As a frugal mom, I absolutely hate wasting food, yet it is amazing how much food scraps accumulate in a few weeks. One of the ways that I utilize my produce scraps is through my Sneaky Lasagna. My husband and my oldest son loves lasagna, but they are both picky when it comes to their veggies. My middle son is more picky than anyone I have ever known, including myself, and I cannot get him to eat lasagna. My solution has been sneaky healthy meatballs.
Whenever I have some leftover scraps such as the end of the tomatoes after making sandwiches, tomatoes that are going into that overripe stage, the ends of broccoli and cauliflower etc., I put them in a ziploc bag and freeze them. Once it is lasagna night, I take everything out defrost it, put it the food processor together with a cut up potato, carrots…well there are endless possibilities. I chop it up into tiny pieces (as small as possible), and then I add it to the meatsauce. The key is knowing your limits, and you might have to experiment adding a bit more every time.
My last lasagna included 8 cups of vegetables, 2 lbs of ground beef and I had plenty for leftovers. Neither my husband nor my sons realized that there was broccoli, cauliflower, potato, egg plant, squash, carrots and spinach hiding in between their layers of lasagna, and I managed to stretch 2 lbs of ground beef very far. As for my picky son, I added a small amount of the veggies to his meatballs, and he ate them all without questions.
The pictures are all from a lasagna/ziti I made a few weeks ago, as I only had three sheet of lasagna. I used about 3 cups of shredded squash, green pepper, potato and some fresh basil from the garden.
My oldest son got seconds and thirds, even though he does not like potato or squash. The baby could not stop eating, and when I later asked my husband, if he could tell what ingredients was in the lasagna/ziti he had no clue. He too had seconds…
For myself I always make a vegetable lasagna, whenever I make a sneaky lasagna for the boys in the house. I have not eaten meat in more than thirteen years, and not even sneaky lasagna can tempt me.
I love cooking my sneaky dishes, because not only are they healthy, but they are frugal as well. So next time, you are making a sandwich, or you are about to toss the broccoli stem in the garbage, think again, think frugal….think sneakiness.
Do you have any frugal cooking tips or great tips to get our little ones (and big ones) to eat healthier?
I’m linking up to Foodie Friday @ Designs by Gollum.
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