“Quick” Lasagne for 2

Hi! You+i both know nothing says “I love you” like a homemade lasagne. You+i also both know how worth it it is to press the noodles out, add veal, pork sausage and go full-fledged bolognese.

Here’s my recipe for a “Quick” Lasagne for 2.  This is like…the American 6th cousin to the OG lasagne bolognese.  It has more vegetables, less meat and takes less time.   Your tastebuds will feel the love, regardless. (Fist-pump)

With this recipe, i want the lasagne to cook quickly- even if frozen on the re-heat. Therefore, I am using 9-inch square pans which are about 3 inches deep.  Although, I’m not gonna lie: for me? A 9-in square pan is ‘lasagne for 1’. Garfield-style.

Here’s what you need:

-Good red wine+ large glasses

-cuisinart Or veggie bullet Or chop it yo dang self

-Large sauce pan, large pot

-3 aluminum pans (9inch square, 3inch deep)

-olive oil cooking spray, 1-2 tblsp cooking oil

-4 tblsp bacon grease, bacon bits optional

-1lb ground beef+El Mexicano meat seasoning (1/3 pkg) achiote rojo

-jar of spaghetti sauce or cans of tomato sauce 12-16oz

-can tomato paste 6-8oz

-1 egg, beaten

-ricotta cheese, 15oz.

-shredded Mozzarella, 8oz.

-shredded cheddar jack (or similar), 8oz.

-1 box lasagne noodles, the regular ones that you boil, not the ones that say on the box that they are easy-cook or whatever. Not those ones. The normal ones. That you boil.

-fresh herbs: bunch of parsley, a few sprigs rosemary, small bunch sweet basil

-8 garlic cloves, peel crush with fingers set aside to oxidize 5-10min

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=136

-dry herbs: garlic salt, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, pinch of cumin, 9 fennel seeds

-1- 2tblsp sugar, touch of cinnamon

-1/3 onion, 2 celery stalks, 2 tomatoes, 2 Mexican zucchini, 6 mushrooms, 1 carrot (optional)

image

I keep my bacon grease in a Nescafé jar.

 

Here’s what you do:

1. Start the red sauce by browning the meat- Heat skillet on med, when hot add bacon grease, then beef. Let simmer for about 5-8 min on med or med-lo. Add dry herbs+cinnamon. With the salt+pepper, you can always use your judgment.

2. Meanwhile in the cuisinart pulse the onion, celery, carrot, 1/3 of the parsley, a drizzle of grape seed oil (olive oil or cooking oil is ok, whatever you have) and some salt+pepper.  Or chop it yourself, if you need the meditation.

3. Add 2/3 of this finely chopped mix to the browning meat, sauté 5minutes till veggies are clear, turning golden.

image

4. Add 1 glass red wine.  To the meat! Continue simmering while you pinch in about 1/2 the amount of rosemary, some basil, a little parsley.

5. Crumble into the meat 1/3 package of the El Mexicano seasoning+ tomato paste.     (*Side-note: I told my friend in the produce department I was making lasagne, he was like: try this. I was like: OK.  Dude can cook. Never-mind the Red#40.. This is why you oxidized your garlic, remember? To our health! )

6. To the leftover chopped onion mix still in the cuisinart add: 2 tomatoes, 6 mushrooms, 2 Mexican zucchinis, 1/3 bunch parsley, 8 well-oxidized garlic cloves.  Pulse till roughly chopped, add to meat mix, adding tomato sauce. Simmer 15 minutes adding wine here/there.

7. Now here’s something important: Sugar! I’m not a huge fan of refined sugar, but dang it you+I both know a little bit of sugar makes a great sauce. So please now add your sugar, garlic salt, and maybe another splash of wine. Simmer 15 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, empty the ricotta cheese into a large glass bowl. Snip remaining parsley+rosemary  (set some aside for garnish if you like), mix in with ricotta. Add the Parmesan cheese, egg, few shakes of (garlic)salt+pepper. Set in the fridge to infuse while you…

9. Drink wine. Splash some into the red sauce!

10. In a large pot fill 3/4 full with water+ splash of olive oil. Heat, when boiling add pasta then turn off heat after 1-2minutes, leaving pasta to rest in hot water.

11. Let sauce simmer, let ricotta cheese infuse, let pasta sit for 5-6minutes.

12. When you’re feelin it- pasta should be al dente…you can hang them over the pot to dry+cool. Turn off heat on red sauce. Grab cheese from fridge. Spray pans with non-stick oil.

13. The fun part! Layer the pans. First red sauce to cover bottom of pan. Then pasta. Let the pasta overlap+you can cut the ends off to fit length of pan. Top pasta with hefty layer of ricotta cheese, then mozzarella. Now another layer of pasta. Now red sauce.

14. Cover with foil, bake 30 minutes @ 350 degrees.

15. Remove from oven+remove foil. Layer with cheddar jack, bake 15 minutes @350, checking frequently.

16. Let the lasagne chill+rest for a few minutes, garnish, bless it+serve!

Was so intent on eating dinner, I forgot to take a photo of the finish, lol!  Ciao, Bella 🙂 

 

*To reheat frozen lasagne:   place foil-covered frozen lasagne in oven. Turn on oven to 350+ bake 30minutes. Remove foil, add fresh shredded cheese (optional), bake an additional 5-10minutes.

 

 

 

Pretty good kale salad

So.  Kale was the Wonder Veg, then it went out of style for a sec…

now I think it’s stylish again?

Anyway.

Here’s a recipe for some kale salad that I like to make for parties, as a side dish.

Doctor it up, as needed, of course.  (I will add some ideas for you to peek)

 

Pretty good kale salad:

  • about 3 large bowls worth of full leaves of kale greens
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2-3  extra small lemons or limes (I use meyer lemons), or 1/2 a large lemon…anyway, about 2oz fresh tangy citrus juice
  • 1 small tangerine, or 1/2 large orange…about 2oz fresh sweet citrus juice
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 very ripe tomato
  • 2-4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt/pepper to taste, seasoned salt or onion salt is good!
  • dash of cayenne
  • dash of dried garlic, &/or 1 whole clove
  • dash of cumin
  • snip some scallions over the top
  • sesame seeds to taste
  • 1/4 tsp fresh minced ginger

 

First of all, the most important thing to remember about our friend, Kale, is that it is best absorbed in our bodies when we warm it up, at least just a little.   check out:

http://www.radiancenutrition.com/2011/08/19/put-down-that-kale-smoothie-why-you-should-cook-your-food/

(I mean, I still put kale in my smoothies, but I like using the method I describe here)

So anyway take your fresh hardy greens: kale, mustards, chard, what-have-you from the garden, and then you go ahead and soak those greens in very hot (almost boiling) salt water for at least 30min.  Depending if the greens are tough and bitter, or sweeter and softer, you can change the water out and soak again an additional 30min.  Generally speaking, the spring/summer greens tend to be sweeter and less woody, and the fall/winter greens tend to be tougher and more bitter.  The saltwater also takes care of any stray aphids, which you’ll probably get if you’re gardening organically& don’t have the ladybugs to eat them for you.

Soak those greens in hot salt water, 30min.

Meanwhile, you will want to crush your clove of garlic and leave it sit for at least 10 minutes.  Garlic is best absorbed by our bodies when we give it a chance to oxidize a little.  See here:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60

 

Now go on and add your carrots to the hot saltwater bath.  They should soak for a good 5-10 minutes.  Wash them off first.  Dont peel the outside layer, cuz that’s the best one!

 

Squeeze/strain the citrus juice into a very large bowl.

Add the minced ginger and other spices.

Take some kitchen scissors to the tomato, julienne it right into the bowl!

Mix all this up w/ about 1/2 of the portion of oil.

Shred the apple directly into the bowl.

Rinse carrots& shred directly into bowl.

Now add garlic, since it’s had a chance to breathe.

Mix everything up, add remaining oil.

Now strain and rinse the greens, and then take your kitchen scissors and snip them into the bowl.

Toss the salad.

Sprinkle some sesame seeds and snip some scallions over the top.

 

Et voila!  You now have yourself a pretty good kale salad.  Enjoy

 

Ideas/variations/jazz it up:

  • add fresh sweet corn
  • add fresh pomegranate seeds or juice
  • use tonight’s salad in tomorrow’s smoothie
  • try sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, or shaved almonds
  • add feta, cotija, or crumbled goat cheese
  • garnish with dried cranberries
  • add fresh cilantro or parsley