Saturday, November 6, 2010

Simple is always better!

This week has been challenging for many reasons. Money is always an issue, but this week is much tighter than usual. Extra expenses and poor choices (eating out when I could have cooked at home) cause a girl to get creative! I’ve planned my menu for the week and set it in motion tonight.

I’ve subscribed to E-Mealz to get some meal inspiration and help with grocery planning. Most things look really yummy and the ease of preparation is for sure a plus. I get the Weight Watchers friendly points recipes and menu so I can help cut down on the fat and shed some pounds. The only down side seems to be too much variety! My kids won’t eat a Feta and Walnut Salad for dinner or a can of Progresso Zero point Veggie Soup! I keep printing them out and filing them away hoping I can use them one day or at least glance at them for inspiration.

One meal they had a couple of weeks ago seemed appealing and super easy. I knew my kids would like it, but as the weeks went by and more and more irritations/roadblocks struck our family, I kept putting this meal off. No more! I made it tonight for dinner.

It was a success!! Everyone liked it and I put a star in my recipe binder as a make again meal. I’ll share it with you because it’s so dang easy and very tasty too! Oh and it’s also economical for a family of 6 because the whole meal cost me about $9.00 or $1.50 per person!! You can’t beat that! 


Ravioli bake

32 oz. package of cheese ravioli (you can substitute any flavor filling ravioli you prefer! It would be terrific with cheese and spinach, but my kids won’t eat it! Boo on them!)
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 large can crushed tomatoes
parsley flakes, onion powder, minced garlic, salt, pepper, basil flakes

Pre-heat oven to 350. While oven is pre-heating, bring large pot of water to a boil and cook ravioli according to package directions.

Season can of crushed tomatoes with parsley, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper, and basil flakes. I just eyeballed it and tasted it. Use a little of each and taste. If it needs more, then add more. That’s pretty much how I cook, but feel free to use about 1/2 tsp. to start of each and adjust to your tastes.

Spray 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon some sauce on the bottom of the dish. Arrange drained ravioli on top of sauce. Sprinkle about a cup of cheese over the ravioli and then grated parmesan cheese. Again, eyeball it. Add more cheese if you like it really cheesy! Then repeat with sauce, and the rest of the ravioli. Top with last layer of cheeses and cover with foil.

Bake for 30 min. in oven. After 30 min., take off foil and carefully brown cheese under broiler for about 4 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn.


I took some hot dog buns, opened them up, spread them with softened butter and garlic salt and broiled them until brown in the oven. Don’t judge. They needed to be eaten and the store I went to didn’t have any garlic bread! Being resourceful! It’s a good thing! :o)

Voila! Ravioli Bake and garlic toast! All this for under $10 bucks! And I prefer to make my own tomato sauce because not only is it cheaper, but the bright taste of tomatoes and spices remind me of Italian pasta sauce I had in Italy. I’ll never buy jarred sauce again!

I thought about taking pictures, but I was trying to get it on the table before 7pm and the natives got restless! I hope you try it. It was very tasty and way easier to make than lasagna or even my Lasagna Roll-ups.

Here’s a picture I found the internet. That’s just about what mine looked like! It’s not rocket science! Just comfort food!

ravioli bake Picture courtesy of



Love and cheese filling,
angies sig