend had bought from Princess Beef in Colorado. Princess Beef is a farm that’s friendly to their animals and is completely organic. The beef is not certified, because the small farm can’t afford the expensive certification process. Nicole told me a great story of how she visited Princess Beef and she couldn’t even find the cows until the farm owner’s turkeys herded them out of the forest that runs through the farm’s property. That’s what I call natural farming — none of that big business bullshit.
So of course I accepted her offer to give me some extra meat she had stored in her freezer, in the hopes that this week’s food blog would show the world that I have stuck to my resolve, only eating meat that has been raised under a friendly hand. On its website, Princess Farms has videos of the cows and calves running through fields. You can just feel — and taste — the love.
After running over to Nicole’s to grab the meat and making yet another dash to the grocery store — my stomach is feeling the pain — I got to work on a pretty intense dish. First I boiled the lasagna noodles, and then I fried up the beef with some chopped onion, added some spaghetti sauce to the beef and then layered it all up with some ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
In addition to being a delicious and tear-inducing meal, it was also surprisingly cheap. I got all of my ingredients for a little over 20 bucks, and it’s going to last me four meals. Plus, I didn’t use all of the cheeses or lasagna noodles, so I’m sure there will be more lasagna cooking to come next week.
For those of you looking for more than just taste to fit your budget, beef lasagna is also healthy on so many levels. The beef provides protein, which I’m always craving, as does the cheese. On top of that, a small amount of pasta noodles can keep you going through the day — more bang for your buck.
Strict vegetarians can also make a great version of this recipe by simply excluding the meat and doubling the sauce and cheese, or by substituting faux beef or eggplant. I find that it works pretty well with eggplant especially, but it’s up to you.
So escape your stressful day and do some cooking! It always helps me.
See the recipe at dianaskitchen.com/page/recipes03/0922_lasagna.htm.