GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn — From easy treats to family meal one-sheets, it’s time to start thinking about your Back-to-School food line-up. 

Tastefully Simple culinary expert, Laura Lenarz, stopped by the station to demo some creative solutions that are simple, fun, healthy and full of flavor.

Ideas include after school fresh and crisp Veggie Dippers and a family fall favorite dinner like a one-skillet lasagna. 

MAMA MIA LASAGNA

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1½ teaspoons Garlic Seasoning
  • 3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1½-2 tablespoons Mama Mia Marinara Sauce Mix
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Process

  1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook and crumble ground beef and Garlic Seasoning until no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes; drain of liquid.
  2. Add next 4 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and serve when cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings.

Serve with garlic or cheesy bread sticks.

Make Ahead & Freeze: Place first 2 ingredients in a quart freezer bag. Place tomato sauce and Mama Mia Marinara Sauce Mix in a quart freezer bag. Place cheese in a quart freezer bag. Place all bags in a gallon freezer bag. Seal well, label and freeze. Thaw completely. Continue with step 1. 

VEGGIE DIPPERS

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Spinach & Herb Seasoning 
  • 1½ teaspoons Garlic Garlic Seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt 
  • 12 small decorative disposable cups
  • Veggie sticks such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, jicama

Process

  1. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, Spinach & Herb Seasoning, Garlic Seasoning and Seasoned Salt. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.
  2. Divide dip among disposable cups. Fill with veggie sticks.

Makes 12 servings.

Make Ahead: Prepare through step 1 up to 1 day ahead and refrigerate, covered.

RELATED: Local chef revitalizes indigenous foods across U.S. and Mexico

RELATED: Minnesota is on the menu at Farmers Union Coffee Shop

RELATED: How to cook with crickets