Chicagolandia
I have a love-hate relationship with frozen food.... I will walk up and down the frozen food aisle, marveling at all the choices, all the options, all the convenience. And then I look at the prices: mentally I start muttering, "Who can afford this? More than $4 for a frozen sandwich? Are people crazy?" Just when I get to the end of my litany, someone comes along, nudges me aside (probably thinking I'm the one that's crazy), and grabs the offendingly overpriced item I was just ranting about. While I often buy frozen meatballs (they are cheaper than making them myself) and the occasional frozen pizza, I typically steer clear of that section. Why? Because I see it as a mean black hole taking all my money and leaving me with fatter thighs.

While I adore anything to do with convenience foods, I am finally getting disciplined enough to avoid them, even rotisserie chicken (another major downfall of mine). To that end, I've been batch cooking meats (ground turkey, chicken, roasts, etc.), batch prepping veggies (if I'm going to stand there are cut 1 pkg. of mushrooms or 1 bell pepper, I might as well do all of them), and now I'm finally getting organized enough to make up my own frozen meals (mainly pastas now, but am slowly branching out) which are leaner, healthier, less sodium than their grocery-store counterparts.
With that, I offer a variation on frozen mostaccioli and lasagne:

1 lb. penne rigate pasta
28 oz. (or larger) jar tomato based pasta sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. basil
*1/2 tsp. oregano
2 T. milk
*1/4 lb. ground turkey (or ground beef)
1/2 C. finely sliced mushrooms, onion, or bell pepper
1/8 C. parmesan
1 C. shredded cheese, mozarella or provolone work great

Preheat oven to 375.
Boil pasta as directed on package. While pasta is boiling, combine all remaining ingredients except shredded cheese in a 13x9" baking dish, stirring til well blended. Add pasta and stir until pasta is coated with sauce. Top with cheese and bake 10-15 minutes or til cheese is melted. Serve with salad and garlic bread.
Serves 6.
* optional ingredients
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1 Response
  1. Amanda Says:

    "Why? Because I see it as a mean black hole taking all my money and leaving me with fatter thighs."

    LOL! So true!


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