Stovetop lasagna

Stovetop turkey lasagna | Me & The Moose. This one-pot meal is the fastest, easiest route to cheesy pasta that will comfort anyone in these cold, dark months. #meandthemoose #lasagna #stovetoplasagna #onepotmeals #easydinner #dinnerrecipes #dinner #onepotdinner #stovetop #cheese

Listen, chatty Kathy, take me to the recipe

It’s so cold. And so dreary. And so dark. All I want to do is hibernate under a giant blanket and eat cheesy pasta. You?

But, I also feel really low energy. Like, I don’t have the wherewithal for a complicated, multi-step, multi-method recipe. So, I reconcile these incompatible ideas with stovetop lasagna. Cook the noodles in a jarred sauce, top with cheese, and serve. Seriously, so so easy and so so good.

Stovetop turkey lasagna | Me & The Moose. This one-pot meal is the fastest, easiest route to cheesy pasta that will comfort anyone in these cold, dark months. #meandthemoose #lasagna #stovetoplasagna #onepotmeals #easydinner #dinnerrecipes #dinner #onepotdinner #stovetop #cheese
Stovetop turkey lasagna | Me & The Moose. This one-pot meal is the fastest, easiest route to cheesy pasta that will comfort anyone in these cold, dark months. #meandthemoose #lasagna #stovetoplasagna #onepotmeals #easydinner #dinnerrecipes #dinner #onepotdinner #stovetop #cheese

A few notes:

  • I added turkey to this dish to increase the protein, but feel free to leave it out to make it vegetarian.

  • There’s pesto in the ingredients photo because adding some dollops of pesto in this dish is fab. But I bought a mass-market brand pesto that was, in a word, inedible. So, I wanted to add it to the photo, but we actually eat the food I photograph and I could NOT stomach this sauce. Use one you’ve had before and liked, one you’ve made, or skip it.

  • When you start the noodle cooking, make sure the noodles aren’t touching (see the photo above). They’ll start touching through the cooking process and you’ll stir to keep them from sticking together, but I’ve found that as long as you start off with the noodles not touching, they’re easy to separate later on.

  • It might seem like a lot of liquid, but the noodles soak up a lot of it and you still want the sauce to be saucy.

Stovetop turkey lasagna | Me & The Moose. This one-pot meal is the fastest, easiest route to cheesy pasta that will comfort anyone in these cold, dark months. #meandthemoose #lasagna #stovetoplasagna #onepotmeals #easydinner #dinnerrecipes #dinner #onepotdinner #stovetop #cheese

Stovetop lasagna

1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
1 small onion, minced
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground turkey
3 cups tomato sauce (about a 32 oz jar of sauce)
2 cup stock (turkey, chicken, or vegetable), divided  
13 regular or no-boil lasagna noodles (half of a box, uncooked, broken in half)
Mozzarella balls

In a large cast iron pan (with a lid) or Dutch oven, saute the onions on medium heat until translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute, until fragrant.

Add the turkey and cook, breaking up any large chunks, until no pink remains, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce and broth and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high to start heating the sauce.

Break the uncooked noodles roughly into halves or thirds (don’t mind the noodle shrapnel that will ensue; just toss it all in the pot) and tuck them into the sauce, making sure they don’t touch each other. (You want them to be perpendicular to how you would normally layer the noodles in lasagna.)

Turn the heat to medium high and cover your pot and cook the lasagna for five minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium or medium low and stir the noodles around (it’s okay if they touch now), cover, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Uncover and stir the noodles and separate any that have begun to stick together. If the sauce looks like it’s cooking down too much, add more stock ¼ cup at a time.

Cook, uncovered, for 3-5 more minutes. Stir the noodles and sauce frequently to ensure that nothing is sticking or cooking too fast. Add more stock as needed. Cook until the noodles are al dente and just about done.

Add the cheese, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes until the cheese melts.

Yield: 6 large bowls

Stovetop turkey lasagna | Me & The Moose. This one-pot meal is the fastest, easiest route to cheesy pasta that will comfort anyone in these cold, dark months. #meandthemoose #lasagna #stovetoplasagna #onepotmeals #easydinner #dinnerrecipes #dinner #onepotdinner #stovetop #cheese
Stovetop turkey lasagna | Me & The Moose. This one-pot meal is the fastest, easiest route to cheesy pasta that will comfort anyone in these cold, dark months. #meandthemoose #lasagna #stovetoplasagna #onepotmeals #easydinner #dinnerrecipes #dinner #onepotdinner #stovetop #cheese

French onion steak skillet

French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes
French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, folks. This is a holiday that I don’t particularly enjoy. If you’re not in a relationship or in one that’s complicated, it can feel like a giant middle finger. If you are in a relationship, it can be stressful and/or tedious to have a mandated celebration of your love. AND EXPENSIVE, AMIRIGHT? There’s definitely surge pricing for restaurants and babysitters. Bleh. I hate it.

So instead, we’ll put the kiddo to bed early, open a bottle of wine, and make this easy French Onion Steak Skillet that requires VERY little work and even less cleanup.

But even on non-holiday nights, if your kids like French Onion Soup or steak, they’ll dig in. No need to save this for a special, adults-only meal.

Also, I think I’ve finally cracked the code for getting GENUINELY caramelized onions (not fried, frizzled, or straight-up burned) in about 20 minutes. I know, I know. Most recipes claim that it takes 20 minutes when it actually takes an hour or more to get that deep uniform jammy brownness. Behold this before and after:

French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes
French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes

After a deep dive through Youtube videos and Cook’s Illustrated articles, I’ve achieved great results much faster than usual. Here are a few secrets to speeding up this otherwise slow process:

  1. Use a large pan with a tight fitting lid. You’ll melt butter and olive oil together and then cook the onions for 3 minutes at a time with the pan covered.

  2. Use medium high heat the whole time. You want the onions to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan just a little bit. If they stick too much and/or blacken rather than brown, turn the heat down slightly. If the onions aren’t sticking to the bottom, turn the heat up.

  3. Add water or stock every 3 minutes and scrape the browned bits off of the bottom and mix them into the onions while they’re cooking.

  4. Repeat the process: Cook 3 minutes over high heat/ add liquid/ scrape the browned bits/ cover and cook for 3 more minutes. After about 15-20 minutes, the onions will be done!

  5. Add 1/8 tsp baking powder at the very end to make the onions sweeter. You can’t add it at the beginning or the onions will break down too much, but adding it at the end lends just the right amount of jamminess.

French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes

French onion steak skillet

4 large onions, sliced in ¼ inch slices  
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter, divided
5 large sprigs of thyme
2½ cups beef stock
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 lb skirt steak, strip steak, flank steak, or tri-tip steak (basically any moderately thin steak) Salt and pepper to taste
½ large baguette, sliced
1 clove garlic, halved
3 oz gruyere cheese, thinly sliced or grated
Flaky sea salt

For the onions:
In a large, ovenproof skillet or pot with a tight fitting lid, heat the olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter over a medium high flame. Add the onions and thyme, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. If the onions start to burn, turn the heat down slightly (but try to maintain a high heat). After 3 minutes, remove the cover, add ¼ cup of stock, and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and mix the onions around. Re-cover and cook for another 3 minutes, and then repeat the stock/scrape/mix process. Repeat this 3-minute process until the onions are uniformly soft and brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and mix in ¼ tsp kosher salt and 1/8 tsp of baking soda. Remove the onions to a separate plate and wipe out the pot.

For the skillet:
Whole the onions are cooking, slice the bread and toast lightly in the toaster. Rub the raw garlic over one side of the bread. Shred the gruyere. Set aside.

When the onions are done and removed to another container, heat the broiler to high.

Melt the other 2 Tbsp of butter in your wiped-out skillet over high heat. Sear the steak for about 3-4 minutes per side. While the steak is seering on one side, season with salt and pepper. Repeat when you flip to the other side.

Turn off the heat and add the cooked onions back to the pan.

Pour 3-4 Tbsp of stock over the onions in the pan. Nestle the slices of bread in the onions around the steak and top with cheese.

Place the entire pan under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Slice the steak to test doneness. Sprinkle with more flaky sea salt and fresh thyme sprigs.

 

Yield: 2 grown up and 2 kid servings

French Onion Steak Skillet | Me & The Moose. This one-pan meal is decadent enough for a special occasion, but quick and easy enough for a weeknight. #frenchonion #steak #valentinesdayrecipes #dinner #onepanmeal #quickrecipes #datenightrecipes

Polenta, turkey, and kale casserole

Polenta, turkey, and kale casserole | Me & The Moose. This casserole requires one oven-safe pan, a few simple ingredients, and is an easy, fast, healthy, and delicious meal for any busy night. #meandthemoose #kalerecipes #polentarecipes #kalepesto #dinnerrecipes #onepotcooking #fastdinnerrecipes #casseroles

I don’t know if the abundance of sugar, salt, and fat change my tastebuds during the holidays, but I always struggle to live by the 80/20 rule in December. I indulge with the eating and drinking and then swear I’m going to be healthy the next day, but the healthy stuff never feels all that satisfying or tastes all that good. So I end up like a moth to a flame with the treats.

But you know what? I don’t have to toggle between bland salads and a dozen cookies. This polenta casserole may just be the middle ground: It’s still delicious and a little indulgent with a garlicky pesto and plenty of cheese on top, but it also features kale and ground turkey breast and is the perfect vehicle for any of those leftover veggies in your fridge that are about to go bad. Throw them in and see what happens!

I used my own kale pesto recipe, but cut down on the oil and nuts. But for ease, feel free to use any store-bought pesto that you can find. And to up the nutrition, add any veggies you have in your fridge. You may need to add a bit more pesto to cover the extra ingredients.

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Polenta, turkey, and kale casserole | Me & The Moose. This casserole requires one oven-safe pan, a few simple ingredients, and is an easy, fast, healthy, and delicious meal for any busy night. #meandthemoose #kalerecipes #polentarecipes #kalepesto #dinnerrecipes #onepotcooking #fastdinnerrecipes #casseroles
Polenta, turkey, and kale casserole | Me & The Moose. This casserole requires one oven-safe pan, a few simple ingredients, and is an easy, fast, healthy, and delicious meal for any busy night. #meandthemoose #kalerecipes #polentarecipes #kalepesto #dinnerrecipes #onepotcooking #fastdinnerrecipes #casseroles

Polenta casserole

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lb ground turkey
Large pinch of salt
¾-1 cup kale pesto (recipe below)
1 log premade polenta
½ cup mozzarella, shredded
½ cup hard gouda (not the softer, smoked variety), shredded
¼ cup grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 425.

In a large oven-safe sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium flame. Turn the heat to medium-low and sauté the ground turkey until no pink remains and it has just begun to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Season with a large pinch of salt.

Turn off the heat and stir in the kale pesto.

Slice the polenta log into 1/4 –inch pieces and layer over the turkey and pesto.

Top with cheese and cook in the oven for 13-15 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbling.  

Yield: 4 servings

Kale pesto

4 cups packed chopped kale
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp olive oil

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and fill another large bowl with ice water. Wash and chop kale, leaving the middle stems.

When water is at a rolling boil, add the kale and swirl with a slotted spoon a few times. After 1-2 minutes, remove it from the boiling water and add it to the bowl of ice water. Drain the kale (gently squeeze out the water) and add to your blender or food processor.

Roast the walnuts in a 350 oven or toaster oven for about 5 minutes or until just lightly browned and starting to smell nutty. You can also toast them in a sauté pan on the stove top. When browned, add them to the blender or food processor as well.

Add the garlic, salt, and lemon juice and start to blend, slowly adding the olive oil in a thin stream. If using a small food processor or a blender without a top that opens, just add the oil with the rest of the ingredients and process together. Blend until you've reached your desired consistency.

Yield: about 1 cup

Polenta, turkey, and kale casserole | Me & The Moose. This casserole requires one oven-safe pan, a few simple ingredients, and is an easy, fast, healthy, and delicious meal for any busy night. #meandthemoose #kalerecipes #polentarecipes #kalepesto #dinnerrecipes #onepotcooking #fastdinnerrecipes #casseroles

Sweet potato muffins

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Thanksgiving is here! I love this holiday and the season that follows, but there are definite downsides. I’ve talked about keeping expectations in check with kids and holidays. And while it’s exciting and fun that there’s always something going on: Making cookies, making gifts, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, listening to music, decorating, holiday events, holiday parties, holiday-themed school things, concerts, visiting relatives, etc, it can be…a lot. And for a little one like mine who’s always searching for his equilibrium, it can be.. A WHOLE LOT.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

So, let’s not add even more by completely abandoning our commitment to balanced eating, mkay?

These sweet potato muffins are a fantastic “sweet” to have around. They feel festive and would certainly make a fitting Thanksgiving breakfast to watch in front of the parade or DOG SHOW (!!!!!!!), but are just sweet enough thanks to the applesauce, a few Tbsp of brown sugar divided between the batter and the muffin tops, a handful of golden raisins, and sweet potatoes.

And did I mention that they only require one bowl? You’ll have enough dishes this week.

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A couple of notes:
- Chop the sweet potatoes into 1/3-1/2 inch chunks. Any bigger and they may not soften enough during baking, but if you shred them, they disappear and make the batter a bit too wet.
- This is a thick batter, almost dough-like in consistency. Don’t worry. It always puffs up well in the oven and results in an airy, light muffin.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Sweet potato muffins

4 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, partially melted
½ cup applesauce
1 egg 
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided  
3/4 cup yogurt 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup wheat flour 
1 cup white flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt 
1 medium sweet potato, cut into tiny squares (about 1.5 cups)
¼ cup golden raisins

Move your oven rack to the bottom or lower middle portion of the oven. Preheat to 375.

In a large bowl, partially melt the butter or coconut oil. Microwave it for a few seconds until it just begins to liquify, but is still partially solid.

Mix in the applesauce, egg, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined and no streaks of flour remain.

Add the chopped sweet potatoes and raisins and stir again to combine.

Spoon the batter into the cups of a muffin tin, filling about 3/4 of the way. Top each muffin with a large pinch or two of brown sugar.

Bake for 18-22 minutes until firm to the touch and a tester in the middle comes out clean. Check after 12-15 minutes and cover if the sugar browns too fast.

Sweet potato muffins | Me & The Moose. These one-bowl, whole grain muffins sneak in some vegetables at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. #sweetpotatomuffins #meandthemoose #sweet potatorecipes #thanksgiving #healthybaking

Sheet pan dinner: Miso fish with edamame and corn succotash

Miso fish with edamame and corn succotash is maybe the easiest, fastest, heathiest, and cleanest meal I know how to make.

This might actually be the fastest dinner I know how to make. These are white fish steaks, but if you go for flatter, thinner fillets, it's even quicker! Either way, this dish is certainly faster than ordering bad-for-you takeout.

And this week, we definitely needed some easy, healthy dinners to help avoid the end-of-day, burned-out, bad decisions that sometimes happen at dinner time. I've been home with a super sick kid for the past few days and after just two weeks of M being in preschool, I forgot how exhausting it is to take care of a small person all day.

Miso marinade is a simple mixture of garlic, ginger, sesame oil, neutral oil, and rice vinegar. Whizzing the whole mess in a food processor means that you don’t have to chop anything.

What I love about this dish is that it tastes kind of subtle. It's tangy and salty and certainly flavorful enough for the adults and older kids, but mild enough for the younger set if they don't love strong flavors.

Miso, ginger, garlic, oil, sesame, and vinegar make for a tangy, sweet, flavorful marinate that perks up the bland white fish.

The sauce really makes this dish. It requires miso paste, which you might not have on hand, but is super easy to find at the grocery store or Japanese specialty store. If needs must, you can order it on amazon. I used a red miso paste, but red or white would work fine in this recipe.

Add some butter mid-way through cooking this sheetpan dinner for some added richness.

Because miso tends to be really salty, I don't add any extra sodium to this dish, but feel free to add a pinch at the end if that suits your taste.

Sheet pan dinner: white fish with miso, edamame, and corn succotash

Miso fish with edamame and corn succotash

For the sauce:
4 Tbsp miso
2 large garlic cloves
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 Tbsp avocado or other neutral oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/8- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1½-1¾ lb white fish (about 4-5 medium steaks)
2 cups frozen edamame (shelled)
1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels
1 Tbsp salted butter, cubed

For serving:
2-3 large scallions, sliced
2-3 large zucchini, spiralized into noodles –or-
1 package of soba noodles, cooked according to directions –or-
4-5 cups brown rice, cooked according to directions

Preheat oven to 375. Make your sauce by placing all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitzing until the sauce resembles chunky peanut butter. Set aside.

Scatter the frozen edamame and corn over the sheet pan. Place your fish on top of the veggies and spread a scant tablespoon of the sauce over each filet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the fish starts to flake fairly easily with a fork. 

Remove the pan and scatter small cubes of butter around the veggies. Return to the heat and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and top with sliced scallions.

Mix half of the leftover sauce with your zoodles, noodles, or rice and then add more to taste. Top each serving of zoodles, noodles, or rice with one fish filet and a portion of the veggies.

Yield: 4-5 servings, depending on how many fish steaks you use.

Eat this roasted fish with edamame and corn over zucchini noodles or soba noodles.
Sheet pan dinner: Miso fish with edamame and corn. Quick, easy, healthy, and delicious.