Sunday, March 4, 2012

White Chicken Lasagna

White Lasagna
Love this blog!
I made my changes on this recipe...and so did the preventionrd blogger.  Her changes are noted on her recipe(follow the link)
 Mine are below:
 6  lasagna noodles
1 T butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 c  chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk ( I used skim)
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese ( used part did preventionrd blogger)
1 c cubed chicken breast
frozen spinach, squeezed fairly dry after thawing.

Cooking lasagna noodles....gave that up a few years ago.  I was experimenting a bit on this one with trying lasagna in the slowcooker.  For sure there is enough liquid in there to cook the noodles.  

I mean, she's a registered dietician and all, but I thought I could cut the fat a bit too.  Her recipe calls for smart balance (1/2 c).  I went with butter but used a scant tablespoon.  A friend of a friend worked at a co-op and said there were a couple never-ending debates....the right to smoke versus the right to clean air...and butter versus margarine.  Being from America's Dairyland and all, I prefer to use butter...just cut back on it a bit.  Quite a bit in this case. So, pick your fat for this recipe.

The blogger where I got this recipe omitted the chicken completely.  I had cooked 3 chicken breasts in a bit of water in the slow cooker since I had three in the package I thawed.  I really didn't need that much for the other recipe, so the remaining bit...the cup or so...was reserved for this recipe. 

Fresh spinach would have been nice...but Paul had gotten a HUGE bag of spinach at Sendik's a couple months ago so I had cooked and frozen it.  I wish I had taken a picture since it was a ginormous bag of spinach.  It did put him in an awkward husband position when he saw spinach on the list.  Hmmmm...does he buy this large bag and risk me asking what he thinks I will do with all this spinach?  or does he buy the smaller bag for the same price and risk me asking what he was thinking?  A tough call for the person who didn't author the list:)  Since we're using it in this recipe, he made the correct call!

I drastically reduced the cheese called for in the recipe and that worked for us; using the cheddar I already had helped as well since I didn't need to run to the store for another item.  I did not add cheese to the sauce but instead used it in layering the ingredients. Parmesan was omitted entirely from the recipe and instead used as a garnish at serving time. 

I made this in the slowcooker, so I decreased the chicken broth a bit as well since things tend to get soupy in the crockpot.   Also, that's all the chicken broth I had in the fridge...leftover from another recipe. I had to add it immediately after adding the flour since there wasn't so much fat in the pan to make the mixture bubble. 

Tuesday is our crazy day...leave the house at 5 am and return between 5:00pm on a good night or 8:00 pm on a crazy night.  This was going to be one of those nights when it's closer to 8pm.  So, I made this the day before and put the crockpot in the refrigerator; then plugged it in on low at 5am.

A few trials going on here with multiple variables.  Lasagna in the slowcooker.  New recipe for lasagna.

It was a bit messy scooping it out of the slowcooker, so maybe next time I'll do the foil trick mentioned in my turkey meatloaf post.  Doesn't matter just for us though...this was really good!  Even with my fat reductions:)

The picture just doesn't do it justice...but it was after 8pm when we got home and unloaded our car..which had the stuff in it for a full day.  So, next round...the foil trick to pull the entire thing out of the crockpot and slice into wedges.  That would make it much nicer looking; although the taste was great even when it had to be pulled out of the crock!

This can definitely be the base of many recipes to come!

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