That's Super Mario World on the TV in the background of this photo. We may get older, but we'll never really grow up.
And here's an apple pie I made the week prior for my friend Sven's birthday.
Anyway, today is the first day I've gotten back into the kitchen after the week of extreme work and celebrating. It felt so relaxing, and I intentionally chose a dish that takes a while to prepare so I could spend some extra time getting back into my culinary groove.
Vegetarian Golden Lasagna
- 9-12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
You can do these first few steps in advance to skim some time off of preparation closer to meal time.
Bring a pot with approx. 8 cups of water to a boil. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, add them to the boiling water and cook them until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Boil the lasagna noodles in a pot of salted water for 10-15 minutes until al dente.
Slice the squash as finely as you can— if you have a mandolin slicer, use it! Chop the onions into small (half inch) pieces. Then blend the spices (ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, salt, and pepper) together in a small dish. Set all of the above aside for later.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
In a bowl, mash the sweet potato and squash with a fork. Add the ricotta cheese, egg, and half of the spice blend. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, cook the chopped onions in olive oil for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, until soft. Add the flour and stir until coated and the onions are slightly brown. Turn the heat to low and add the cream and water, then simmer and stir until the mixture thickens a little bit and becomes creamy. Add the remaining half of the spice blend and stir to combine.
In a 9x13 glass baking dish, layer the different components as follows: First lay down half of the onion-cream mixture and spread evenly along the bottom of the dish, then top that with a layer of noodles. Next, add half of the sweet potato-squash mixture and add a second layer of noodles. Add the remaining onion-cream mixture, then the remaining sweet potato-squash, and a final layer of noodles. Top it all off with the parmesan crumbles.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges are bubbling and the noodles on top are lightly browned. Let the lasagna cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Makes about 12 servings.
On a final side note, I'm about to embark on a challenging food experiment with Brendan. For the whole month of March he wants to cut out dairy and wheat gluten. While I won't be actively participating in the experiment myself, I've agreed not to buy or keep anything that falls into those categories in the house, and I'll be finding some recipes to accommodate those changes.
I might miss cheese and milk while it's in Food Jail, but I think I can make it fun.