For years I’ve been cooking for one. Ok fine, depending on relationship status, sometimes two. But still, there are not many things I like to cook that don’t come with a good amount of leftovers. I also am a self-proclaimed hater of leftovers, I don’t know why really. I think my main argument against leftovers is that I’m not really tempted by eating or reheating food I just had within the last 24 hours. It’s a good thing I have an office full of people who like and want to eat my food; it doesn’t make me feel as wasteful. I can only think of a few leftover foods I will eat; thanksgiving dinner- no brainer, cold pizza always, steak, heavy on the A1 in a baguette, and lasagna. These dishes get even better with a night in the ice box, I think.
In an effort to waste less, spend less and eat healthier, I tried to think up a few new ways to cook more individualized meals. You see, now that I am back on my 7am to 7pm schedule, the absolute last thing I want to do when I finally get home at 7:30pm is continue to cook dinner for myself, so I must start to get along with leftovers.
My inspiration actually came from baking cupcakes a few weekends ago. I started thinking about savory cupcake dishes, there’s gotta be more to this 12 slot pan than just baked goods? [Lightbulb], Lasagna! With a few swipes on my iPad, I quickly discovered that this was not a new idea, shocker… Apparently it was quite popular to make individual lasagna’s in a cupcake tin. Nonetheless, this great idea, whomever’s it was, would still be a fun project to take on, and fulfill my purpose of cooking on a smaller scale, eating well, and saving me time and energy.
By no means is this a culinary breakthrough, or what I am being taught in school, this is a simple, new package design, on an American favorite. I am cooking and tasting so extravagantly in school most of the time that offal, veal, or fish are not what I want when I am hungry at the end of the day, nor would most.
After gathering some pointers from others who have done this, I decided to take a stab at it with ingredients I like in my lasagna.
- 1 package of Gyoza Wrappers. (used for dumplings and usually found in the Asian/ refrigerated section, ahh yes, the reason for the wacky title!)
- 1 jar of pasta sauce- whatever you like best
- 6 oz Ricotta cheese
- 10 oz Mozzarella cheese
- 6 oz Italian sausage, browned.
- 6oz ground beef, browned.
- As needed, Basil, chiffonade. (thin strips) I added this to my sauce.
- Zucchini (careful of water content, I would take out the middle seeded part and cube)
- Turkey or turkey sausage
- Roasted tomatoes
- White sauce, rather than a red pasta sauce
- Bacon, cause why not!
Okay, are you ready for how easy this is going to be?…
- Preheat oven to 350* F
- Spray unlined cupcake tin with cooking spray.
- Put your first layer of gyoza wrappers down
- Add a small dollop of sauce, sprinkle in a tablespoon of browned meat, add a pinch of cheese, a tablespoon of ricotta and seal down with another gyoza wrapper.
- Top with cheese
- Bake for 20 minutes or until browned slightly.
- Cool for a few minutes and pop out
Obviously you can make variations of this dish based on what you like, but the idea here is to have a wholesome, quick meal, perfectly proportion, and easily totable for great tasting leftovers. They were actually better the next day, as most Lasagna usually is!
Thanks for reading and I hope you try it out!