I was sitting in the Pediatrician's office yesterday with a four-month-old who keeps screaming and refuses to sleep because of a bad ear infection. It's his third one in two months and the antibiotic wasn't working so I agreed to give him shots three days in a row. (Made for a super fun for 4th of July weekend!) During the second course of shots, I broke down and cried right along with my son. This working mom thing is kicking my butt and somedays, I think I'm totally going to lose it. On the plus side, one of the nurses wasn't very nice and the sight of me sobbing drove her out the door.
So why am I sharing this tale of woe? Well, I figured that the only real solution to my being overwhelmed is help and since that is in very short supply, I came up with another idea - make as many meals as I can ahead of time and freeze them. That way when I've been up with the baby, worked and driven the freeway and I hear "What's for dinner?" as soon as I walk in the door - I can say "Chicken Lasagna. It's in the freezer."
|This is an "unfinished" casserole because you don't add the cheese when you're freezing it.|
- 1 purchased whole roasted chicken
- 1 28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 9 dried lasagna noodles
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Remove chicken from bones and cut into bite -sized pieces. (Or you can cook a 1lb of chicken breasts in a crock pot and use it instead.)
- Combine spaghetti sauce, undrained tomatoes, and chili powder. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a lasagna pan or 13x9 pan that sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. (I've found that buying the cheap disposable lasagna pans at the Dollar Store is a huge time saver and works better.)
- Add 3 uncooked lasagna noodles. Cover with chopped chicken. Pour 1 cup of sauce over the chicken.
- Top with 3 more noodles. Cover noodles with sauce.
- Mix cottage cheese, garlic and egg. Dollop mixture on top of sauce. Top with remaining noodles.
- Pour remaining sauce over all of it.
If you decide not to freeze at this point, then bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with mozzarella and then bake ten more minutes or until bubbly. If you do freeze it, defrost it in the refrigerator before baking as directed.