Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Favorite Lasagna I've Eaten!

This is sooooo delicious! I combined several recipes I've made before and my personal tweaks and took ideas from other recipes -- it turned out fantastic! We'll definitely be eating this one again very soon!

Vegetable Lasagna

1 T olive oil 
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1/2 med eggplant, cut off skin and chopped
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
6 oz roasted red peppers from a jar, chopped -- don't omit! It adds a great flavor.

5 tomatoes 
4 stems fresh oregano (2-3 T)
1 stem fresh rosemary (1-2 T)
1/3 c fresh basil loosely packed 
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon

16 oz skim milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 c parmesean cheese, grated (save some for topping)
6 oz fresh mozerella, chopped into small pieces (save some for topping) 

Whole wheat lasagna noodles

1 jar newman's own tomato basil sauce or whichever is your favorite -- or omit -- we like it saucy!
10 oz baby spinach, rinsed

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, and strain off water. 

Combine the first grouping of ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly softened. 

Combine the second grouping of ingredients in a cuisinart and pulse until fairly smooth. 

Combine third grouping of ingredients in a separate bowl. 

Layer all ingredients in the lasagna pan, alternating vegetables, noodles, cheese, cooked vegetable mix, spinach, and tomato basil sauce four times. On the last layer, omit the spinach and top with reserved mozzarella and parmesan. 

Cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes covered with foil. Remove foil and cook for 10 more minutes. Broil until cheese is golden brown (about 15 more minutes in our case). 

Vermont Maple Blueberry Salad -- Zupas Copycat

This is one of our family's favorite salads and the one I always ask for when I go to Zupa's (one of our favorite date night places). No Zupa's here in CA so sometimes we eat the copycat recipe. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Our Family's Favorite Asian Stir Fry and Millet Fried Rice

I make this recipe and then we eat on it for a couple of days. Its a lot of work, but really delicious and healthy. To make the second dinner more exciting, we sometimes serve with potstickers from the store :) This is one of our all-time favorite meals

Millet fried rice is similar to Heidi Swanson's recipe in Supernatural Everyday Cooking and can be found online here:

1 1/2 c millet
3 c water

2 carrots

2 eggs, beaten with a fork

4 oz (1/2 package) frozen peas

1 T toasted sesame oil
3/4 in piece fresh ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic
2 T nama shoyu sauce (gluten free tamari sauce) or liquid aminos or potsticker sauce

2 c sliced green onion

Combine millet and water in large pan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook 20-25 minutes.

Use a vegetable grater to cut carrots into matchsticks (or use knife).

Combine the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and nama shoyu in a small cuisinart or blender and blend until smooth (if you don't have a cuisinart or blender,  slice the ginger and garlic very thinly and add all sauce ingredients straight into the pan).

Scramble the eggs over medium-high heat, then combine the carrots and peas and millet in the pan. Add sauce and green onions and serve!

Favorite Asian Stir Fry with Delicious Garlic Ginger Sauce

1 yellow onion
2 small or 1 medium eggplant
1-2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
1/2 c green beans, cut into 2 inch length pieces
2-3 heads broccoli
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
can of bamboo shoots or water chestnuts
3 small zucchini
3 baby bok choy (or use 1/2 a large head of bok choy)

3 T fresh ground creamy peanut butter (no sugar or salt added)
2 1/2 T Rice Wine Vinegar
3 T Nama Shoyu (gluten free tamari) or Liquid Aminos
1 T Brown Sugar
4 cloves garlic, cut into thirds
1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped into pieces
2 T Dr. Fuhrman's Vegizest (no salt seasoning) -- omit if you don't have it
1 tsp cornstarch
*If you want a kick, you can add cayenne pepper

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
2 T chopped raw cashews

Put all sauce ingredients in cuisinart and blend until smooth.

Combine all vegetable ingredients except for baby bok choy in a large pot (or wok) with 1/2 c water or just enough so it doesn't burn. Cook for 5 minutes on med-high heat, then add baby bok choy and sauce and cook until thickened (about 5 minutes) don't overcook!

Serve stir fry over a bed or romaine and millet fried rice (or just use short grain brown rice) and top with cashews. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Better than Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo"

When you just need some balance and something that's like a night out at Olive Garden, make this stuff :) We ate it with a big salad and minestrone soup.

Black Beans

I wanted to find a way to avoid the plastics that are in canned beans and save a little money at the same time :)

{Image via}

Black Beans from Scratch

1 lb dry black beans
2 c beef broth
3 c water

1 1/2 large yellow onions
3 cloves garlic
4 red bell peppers (could also use green)
1 tsp Real Salt or Sea Salt
1 T fresh oregano, chopped (or use 2 tsp dried)
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch cayenne pepper

3 cups fresh tomatoes (or use canned)
2 T red wine vinegar

Soak black beans for 8 hours. Bring black beans in water and broth to a boil then simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Add vegetables and seasoning except for fresh tomatoes and vinegar and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add tomatoes and vinegar and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Otsu Recipe and an Update!

So it's been forever since either Nikki or I have posted on the blog. We are both pregnant :) and, what do you know? Food just doesn't sound that good. We also both moved across the country from each other (sad!). 

I want to contribute a few of our favorite meals whether I have a picture or whether or not they are original; I think I'd rather just have the recipes and be able to share them with others. 

This is not an original recipe, however it is a delicious recipe from Heidi Swanson's book Supernatural Cooking (available at Anthropologie) with variations.

{Image from Heidi's Book, Supernatural Cooking}

Otsu (Soba Noodle Salad)


~Fresh ginger, cut into a 1 in cube, then diced into smaller pieces
1Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2tsp fine-grain sea salt
2Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
1Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3Tbsp toasted sesame oil
12oz dried soba noodles
1/2chopped fresh cilantro
1bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1cucumber, peeled and diced
¼cup roasted sesame seeds (mix black and regular- it looks beautiful)
1/2  red bell pepper, diced

Combine all dressing ingredients in a cuisinart. 

Cook the soba noodles according to package directions (boil water, add noodles, turn off heat and let the noodles cook just until tender, then drain).  

While noodles cook, combine all vegetables and sesame seeds in a bowl. Add noodles and dressing when desired. 

Note: while this Otsu is to be eaten cold, Dan and I like to eat it hot. We serve it with lightly steamed broccoli or the cilantro lime cabbage recipe that's also on this blog. 

{My modified version. Originally from the book Super Natural Cooking by