If you are like our family, you are still adjusting to getting everyone out the door to school and work on time! I am not the Mom who successfully does the preparing two weeks ahead with the school routine. You know what I am talking about – the lengthy articles that talk about practicing the new bed time, school route, breakfast etc. I always hate for summer vacation to come to an end, maybe even more than my two teens! Just when I get all of us where we need to be, it is time to come home and be the cook, too. 

One of my favorite dinner ideas are the skillet dinners that have the whole meal in one dish, add fresh fruit and a glass of milk, and you are on your way to a healthy end of the day meal! I teach the SNAP Education program in Buffalo County. I reinforce eating healthy on a tight budget and of course, simpler is better. You can find this very recipe and other great budget friendly recipes at the  Nebraska Extension Nutrition Education Program


Skillet Lasagna
Serves 6
Quick, healthy and budget friendly lasagna.
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 1 clove garlic minced or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  4. 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  5. 1 cup water
  6. 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  7. 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  8. 3 cups wide noodles, uncooked
  9. 1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach thawed
  10. 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  11. 2 oz. cheese diced or grated.
  1. 1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Drain and rinse fat.
  2. 2. Add tomato sauce, water, oregano and basil, bring to a boil.
  3. 3. Add noodles and stir. Cover and boil gently for 5 minutes.
  4. 4. Break up the thawed spinach into small pieces. Stir into the skillet mixture, bring to a boil.
  5. 5. Cover and boil gently for 5 more minutes. Stir. Spoon cottage cheese on top. Sprinkle with diced cheese.
  6. 6. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Add water if it is too thick.
  1. If you are using whole grain pasta, you will need a longer cooking time and may need more liquid added when cooking.
  2. Source: Nutrition Education Program Cookbook: The Cook's Helper
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Ranae Aspen

Ranae Aspen lives in the middle of Nebraska in the heartland of America. She shares her home with her husband Dan, and teens Daniel and Leslie. Sunset Acreage is home to fruit trees, chickens, cats and rescue dog Sampson. Ranae is passionate about sustainable living and sharing her life’s journey to help others thrive in this crazy thing called life. She loves writing!  You can connect on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/ranaeaspenwriter/  You can also find her blog all about Sunset living at https://raspen2.wordpress.com/ .