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Share this zucchini lasagna with a busy mom who could use a night off from cooking!
Looking for an original idea for a Mother’s Day gift? Shopping for your Mom, or even a friend or relative celebrating Mother’s Day can be tough, because women are such individuals. We all have different tastes and preferences. But you know what all mothers want?
More time with their families, more time to catch up with girlfriends, more time to read a book or watch a movie, or more time to just relax.
How do you give the gift of time? By taking care of dinner, of course. Taking a meal to a family is one of the most special gifts that you can give. It is truly a thoughtful gift, because it means that you took the time to make a dish–with love!–and hand-deliver it to make their lives just a little bit easier.
Even better if you can package it up with a beautiful American Greetings Mother’s Day Card, and some Dove Promise chocolates for dessert.
Guaranteed to make any mom smile!
I love the cards I picked out for my favorite moms in my life; my mother and my sister-in-law. I knew my mom would love the beautiful, floral design, and that my sister (let’s drop the in-law, shall we?) would get a kick out of the “Cray Cray” card. (Side note– so true, right?!) It’s so fun that American Greetings has cards to celebrate any mother, so you can pick out a bunch for all the specials moms in your life!
When thinking over meals that I could make for these lovely ladies to give them a night off of cooking, I decided that lasagna was the perfect meal to take over. It’s filling, kid-friendly (thinking of my nephews!), and it’s the quintessential comfort food.
Except this time, I wanted to put a healthy spin on my traditional lasagna recipe, and make it with thinly sliced zucchini.
That’s right, in place of lasagna noodles, I used strips of zucchini. Ups the veggie content, and tastes just as delicious. Promise! I knew my mom and sister (and their families) would love it.
It bakes up beautifully.
All that cheese… yes, please!
Let me show you how it’s done.
Just like every other time I make lasagna, I started with a batch of homemade red sauce simmering on the stove all day long. Psst… it’s an easy recipe, but it really makes the dish!
Next, choose a casserole-sized to-go container for the lasagna. Make sure it’s hardy, you want it to hold up well. It’s lasagna after all.
Cook up the ground beef; and begin adding the layers of sauce, zucchini “noodles”, and cheese.
I do about 2 layers of each. Then top it all off with an extra-thick layer of mozzarella. Everyone expects a ton of melted cheese in lasagna, and this recipe doesn’t disappoint.
At this point, you wrap it up, since the lucky recipient will bake (or freeze) it in their own home. That way, they can make it when it’s most convenient for them, and it’ll be piping hot out of their oven. Plus it makes the house smelling amazing.
I used a take out container with a clear lid, since I think it looks best for presentation. Wrap it up with a ribbon, and attach the Mother’s Day card.
And don’t forget dessert! I wrapped the Dove Promise chocolates in a gift bag from the American Greetings Gift Packaging line. Simple & chic.
I also included some adorable napkins, because every meal is tastier with pretty napkins, right?
I know she’ll love it.
Find the ideal gift wrap for your Mother’s Day celebrations at Walmart with this special offer: Spend $5 on any American Greetings products, Save $2!
Plus, take the “What Kind of Mom Are You? Quiz. So fun!
- 1 28 oz can of tomato puree
- 2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
- 1 small tomato paste
- 2 15 oz cans of water
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 lb ground beef
- 16 oz of Ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 zucchini, sliced into thin strips with a knife or mandolin
- Parsley and garlic powder for dusting the top.
- Combine all ingredients, and simmer in a pot for 30 minutes to 8 hours. The longer it simmers, the more the flavor develops.
- Heat large skillet to medium heat, add ground beef, break up into crumbles with a wooden spoon, and cook until brown. Drain in a colander, and set aside.
- Place Ricotta cheese in a large bowl and add egg. Beat well. Set aside.
- Place mozzarella cheese in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Lay out all of these ingredients and a 9x13 to-go casserole-sized pan in an assembly line on your counter.
- Ladle 2 cups of sauce into your pan and coat.
- Take your zucchini noodles and lay them out over sauce.
- Take about a cup of ricotta cheese and with a rubber spatula, spread it on top of the zucchini
- Sprinkle about a cup Mozzarella and a half a cup of Parmesan cheese on top of Ricotta cheese.
- Sprinkle about a cup of ground beef on top of cheeses.
- Ladle a cup of sauce on top.
- Repeat process until pan is filled. (usually two times through the steps)
- Top with remaining Mozzarella cheese (2 cups), a sprinkle of garlic powder and a garnish of parsley on top.
- When ready to cook, heat oven to 350, and bake covered for 30 mins, uncover and bake an additional 15 mins until bubbly and lightly browned on top.
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