Wednesday, April 17, 2013

English Lasagna (Freezer Meal)

I have gotten super-into freezer meals lately.  I'm dying to try Once a Month Mom, but I haven't had a chance yet to completely clear the freezer.  Once we have a house and a chest freezer though, oh man.

Anyway, when the Snowquester Storm hit, I hunkered down and spent the morning making freezer meals.  I did an enchilada casserole, which was mediocre, and I made an English Lasagna, which was spectacular.  I'm on the hunt for more good vegetarian ideas, if you have any to share.  I currently have a frozen baked ziti and a frozen fried rice meal all set to go, but I'm trying really hard to make sure we always have something to pull out and thaw when we don't have time to cook.

English Lasagna is made with a creamy bechamel sauce instead of ricotta cheese.  Or in addition to.  I didn't have any ricotta, and it was raining so I didn't go get any, so I improvised a bit.  It was so delicious that when we thawed it and cooked it, my husband ate my leftovers.

Ingredients (makes four servings in a loaf pan, double the cheese/milk if you want to use an 8x8):
-one package no-bake lasagna noodles
-one package veggie crumbles (or you can use real meat, but I don't know how to cook that, or how much to use - I guess half a pound?)
-two cups shredded cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)
-two cups milk
-2 tbsp butter
-2 tbsp flour
-half an onion, chopped
-a few cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 even if you are freezing this for later (it's best to cook the pasta before freezing).
1.) Saute onion and garlic together until translucent.  Add veggie crumbles and tomato sauce.
2.) Saute butter and flour together until flour is brown.  Add milk and stir frequently until sauce thickens.
3.) Add cheddar cheese and melt.
4.) Layer no bake noodles, "meat" and top with bechamel sauce.  Continue until you have reached the top of the pan (I like to use thin layers and a lot of noodles.)
5.) Top everything with cheddar cheese and some extra tomato sauce, if you have any.
6.) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, covered with foil.  Then allow to cool, cover the foil with saran wrap, and freeze.
7.) To reheat, thaw for 24ish hours and heat in 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  (Keep foil on for first 45 minutes, then remove for the last 15 minutes.)

Any other freezer meal suggestions?

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