My favorite time of day – although at times chaotic – is Sunday afternoon as I am cooking for the rest of the week. During the summer, the family is out of the house, enjoying the beach, the great outdoors, and of course, when my husband can tolerate the weekly request – THE SHACK! I love the outdoor eating, the bikers sitting amongst the throngs of families, the concept of enjoying a leisurely dinner outdoors without having to worry about my kids being messy, loud or cranky… that of course is another blog for the summer…
This Sunday was a productive one. After running my produce shopping errands for the week, I quickly thought out a menu for the rest of the week. I pulled together ingredients for the following dishes:
Roasted butternut squash
Stuffed organic (homegrown!) peppers with turkey
Red lentil and vegetable soup
I figured my older daughter could help me prepare this dish. Ingredients:
Box of Trader Joe’s no cook lasagne noodles
1 Tub (15 ozs) Trader Joe’s Fresh Ricotta Cheese
1 ball Trader Joe’s Mozzarella (not sure the size, but it was a whole package)
1 Jar of Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato and Basil marinara sauce
1 lbs ground organic turkey
2 organic eggs
Bag of organic baby spinach
Beet greens from 5 small beets – I’d say a handful of beet greens which I then cut into 2 inch long pieces
I browned the turkey in olive oil, and once browned, added the jar of marinara to the turkey, and set it on low heat to simmer.
I grated the Mozzarella cheese, saving half, and adding to the other half, the Ricotta cheese and 2 beaten eggs. Mixed this together well, and added Italian seasoning (about a palmful). Once the cheeses were well incorporated, I set this aside.
Into a Pyrex baking pan (I’ll have to get the dimensions, but it’s what I consider the perfect lasagne dish, and they call it the 11 cup storage rectangle ) I ladled some of the tomato-turkey mixture. I then lay two lasagne sheets directly onto the sauce. I then added two tablespoons of the ricotta mixture, and spread across the lasagne noodles. I then added a handful of beet greens and spinach, and then covered again with about a handful-and-half of grated mozzarella. I then added another ladel full of the tomato mixture, and added another lasagne noodle layer. Essentially, the ricotta served as the cement or grout, and the veggies and lasagne noodles serving as the tile or brick. I had about five layers until I filled the dish, and I made sure the top layer was tomato, covered with greens, and then mozzarella. I’ve been hanging around my husband and his projects too often if I’m relating to home improvement via cooking…
Anyway – I put this into an over pre-heated to 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the top was lightly browned, and the lasagne was bubbly. I took out, and allowed it to rest. Served with a green salad consisting of chopped romaine, celery, mushrooms and cucumbers.
I actually had enough to make a mini-lasagne in a 3 cup container.
My daughter helped me by being the official “ricotta dispenser” and veggie scatter-er. I loved seeing her involved, and telling her father, “Papa! Come see my lasagne I made!”
More recipes to follow…