Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna – Candy Coated Culinista

I got a special request to make my lasagna and of course since I don’t make the exact same recipe twice I had to put a new twist into my lasagna. This recipe however took a very unexpected turn when it caused my third kitchen injury and this one was the worst yet; and had me almost contemplating going to the ER. To make zucchini lasagna there are two options using a knife to make thin strips or the easier way using a mandolin. I used my mandolin and was slicing the zucchini with no issue without the guard on (yes I know bad idea right) I was slicing away and then I noticed there was blood on the cutting board and I still didn’t feel anything mind you. I look to see where it’s coming from and I’ve sliced off a chunk of my finger and fingernail. Sighhh. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt and after an hour of getting the bleeding to stop and a quick google search of when to go to the ER regarding deep cuts. Not to forget I also checked how to glue a cut together if necessary as I had crazy glue in my tool box it finally stopped and I went back to the business of slicing zucchini and using that guard. Never again will I not use the guard.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 1hr
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
• sea salt, to taste
• black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• season salt, to taste
• 1 pound ground turkey
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 3 tbsp fresh oregano
• 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme
• 3 tbsp fresh parsley
• 3 tbsp fresh dill
• 1 – 250 ml container, ricotta
• 1 eggs
• 4 zucchini cut lengthwise to resemble noodles
• 1 cup spinach
• Pasta sauce
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
• Fresh herbs to sprinkle on top

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large saucepan sauté onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until softened.
3. Add ground turkey and spices and cook.
4. In a small bowl mix together the fresh herbs, ricotta cheese and egg and set aside.
5. Using a mandolin slice the zucchini lengthwise.
6. Place a layer zucchini in a baking dish followed by ricotta cheese, spinach, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
7. Repeat step 4 until all the ingredients are finished.
8. Add the finale layer of zucchini and then sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
9. Bake for 45 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Wow another recipe I enjoyed with no carbs and it was very satisfying. I didn’t miss the pasta and it tasted wonderful. I’m not sure if I could get any guests to enjoy this if I actually mentioned first that there is no pasta; but ever morsel was consumed. Also I’m very happy I didn’t bleed on any ingredients and if I had to cut myself I did it at the best time possible.

Zucchini Lasagna – Candy Coated Culinista

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Gluten-Free Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

You have guests coming over the weekend and you want to make something warm and comforting; but keeping yourself on a budget try this heart-warming soup.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ lbs, ground beef
• ½ lbs, ground pork
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp fried basil
• ½ tsp red chilli flakes
• 12 oz can of Crushed tomatoes
• 900 ml or vegetable broth
• 2 sprigs of basil leaves, chiffonade
• Handful of Italian parsley, torn
• 8 – 10 gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken
• ½ a link if pepperoni, sliced
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 cup baby kale
• Mozzarella shredded, optional
• Parmesan cheese, optional
• Basil, to garnish

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized Dutch oven pour olive oil into pot and allow to heat up over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Place ground beef and pork in and cook until brown adding in sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, red chilli flakes.
4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes followed by the vegetable broth and bring to a boil and then reducing to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in the pepperoni slices and lasagna noodles and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes until cooked.
6. Add spinach and baby kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7. Serve garnished with fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Tips
• Use canned whole tomatoes and blend quickly in a food processor if you are unable to find crushed tomatoes.
• When reheating add more vegetable broth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never thought of making a lasagna soup but I was craving lasagna and didn’t want to do all that work and well we are in the midst of an extreme cold weather warning. So this really hit the spot and everything came together very easily. My taste testers enjoyed and even left with some soup for home. This was surprisingly flavourful and such a great treat on a cold day. I actually made three recipes at once with the same ingredients more or less. I made my Italian Meatballs (a request for me to make), my skillet chicken pepperoni pizza and then the soup. I managed to make 3 recipes for under thirty-five dollars and had about thirteen servings; which was amazing. This was my first bigger meal prep as I don’t really like doing mass meals for the week and I had meals to carry me though some lunches and dinners; which freed up time for me to do things I enjoy like ice skating at night.

Homemade Lasagna

Homemade Lasgna - Candy Coated Culinista

Homemade Lasgna – Candy Coated Culinista

Italian or Greek food is the food I could have every day for the remainder of my life and I’d be quite content. Lasagna is my absolute favourite food and I have tasted it many places. I finally decided to make lasagna from scratch even though I know this is a time-consuming burden. This may be my first and last time making this dish as I may just not want to have to go through this process again.

Yield/Serving: 1 – 9” x 9” dish & 12” x 9” dish
Prep Time: 1hr & 30 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, diced
• 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
• 1/3 pound ground beef
• 1/3 pound ground pork
• 1/3 pound ground veal
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp season salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 1 tbsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp dried rosemary
• 1 tbsp dried thyme
• 1 tbsp dried sage
• 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
• 5.5 oz (156 ml) tomato paste
• 1 {28 oz} can Whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
• 3 cups ricotta
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• 4 cups {16 oz} mozzarella cheese, grated
• 3 cups spinach, blanched
• 3 cups swiss chard, blanched
• 16 Flat “No Boil” Lasagna Noodles

Assembly
Sauce
1. In a large saucepan sauté onion in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until softened.
2. Add in the garlic along with the ground, beef, pork, veal along with all the spices and stir until meat is browned.
3. Add in the tomato paste and crushed San Marzano tomatoes including the tomato sauce from the can. Stir and combine.
4. Reduce to low and let simmer for 45 minutes.
5. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, eggs, parsley and a half cup of parmesan and mozzarella cheese and place in fridge until needed.
6. In another saucepan sauté the spinach and swiss chard for a few minutes and then squeeze out excess water.
Lasagna Assembly
7. Spray a 9”x13” and a 9” x 9” baking or casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 375°F.
8. Spread one cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of the baking pan.
9. Lay four noodles, then add some spinach and Swiss chard and spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles.
10. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce and sprinkle with a half cup of mozzarella cheese.
11. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until you have reached the top.
12. Bake for 30-45 minutes and then let rest for 10 minutes.
13. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
If I had an Italian nonna she would be so proud. My first attempt was a huge success. I used my homemade pasta sauce and everything. I just think I needed more pasta sauce even though I had added a lot, I think it needed more. Also a deeper casserole dish would be great my lasagna. I made one dish of lasagna to freeze as I wasn’t going to make just one and gave it to my dad to enjoy. I really had a sense of accomplishment making my most favourite dish ever.

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