Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Zucchini Lasagna

Written By: Chris - Oct• 07•12

My friend Heather gave me a pretty good sized Zucchini the other day and I always appreciate when friends send me on my way with extra garden goods!  I figured that I would create a dish of some sort and remember eating Zucchini in the form of a tasty sweet bread growing up.  The bread was a healthy treat, but have recently been trying to use this summer squash variety in hearty form.  I decided to thinly slice it and add it within my Lasagna in place of some of the noodles.

 

I’ve done it in the past and it’s surprisingly quite good!  The truth is that no one would know the difference if I didn’t tell them.  All while I’m saving us half of the carbs intake!  The squash they gave me wasn’t terribly large, but if you let them go in the garden they can reach nearly a meter in length.  Thanks Heather for not giving me the one that David showed me that he had picked that looked like a weapon out of the Flinstones!  I’m not sure what they will do with that one!… Most of the time people usually harvest them at half that size or far less.  Bill and I prefer the baby ones if we’re going to eat them sauteed as a side dish or grilled lightly because they are tender and have little to no seeds.

So we all should know that all dark green vegetables are supposed to be super good for us; but I didn’t know that one cup of zucchini has 10% of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating!  I need that!  The dietary fiber in zucchini helps lower cholesterol by attaching itself to bile acids that the liver makes from cholesterol for digesting fat. Further, the high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the body’s blood vessels, thus hampering the onset of atherosclerosis.  All good stuff, but in addition I just like to create tasty food for those I love and don’t like to waste a thing!  I’ve found that when I pair my zucchini with other summer veggies that I already have some on hand, I am able to transform healthy ingredients into delicious dishes!

Ingredients:

zucchini sliced thinly crosswise
Tomatoes
Peppers
Onion
2 1 lb. cans prepared Pasta Sauce
1/2 Cup fresh Basil
1/4 Cup Roasted Garlic
3 Cups Roasted Squash
Italian Seasoning
Cinnamon
1 (15 ounces) package Part-skim Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup Greek Yogurt
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Zucchini, sliced thinly crosswise
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
no-boil Lasagna Noodles
Shredded Part-skim Mozzarella Cheese

I started by washing the zucchini and using my electric power slicer to cut the larger sized veggie in the thin slices I desired – rather than a manual mandolin that I have.  It includes a safety mechanism that doesn’t allow me to cut larger pieces.

I pulled some tomatoes from the freezer to thaw; as I always toss them into freezer whenever I have some on hand that may become somewhat soft, over ripe or close to spoiling!

I gathered other ingredients that I also had on hand… including a variety of peppers, onions, ground beef and garlic.  Chop onions and cook with ground beef.  Set aside

Wash and chop all peppers and cook in a stock pot, with about a tablespoon of oil until soft.  Add tomatoes.  Mix with an immersion blender and add chopped fresh basil and continue to blending until everything is smooth

I had some roasted left over roasted squash on hand so I mixed that in as well.  It adds a nice sweetness and is healthy too!  Combine and blend until smooth

Combine meat mixture with Ricotta cheese, yogurt and dried seasonings

Begin layering by placing sauce in the bottom of a cake pan.  Layer with pasta sheets, meet mixture, zucchini and mozzarella cheese layers.  Continue with at least three or four layers; ending with a pasta sheet and topped with additional sauce

 

I prepared a couple extra pans to freeze for future quick meals.  I saved some of the topping sauce in a separate plastic bag, covered with foil and sealed in a freezer bag.  This will store for about three months.  Be sure to mark and date your meals!

For immediate use, cover with foil and bake (in my case I was still using the grill because it keeps the heat out of the house) in a 350 to 400 oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove foil and add cheese.  Cook uncovered about another 15 minutes until hot all the way through.   I placed it under the broiler for about five minutes until cheese was browned

Allow to rest for at least five to ten minutes to set up prior to cutting

We enjoyed this with a nice Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon

Enjoy!

Cheers!
~Chris

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

Print Friendly

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

What do you think?