Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

I’ll be honest: I haven’t done much cooking this summer. Between busy weekends, spending a lot of time with RM and cooking with him, having things after work and really just not having motivation to cook in the heat, I’ve been subbing out real meals with easy substitution meals (eggs have been a big hit here). But, a few weeks ago I made time on a Sunday night to make a recipe I found in the Hannaford’s “Fresh” Magazine. Have you ever read through one of those magazines? They are free with a purchase of $20 or $25 or more and always have the best recipes in them!

The recipe was really easy to follow and not overly labor-intensive (does anyone else feel like Cooking Light recipes are super labor intensive??) and I was a big fan of all of the ingredients!

zucchini quinoa lasagna

 

Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

Ingredients (from Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine- Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna)

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 11/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 (23 to 26 oz.) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

IMG_7747

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the zucchini: Trim ends. Use a mandolin slicer or very sharp knife to slice zucchini lengthwise into long, flat noodles.

2. Layer zucchini on paper towels and sprinkle with salt, then cover with more paper towels to absorb moisture. Let noodles sit while you prepare the quinoa.IMG_7748

3. In a large saucepan, combine quinoa, broth, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, and oregano and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.

IMG_7749

4. Gently stir in cream cheese, pepper, and basil until incorporated.

5. Assemble the lasagna: Pour enough marinara in the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch pan just to cover the bottom. Wipe zucchini slices dry and lay about 4 slices over the sauce. Spread half the quinoa in a layer over the zucchini, then sprinkle with a third of the mozzarella cheese. Top with a third of the remaining sauce, then another layer of zucchini, remaining quinoa, half the remaining cheese, and half the remaining sauce. Top with a final layer of zucchini. Pour on remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

IMG_7751

IMG_7753

IMG_7755

6. Cover pan with foil and bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is brown and bubbling, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil during the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking so cheese will brown. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice into rectangles and serve.

zucchini quinoa lasagna 2

Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, May – June 2014

The only thing that I would change about this recipe is subbing out the 2 tbsp of cream cheese for a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese. I thought the quinoa/cheese/sauce mixture was a little bland and think that by adding a flavored cheese the flavor would have been intensified. I would also add more seasoning to the mixture to jazz it up.  Otherwise, I followed the recipe pretty much to a T and really enjoyed eating it throughout the week.

zucchini quinoa lasagna 3

Although there’s protein in quinoa, if you wanted to add a little extra you could certainly add in some ground chicken or turkey or beef- I think that would be delicious!

zucchini quinoa lasagna 4

If you’re looking for other lasagna recipes, check these out:
Summer Squash and Zucchini Lasagna
Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Kale & Ground Turkey Lasagna
Butternut Squash, Kale and Goat Cheese Lasagna! (the pictures aren’t showing up in this post for some reason- I have to fix it!)

The Zucchini and Summer Squash Lasagna recipe is quite possibly the most popular recipe on this little blog!

zucchini quinoa lasagna 5

Questions for you: What’s your favorite type of lasagna? Do you like the traditional version or do you like to change things up? Where do you get most of your recipes from?

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Chicken with a Laughing Cow Cheese Sauce

Hi there! I hope you all had a happy, healthy and safe New Years- Welcome, 2014!

******

Wowzers. I know I say this a lot, but my “Sunday Meal” this week was seriously good. Like, so, so good. I blame it on the Laughing Cow cheese sauce. My mom is a lover of white sauces, and while I enjoy them, they aren’t the first thing I think of when I want a “sauce” for my meal. However, when I thought about the ingredients in this meal, I realized a white sauce would be perfect.  My idea for a white sauce was amplified when I opened my fridge and saw the sun-dried tomato Laughing Cow cheese wedges she had given me. Bingo! Combining those with skim milk would be the perfect “white” sauce.

In addition to the cheese sauce, I have recently become a huge fan of dishes with Brussels Sprouts and butternut squash in them. My sister found a recipe including those veggies that we made for Thanksgiving and it was SO good. I loved roasting the two together for this meal (with onions, because onions make everything better), and am not sure why I don’t roast veggies more often. It’s so easy and such a nice thing to have around the house throughout the week.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Chicken with a Laughing Cow cheese sauce

IMG_6315

Ingredients (I didn’t measure how much I cooked, so I’m just going to list out approximates of what I used)

  • Brussels Sprouts- 1-2 cups after I chopped them up
  • Butternut Squash- 1-2 cups after I chopped it up
  • Onion- about 1 cup
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Herbs/seasonings as desired
  • 2-4 TBSP EVOO
  • Quinoa- I cooked 3/4 of a cup of dried quinoa with 1.5 cups of water
  • Chicken- 1 cooked 4 small chicken breast tenders
  • Laughing Cow cheese wedges- 1 used 2 of the Mozzarella, sun-dried tomato and basil ones
  • 2-4 TBSP skim milk

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 375*. Cook the quinoa according to the package. While that is cooking, cut your Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and onions and place on a baking sheet. Coat with EVOO (however much you want to use), salt & pepper and herbs and seasonings. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is soft and cooked through.

IMG_6311

2. Prepare your chicken (I sprinkled salt, pepper and seasonings) and be ready to place that in the oven when you have about 15 minutes left on the veggies.

IMG_6313

3. Place the Laughing Cow wedges into a small sauce pan (how cute is this one that my mom got me? It’s so little!)- I used 2, just as an FYI. As they start to melt, add in your milk. I started with 2 tbsp. and added more in gradually as necessary. Make sure you whisk continuously so as it doesn’t burn! Once it’s thickened up a bit, remove from the stove. At this point, your quinoa should be done, so place that in a bowl, top with the roasted veggies, chicken and sauce.

IMG_6314

IMG_6316

I forgot to say that I added some pumpkin seeds to the top, which provided a nice little crunch to the meal!

IMG_6318

As I began to eat my way through this bowl (which is also new! I got 2 for free by saving points at Shaw’s during their Rachael Ray dishware promotion), I realized how FILLING this meal was. I couldn’t believe it, but since it was all healthy/good for you foods, I kept eating 😉

If there’s one thing you make out of this recipe, please have it be the sauce… and roasted veggies!

Also, make sure you wear a fun/festive apron like this…

IMG_6310

Lastly, I wanted to thank my mom for this awesome Rachael Ray Garbage Bowl– it is perfect for me because I usually just use a plastic bag to collect trash as I cook (I hate making multiple trips to the trash can- interrupts my flow!), which can be wasteful. This is the best replacement, not to mention it’s pretty to keep on the counter!

IMG_6312

And, there you have it- a healthy, easy and delicious meal!

Questions for you: Do you like cream sauces? Brussels sprouts- love ’em or hate ’em? Do you own any Rachael Ray dishware?

Stepping out of the box: Fall Curry Chicken

I think curry dishes are one of those “love it or hate it” types of dishes, right? It’s a very strong flavor and not something that everyone enjoys. I’ve never really loved curry dishes, so I was shocked when I came across a “Fall Curry Chicken” recipe in the November Shape magazine that just looked like I had to make it. Perhaps it was because it included butternut squash and apples and pumpkin seeds that made it so desirable? Whatever it is, I decided that it was a recipe that I had to make.

Unfortunately, as I am still building my herbs/seasoning collection, making this recipe meant that I had to buy most of the ingredients… probably part of the reason why my groceries were so much higher than normal (that, and Halloween candy!). Once I took a bite of the dish, though, I realized my expensive grocery trip was wellll worth it. The dish was incredibly flavorful and I loved the textures of the chicken, butternut squash, apples and seeds.

Fall Curry Chicken- Recipe from Shape Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 pods cardamom – I couldn’t find these at the grocery store so I skipped it. I don’t think it made a huge difference
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 butternut squash (about 1lb), peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins – I forgot to buy these so I didn’t add them. I think I liked it better without.

IMG_5570

Directions

1. Preheat a sauté pan over medium-high. Season chicken with salt. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable oil and chicken strips to pan and sear for 2 minutes per side of until golden brown and cooked through. Remove cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.

IMG_5569

2. Add onion and remaining vegetable oil to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until onions begin to soften. Add curry powder, cayenne pepper, cardamom, and tomato paste and mix. Deglaze pan with coconut milk, scraping up cooked-on bits with a wooden spoon and mixing them into the sauce.

IMG_5572

3. Add squash to sauce and cover. Let simmer for 15 minutes (I ended up having to sauté for almost 30 minutes… therefore, I kept adding more coconut milk to ensure it wouldn’t get dried out) or until squash has softened. Return chicken and juices to pan. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add raisins and apple. Stir to combine.

IMG_5573 IMG_5574

Serve yourself (and your guests, if you have some) a nice heaping of this topped with some roasted pumpkin seeds.

IMG_5577

You guys. This was SO GOOD! If you like curry or are more adventurous with flavors when you eat/cook, I highly suggest trying this. One thing I might do if I made this again would be to cook up some brown rice to serve this atop. It didn’t need rice, but I felt like I would have liked it. Other than that, I wouldn’t change anything!

Questions for you: Curry- love it or hate it? What’s your favorite type of food (Italian, French, Indian, Asian, etc.)? Do you follow recipes to a T or do you leave things out if you don’t have them?

Happy Halloween, btw! I hope you all have a fun day and treat yourself to some candy. I’m a firm believer in “everything in moderation”, which means eating candy on a candy Halloween!