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Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Zucchini Noodle" Lasagna

      Oh, the wonders of Pinterest.  I saw this idea a few weeks ago and have been itching to try it. The recipe below is my own ethical, vegetarian take on it.

1 medium onion
2 cups diced mushrooms
2 cups cooked chopped spinach (you could also thaw frozen for this)
1 cup chopped asparagus (or veggie of your choice)
15 oz hydrated beans (or 1 can if you're not worried about BPA)
3 medium zucchinis
1 can diced tomatoes or the equivalent fresh/home canned
Seasonings to taste (garlic, oregano, pepper)
Optional : HUMANE cheese (something local, or Cabot or Organic Valley - do your research!)
Optional: HUMANE greek yogurt (Again maybe Cabot or Oikos)<
Optional: Seasoned breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400

      As usual, all measurements are approximate and can be adjusted to taste.  Chop up you onion and put it in a large pot, NOT over heat (you want it to have at least 5 minutes off heat for max nutrition; the same applies if you're using fresh garlic and for most fresh herbs).
      Next dice the mushrooms and throw them in.

       Add the spinach, asparagus, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Simmer until juices are released and everything blends.  While this is happening, slice the zucchini into thin, lengthwise strips. I love my mandolin for jobs like this.
      Once the filling is ready, add a couple healthy dallops of the yogurt.   Stir in and allow to heat for a couple minutes. 
       Cover the bottom of your lasagna dish with a thin layer of the fulling mix.  Layer on the zucchini slices as you would lasagna noodles.  Add another layer of the filling, and another layer of zucchini.  Top with the last of the filling.  Cover with shredded cheese, or, for a vegan option, leave out the yogurt and substitute seasoned breadcrumbs for the cheese.

       Bake 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy!  Let me know if you try it.  This recipe is a lot healthier and faster than traditional lasagna, and by leaving the yogurt out and swapping breadcrumbs for the cheese, it becomes vegan and dairy free. 

       Anyone have any suggestions for making it gluten free?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Black Bean Burgers with Veggies

       Tonight, I made the delicious Black Bean Burgers from Happy Herbivore.  The are fast, easy, and have very few ingredients.  I added onions and garlic to the recipe.

       On the side, we had some of the most beautiful swiss chard I've ever seen.  I just wilted in gently by sauteeing it with a touch of garlic.  It is from one of our two favorite farms at the Farmer's Market - organic, local, and totally sustainable. This one is a very small family farm.  And swiss chard is packed with nutrients.  I always feel great after eating swiss chard.  The camera on my phone doesn't begin to capture the vibrant colors of this chard.

       For our green bean casserole, we use vegan cream of mushroom and local, organic beans.  I recommend Amy's brand for the cream of mushroom.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Veggie Stuffed Flax Bread

      Delicious, veggie filled, and fancy looking; this dinner centerpiece is easier than it looks.

       I took the easy way out and bought the bread.  Buy (or make) the biggest, roundest loaf you can find. 

Filling ingredients:
- zucchini
- squash
- onion
- shitake mushrooms
- turnip
- red bell pepper
- basil pesto
- rosemary, pepper, garlic

      I can't give specific amounts because it depends on the size bread loaf you have.  I used one of everything and about 2/3 cup of diced mushrooms.

      Dice the onion and let it sit.

      Slice the zucchini, squash, red pepper, and turnip lengthwise into wide slices.  Lay the slices out on lightly oiled cookie sheets, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, garlic, and pepper.  The red pepper should be skin side up.

       Broil on high until it starts to brown.  In the meantime, dice the mushrooms and sautee them with the onions until the onions start to become translucent.  Cut the top off the bread and hollow our the loaf.  Save that bread to make my delicious homemade rosemary stuffing later!  Spread the inside of the loaf, including the top, with pesto.

      Once all the veggies are broiled and the mushrooms and onions sauteed, you just layer everything into the bread (with tongs! Don't burn yourself!).  Once the bread is stuffed with veggies, put the top back on and bake at 350 for just a few minutes, you don't want the bread to get to hard.

       Slice with a sharp knife to show off your creation!