Friday, September 12, 2008

Frugal Fridays - Zucchini Lasagna

Recap: Frugal Fridays is a blogging event where you prepare a cheap meal - serves 4 for under $10 - and you post about it sometime between Thursday evening and Saturday morning. I've been a Frugal Fridays slacker lately - I've still been preparing frugal meals on Fridays (and every day!), but I haven't been posting them. They were a little too plain, I felt, to be submitted to a blogging event.

This is a plain dish. I decided to post it anyway. Sometimes you just have to have plain dishes when you're on a tight budget. But plain can still be delicious.

This was a really frugal meal - one of those throw-together-whatever-you've-got sort of meals. I had a zucchini in the fridge. I had some homemade spaghetti sauce (made from blending together canned tomatoes, onion, and seasonings). I had some pepperoni. I had some shredded cheese. So I layered them all in a little pan and cooked it up!

Price of ingredients:
Zucchini - this came free from Mom's garden.
Spaghetti sauce - since I made it a few days ago, I don't recall what all went in it. I'll say it cost about $1.
Pepperoni - I only used about 10 slices; it was leftover from making pizza last week. We'll say $0.50.
Shredded cheese - Shhh, this was actually fake cheese, or "alternative shred," because we discovered that it was much cheaper than buying real cheese. It cost $4.25 for 2 lbs, and I used about 2/3 cup. So that cost me about $0.70.

Total - about $2.20. Woot!

The recipe wouldn't feed 4 hungry people, though. It was just me and the little ones and we pretty much finished it off. To feed 4, double it. Even doing that, it would cost under $5.

Zucchini Lasagna
1 large zucchini
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
10-15 slices pepperoni
2/3 cup shredded cheese

Slice zucchini at an angle to make those fancy-looking long slices. Spray 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Layer half the zucchini slices, half the sauce, all the pepperoni, and half the cheese. Then layer the remaining zucchini, sauce, and cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

The zucchini slices were still a little crisp, and they were so tasty! The flavors went together better than I expected for such a simple, modest, inexpensive, thrown-together dish. Anyway, it cleaned out some leftovers in the fridge. :-)

Thomas (1 yr old) loved this, as long as I cut the zucchini pieces up really small. He kept wanting more. Zaylee (3 yr old) was less convinced. She had several bites, but decided she was done long before her bowl was empty. I ate two servings.


Jacque said...

That looks SO good, much better than what I had tonight, lol. Neat idea!

Anonymous said...

Less than $5?! You TOTALLY have me beat =)


Unknown said...

great idea... maybe I'll try this with eggplant... thanks for sharing... :)

PG CakeCraft said...

Hi, just visited ur wonderful blog.
ur zucchini lasagna looks delicious. will definitely give it a try. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Always looking for zucchini recipes because our garden is abundant during season. This one is a definite keeper. Thanks.

Rebekah said...

I'm all over this one!! I can't wait to try it!!

Angela said...

I love this idea for zucchini, or courgettes as we call them. Because Isabella commented on my site as on yours I was able to discover your great blog!

Colleen said...

fake cheese? how does it taste? can you tell the difference?

Stephanie said...

Fake cheese does taste different. It tastes, well, fake. But it didn't really taste bad. I think it's the kind of flavor you could get used to if you had to, kind of like powdered milk. It works better in things with strong contrasting flavors, like the spaghetti sauce in this dish. In foods where it's important that the cheese taste like cheese, I would definitely stick with real cheese. I wouldn't put fake cheese on pizza, for instance, because you really expect the cheese to taste a certain way. Anyway, on the whole, though it tastes different, it's okay. We'll probably buy it again.