Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 33

You may be wondering what happened to week 32...we were on Vacation and I only cooked one meal that week, which was grilled chicken and BLT salad. While we were away the zucchini in the garden grew to monstrous proportions so I had to figure out something to do with it. I turned it into a no-noodle lasagna (inspiration came from this Layered Zucchini recipe). I made it with ground beef but I actually think Italian sausage would be better. The main difference is that I did not cook my zucchini first (seems like it would get way too soggy) and I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.

No-Noodle Zucchini Lasagna
2 monstrous zucchini, sliced the long way into 1/8" slices
1 lb ground beef or crumbled Italian sausage
1/2 med onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
about 1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp each dried oregano and basil
2 cups ricotta cheese (better with full-fat version)
2 eggs
1 Tbs dried parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella
whole wheat breadcrumbs (panko ones work nice for a good crunch)
kosher salt

Place sliced zucchini in a colander and salt well. Let sit about an hour to drain off excess water. Pat dry. Meanwhile, cook beef or sausage until almost all browned. Add onion and garlic and continue cooking, stirring, until meat is thoroughly browned and onion is tender. Season w/salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Add spaghetti sauce to meat mixture and set aside.

In medium bowl, mix ricotta, eggs parsley and parmesan. Set aside.

Spread thin layer of meat/sauce mixture on bottom of greased 9x13" baking dish. Fit zucchini over the top as you would lasagna noodles. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over zucchini slices. Then spread 1/2 meat mixture over. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Repeat layers one more time then end with a layer of zucchini, breadcrumbs and the mozzarella. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven about 1/2 hr. Let cool about 15 mins before slicing and serving.

Tofu Stir Fry (vegetarian)

Grapeseed or coconut oil (something w/a high smoke point)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 container of extra firm, organic sprouted tofu, chopped into big pieces (about 1")
veggies of choice (whatever needs using up in the fridge), chopped into bite size pieces
sauces of choice (soy sauce, hot chili paste, oyster sauce, etc)
fresh chopped chives and sesame seeds for garnish

Heat oil in wok until very hot. Add sesame oil and then add tofu. Brown on all sides. Transfer to plate. Add veggies to wok (adding more oil if necessary). Stir fry until tender-crisp. Add your sauces and then add the tofu back in and toss to coat. Top with chives and sesame seeds. You can serve this over brown rice or noodles if you are not watching your carb intake.

Roasted Yam Wraps from week 8

Chili-Spiced Braised Beef in the Slow Cooker
2 lb boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 japeleno chilies, seeded if desired and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbs fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
1 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 bunch greens such as kale, washed, tough stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
couscous or brown rice for serving

place all ingredients except greens and couscous in 5 or 6 qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours or until beef is super tender and falls apart easily. Stir in greens, cover and cook on high about 5 mins or until wilted. Mix up and serve over couscous or rice.

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