Slow Cooker Bariatric Lasagna

Yes, this is my own recipe.

Slow Cooker Lasagna for Bariatric and Bandsters.

1 zucchini
1 yellow crookneck squash
2 lbs ground beef
1 small chopped onion (about 1/4 cup, maybe more)
1 26-oz jar spaghetti sauce (your choice)
1 8 oz jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 3.5 oz package sliced pepperoni
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Get your crock out and line it with a crock pot liner. Trust me, you don't want to scrape cheese and marinara sauce off the sides. Do this now, before your hands get wet.

Use a mandolin or food processor to slice the zucchini and squash into thin disks. (If you've got a really tight band, you may process on chop instead.) Put it all in a bowl. Stir it all up. Set next to the crock on the right. (Everything after this will be lined up in order, so clear the counter for this if it's not clear already. Reverse and go to the left if you're a south paw, okay?)

Cook the ground beef and onion in a skillet until the meat is no longer pink. Turn off the stove. Drain off the grease. Add the spaghetti, mushrooms, and Italian seasonings. Stir to combine. Lay down a cloth trivet or kitchen towel to protect your kitchen counter and line the skillet after the bowl of veggies. Line everything else up on the counter either in a bowl or in their packages.

Take about 1/3 the veggies and put them in the bottom of the crock. In order, ladle up 1/3 of the sauce, throw in 1/3 of the pepperoni, 1 cup each of the cheeses. Repeat down the line until you've used up all the ingredients, ending with the cheeses making a gorgeous finish on top. (This forms a cheesy crust for extra deliciousness.)

Cover your crock, put it in the slow cooker heating element, turn to Low, and walk away for 6-8 hours. Use a sturdy serving spoon to dig deep and serve up a pasta-less lasagna!

This makes enough to serve four very hungry adults, but you'll want to sneak a container of leftovers for lunch the next day. My vultures never leave me a drop unless I hide my lunch container before announcing dinner is ready.

Optional: You may of course wish to add more ingredients such as bell peppers, sausage, ham chunks, and any other "pizza" toppings your band will allow.

Lena Austin

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