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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Veggie Lasagna

This recipe is a great way to use summer vegetables and to feed picky eaters.  My 18 month old daughter loooooooooves this dish and so does my husband.  I get a box of fresh veggies from our local CSA farm, Angelic Organics and later in the summer I will use our garden veggies. 

I always customize with whatever I have on hand.  Use whatever veggies your family likes and it’ll turn out great.  Best part it's healthy, pretty quick to prepare, and delicious.

The recipe is loosely this:
(all small chop here)
1 med carrot
1 med onion
1 med zucchini
1 med yellow squash
3 Portobello mushrooms
A bunch of fresh spinach and/or arugula (frozen and squeezed dry is fine too) chopped &  seasoned
2 cups tomato sauce (I use jarred sauce or make my own)
3 cups mozzrella
1/2 cup parmegiano-regianno
some butter
olive oil
kosher salt & peppa
garlic, you can add that too. I usually omit because my sauce has lots of garlic flavor and I don’t want to over power the veggies. No rules here – you’re in control my friend.
lasagna noodles - I use the “no boil” noodles made by barilla.(not the healthiest but I always have them on hand and they make the prep time much faster.

Preheat Oven 375F – BTW it’s nice to pickup one of those little thermometers that hang out inside your oven to see what the real temp is. My oven has been lying to me. It takes much longer to preheat than it thinks.

If you are using the traditional lasagna noodles – prep those first.

Sauté the onion in 3 tbls of olive oil until soft, approx 5 mins.
Add carrot, sauté until soft, approx 3 mins.
Add the zucchini and squash and cook maybe another 5 mins until they soften some and marry each other.
Season with salt and pepper approx – ½ tsp each, stir really good and than set aside to cool

Ok I’m kinda nutty, but I sauté the mushrooms separately because I don’t like my veggies to look “muddy”.
In a large skillet, (if you have a small one do two batches so that they can brown properly),  I melt some butter and olive oil, add the mushrooms, lightly salt and sauté for about 5 minutes or so until they smell amazing and are getting golden. Set aside.

Ok so time to layer to dish:

*      Put some sauce on the bottom of the dish and cover with first layer of noodles
*      Place your bed of spinach/arugula and cover with the mushrooms spread evenly throughout.
*      Cover with 2nd layer of noodles
*      Spread your veggie mixture evenly and cover with some sauce
*      Cover with 3rd layer of noodles
*      Spread remainder of sauce and the cheese evenly
*      Dot with butter – I know cheese and butter!! Yes it will become a nice and golden top layer.

Bake for about 20 to 25 mins until top is nicely golden, bubbly and delicious.  Let it sit for 10 – 15 mins before slicing into it so that it sets.

Enjoy and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

Bottle Cap Art Project on the horizon

So for the past 6 months, I've been saving these pretty cool beer bottle caps from Three Floyds Beer. http://www.3floyds.com/

By the way, it is the best beer that I have ever drank. Produced by a small microbrewery in Munster, Indiana. Try the Zombie Dust or Gumball Head, if you can. They use very cool graphics on their labels and caps which makes it even more enjoyable!

We don't really drink a lot so I don't have a ton yet, but I've been saving them for a rainy day project. I am still thinking about what to do with them.  Am leaning toward a cool art piece to place on my kitchen shelf or maybe something bar related.

I kinda have a vision of bottle openers all different types and the caps in the background. I'm just starting to get some ideas in my head and maybe I've do some web surfing today and see what inspires me.

I have this habit of saving scraps, stones, drift wood, and other random object with the intention of one day using them for something cool.

I think that i will have to save many more before I can begin the project but I will def post my ideas as they come.