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Quick and Easy Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Coffee and whole wheat toast are one of my breakfast mainstays. St. Patrick’s Day is coming up so why not whip up a loaf of Irish Soda Bread one of the greatest gifts this Lazy Budget Chef (who can’t proof bread to save her life) has ever known – the bread machine. As luck would have it I have more whole wheat flour than white and more raisins than normal because I went to a bulk bin without a container and bought more raisin than I thought. No problem. I’ll make a Irish style whole wheat bread featuring those those happy raisins sitting in my kitchen. I am using the bread machine to make and proof the dough for this recipe and baking the bread in the oven because I want the round shape of a traditional Irish style bread. You can bake it that way or you can bake the whole wheat Irish bread from start to finish in a bread machine. It will taste just the same although I personally think baking bread in the bread maker makes it a little more dense than when I bake bread machine do

Crock Pot Lasagna

I swear there are days that we wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for my Crock Pot! (Or if you prefer, slow cooker.) It’s like magic,  I put food in it in the morning and by evening – poof I have a healthy quick dinner waiting for me when I finish work.

It's better than having cookie baking elves living in a tree in my front yard I tell ya.

Husband bought a box of lasagna noodles several months ago. Those noodles taunted me from the pantry. As in, I had to keep moving them around the pantry because they were always in the way.

I used to make lasagna as a single gal every once and a great while since I didn't have a boyfriend at the time, so I had time to fill on weekends. I haven’t made it in forever because lasagna is a massive cholesterol bomb and takes a long time to make. With a house, husband, dog, a stack of DIY projects, blogs - time is something we usually don’t have a lot of in the evenings around dinnertime and who needs more cholesterol in their diet?

After that pesky box of noodles jumped into my arms again from the pantry, I made it a point to make lasagna and put it out of its misery. I heard that you could cook lasagna in a slow cooker. I did an Internet search. Some insisted you have to use no boil lasagna noodles,  others didn’t. Some used jarred spaghetti sauce (cheater!) while others made their own, which didn’t sound as good as my Grandma’s sauce and her straight from an Italian neighbor lasagna recipe.

I decided to adapt Grandma’s lasagna to bake in the slow cooker. I also tried to make Grandma’s lasagna it a little less of a cholesterol bomb too

Slow Cooker Lasagna

You will need:

Sauce Layer
Olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 chopped onion
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 small cans of tomatoes (diced or sauce)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 pinch of hot pepper flakes (My addition. Totally optional)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ package of fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional. I had mushrooms I needed to use.)

Cheese Layer
1 carton light cottage cheese (instead of ricotta)
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook it!

1. Strain excess liquid from the cottage cheese if desired. (My cottage cheese was soupy when I opened the carton so I drained it. Depending upon the brand your mileage and desire may vary.)

2. Drizzle olive oil in a frying pan. Brown the ground turkey, and onion until translucent.

3. Drain the grease, if any from the mixture and return it to the pan.

4. Mix in the tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, tsp basil, hot pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and mushrooms to taste and set aside.

5. Mix together mozzarella cheese and de soupified cottage cheese in a separate bowl and set aside.

6. If you want to oil the sides and bottom of your slow cooker, do it now. I didn’t grease mine because I forgot and the food didn’t stick to the sides of the crock. As always your mileage may vary.

7. Layer it. Spoon a layer of the sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.

8. Add a layer of uncooked noodles. Break the noodles into pieces so they fit into the Crock pot if needed (chances are it will be needed.)

9. Spoon a layer of the cheese mixture over the noodle layer. Make sure you cover the noodle layer completely with the cheese layer.

10. Alternate noodle layer, sauce layer, and noodle cheese layer until you’ve reached the top of the slow cooker. Important: Start with a sauce layer and make sure you end with a sauce layer.

11. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

12. Cook on warm/low for 8 hours.

Sit down to dinner and eat!

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This post is revised from my original post Crock Pot Slow Cooker Lasagna I wrote on my Green living and DIY blog Condo Blues 4/30/10.



Rebecca Jean said…
I've heard this can be done, but am always skeptical of noodles in the slow cooker. How were they? Non-mushy? I have a total textural issue with mushy things, so I've been leery of trying this.

♥ Rebecca Jean
Midnight Maniac
Rebecca - I used regular lasagna noodles and they came out like regular lasagna noodles. I was really surprised! It came out so well that this is my preferred way to make lasagna now.
Ott, A. said…
Love that you used Turkey in this recipe. Thanks so much for linking up to the Iron Chef Challenge!!!
S to the 5th said…
I just made this for dinner!! Well make it again!
Unknown said…
This is sitting in my crockpot right now. I cooked the meat, tomatoes and mushrooms last night and then prepared the dish this morning. I linked this post to my blog....you can check it out here. http://www.samanthaandersenphotography.com/2012/04/spring-fever-and-menu-plan.html
Thanks for the inspiration.