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23 February 2009 @ 05:54 pm
Oh, the baking I intended to do today! I've at least three things on deck (four if you count the bread I keep saying I'm going to attempt, but as I've been telling myself that for about six months I think I ought to count it as half-intended, at best) but other things got in the way. Vacuuming my living room, for one. Laundry. Removing a dead shrew from the prancy paws of my one-eyed kitty. Chopping kindling, refilling the wood rack and cleaning out the wood stove. Phototherapy. Grocery shopping. Pretending there was even the slightest chance I'd make it to a kickboxing class.

To make up for the lack of baking, I shifted my intentions to general cookery. I was all set to make veggie lasagna* and multigrain garlic bread and a salad of awesomeness (and greens) when my dearest called to tell me he might be home very late. Bah. I'll wait until tomorrow for what would have been tonight's meal and instead put together something fairly quick and light for this evening. I have chicken sausage I need to use up, and since I recently reorganized my pantry I know I have lentils. I'm thinking grilled, sliced chicken sausage over warm lentils tossed with a vinaigrette with mixed greens on the side. Or maybe I'll plop the whole thing on top of the greens. Oh, yeah. I'm a rebel.

Though tonight's dinner has been, as noted, set aside until tomorrow, I did make a batch of marinara sauce for the lasagna. I have plenty of jarred sauce (as in: "store-bought sauce in glass containers," not: " sauce that has been struck or shaken violently") in the pantry, but it's a bit embarrassing to be a competent, perhaps even decent, cook and not make my own sauce. This way I get the added bonus of controlling exactly what goes into the mix. I'm looking at you, crazy amounts of sugar in commercial sauces.

I'd best put that pot of lentils on; they may be a bit old, so I'm not counting on them to cook up too quickly.

*hey, harpiegirl4 - any chance of you sharing your triumphant recipe with me? if not, I'm all set to cobble one together. no worries!
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harpiegirl4: happy hobbitsharpiegirl4 on February 24th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
Ooh la la lasagna

Here goes... I based it on the following weight watchers recipe. My additions are asterixed.

Two Cheese Vegetable Lasagna

cooking spray
1/2 cup(s) onion(s), diced
2 cup(s) button mushrooms, or cremini mushrooms, sliced (*I used baby portos)
*1 cup julienned carrots
*1 large zucchini, sliced
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
16 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
15 oz fat-free ricotta cheese
1 cup(s) shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
1 large egg white(s)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
14 oz canned tomato sauce (*or homemade if you're decent at cookery and have time to indulge...)
14 oz canned diced tomatoes, with basil, garlic and oregano
8 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta, lasagna noodles (9 noodles)
2 tbsp SoyaKaas Grated Parmesan Style Soy Cheese, or similar product (*Hell, everything else is so doggone healthy, why not splurge on a little REAL parmesan? That's what I did. And you know what? I wasn't sorry.)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic; sauté until mushroom liquid cooks off, about 5 to 7 minutes. (*Add carrots and zucchini and cook for a few minutes more) Add spinach; cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat and transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add ricotta, mozzarella, egg white and nutmeg; mix well to combine.

In another bowl, mix together tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Spoon 3/4 cup of tomato mixture into bottom of an 11- X 7-inch baking dish. Top with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles. Top with 3/4 cup more of tomato mixture and 1/2 of cheese mixture; spread cheese mixture to make an even layer. Top with 3 more noodles and press noodles slightly into cheese mixture. Top noodles with 3/4 cup more of tomato mixture and remaining cheese mixture. Top with remaining 3 noodles, pressing noodles slightly into cheese mixture. Top with remaining tomato mixture. Sprinkle with grated cheese topping.

Bake until lasagna filling is bubbly and top is golden, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.
Kel: Thornton *guh*ladyjoust on February 24th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
Re: Ooh la la lasagna
You are completely awesome!

I'm delighted that you did the no-precook method with the noodles, since that's what I was planning. And I did make my own sauce; I was determined to make a decent but quick cooking marinara, and I'm very happy with the results.

My icon has nothing to do with this post, but I thought you might like the pretty. :)
Kel: food! lemonsladyjoust on February 27th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
Re: Ooh la la lasagna
I've got this in the oven now. I made some adjustments (partly out of laziness, partly out of a desire to use up what I had in the fridge), so we'll see how it turns out.

Gloryforestofglory on February 24th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC)
Baking bread is very fun. I find kneading soothing, and I love the way it smells too.