Mini wonton lasagnas – Dinner, bentos, or midnight snacks

What does it mean to find a huge tub of ricotta cheese on clearance for under 3 bucks? Lasagna time, of course!

Knowing that we were limiting dairy, I assumed I would toss these lasagnas straight into the freezer. Instead, I only used a thin layer of ricotta and no other cheese, and they turned out too good to not eat fresh.

Wanna make your own? Just use your favorite lasagna recipe and sub in eggroll or wonton wrappers. As Squirrel Bread says, wontons are the new black, and I use ‘em like crazy around here. For these, I just cut my wrappers in half, layered as usual, and skipped the fuss of precooking noodles or wondering if I cooked the dish long enough to avoid crunchy pasta.

When I originally bought these tins (on major sale, might I add), I thought they’d be great to fix all sorts of mini-this-or-thats in. I assumed I’d cut them in half and be able to toss various dishes into the girls’ lunchboxes.

Instead, I realized they’re roughly 2-cup tins and they’re perfect for building fast bentos right in them. Maybe not the most creative, but it opened up a whole new set of ideas of foods I could bake, toss in the freezer, and have ready in a flash for lunches.

And yes, I snacked on these a few times. Leaving them cold or barely heating them up turned them into easy, hand-held craving-satisfiers. Yum!


Weekend Roundup Blog Hop

Steelhead salmon – 10 bucks, 3+ meals, and a happy cat

I adore the orange and yellow clearance stickers, but I especially love them when they’re plastered across gorgeous pieces of meat.  In this case, it was a large package of steelhead fillets for only $9.26. Seeing that it was originally a $40 selection makes it even sweeter.

I didn’t know exactly what kind of fish steelhead was, but because I thought it was salmon when I first saw the color, we figured it was something similar.

It wasn’t until we were almost to the checkout that I noticed the sticker actually called it catfish.  Um, there’s no way, lol. Weird. Fortunately, Wikipedia confirmed that steelhead is just another name for rainbow trout.

For meal #1, we had large steaks covered in Panko and baked until delicious. We could’ve had smaller steaks atop salads to stretch it farther, but for that kind of price, no need in skimping.

It actually produced two pans’ worth like that, so there was enough for us to have seconds and to have some for lunch the day.

The end pieces that weren’t thick enough for thick steaks, I cut into nuggets, dipped in egg, and battered with Panko.

The Panko crumbs hadn’t stuck quite as well to the steaks as I had hoped, so dipping in egg made sure it wasn’t going to budge. I also mixed in a bit of regular bread crumbs for more even coverage (read: even crispier goodness).

Mmmm, golden brown and crispy. Note, in the last picture you can see there’s two pans of these, too. Between all the, um, “taste testing” and snacking, it’s surprising there was any left, but I still had plenty to stick a whole pile into each of three bento boxes, too.

Bento box - Brown rice with soy sauce, onions, peas; Green beans; Baked steelhead salmon rainbow trout nuggets with panko bread crumbs; grapes in a muffin tin liner; peanut butter crackers with sliced bananas

So what about the cat? If you scroll back up, you can see that there were some large fatty pieces on the fish.

I took those areas, plus a few other scraps, and cut them into itty bitty pieces.

It’s certainly not the most appetizing-looking….

But after an overnight visit with the dehydrator, I had dozens of little homemade cat treats.

Not bad for 9 bucks and some change, eh?

Clearance stickers – Addicted to the yellow and orange

clearance stickers cheap mushrooms lettuce vegetables produce

Yeah, I can’t help but buy them out of stock of clearanced produce. And yes, every bit got used, so I’m not one of those people that can’t resist buying up the goods….and then they rot in the fridge before they get used. Nuh uh, no way. You’ll get to see the results of some of it, too, ’cause with that many mushrooms about to go bad, you better believe I had to mass produce something.