Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lasagna al Forno

Here is an attempt to make lasagna a little bit healthier. This recipe
is also from my Laurel's Kitchen cookbook. The Daddy really liked it!

3/4 pound whole wheat
or whole wheat-soy lasagna noodles
6 cups tomato sauce, Italian style (I used mine from a can)
2 cups cottage cheese
3 cups grated mozzarella or Swiss cheese
1-3 bunches of spinach, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or almonds

Cook noodles in a very large pan of boiling , salted water until
almost tender: they will cook more in the oven, absorbing liquid from
the sauce as they do, and if they are slightly undercooked at the
point, they'll hold together better while you're assembling the dish.

Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13x2 1/2 inch baking
dish, add a layer of noodles, lengthwise. Keep the best noodles for
the top. Each layer of noodles should lie crosswise to the one below

On the layer of noodles, spread the first layer of filling; one half
the cottage cheese, one third of the nuts, one forth of the Parmesan;
and a coating of sauce. Layer noodles again, then the spinach and most
of the mozzarella, and sauce. More noodles, another cheese and nuts
layer, and your prettiest noodles across the top. Add sauce and the
rest of the nuts and cheese for the top. Bake at 350 degrees for
30-45 minutes; then let stand 10 minutes before cutting-otherwise it
will be too runny to hold together and too hot to eat. Serves 8.

NOTE: This is the original recipe in the book. Let me tell you what I
did and what I'm going to do in the future. I added shiitake mushrooms
to the spinach layer as well. I made two casseroles using the same
ingredients. This way I had the flavors of the cheese but it didn't
go overboard. So I put a 1/2 cup cottage cheese on the cottage cheese
layer instead of 1 cup. It was still sooooo good. In the future I'm
going to add tons more spinach and mushrooms. I would cut back even
more on the cheese and maybe add some different veggies like zucchini
or summer squash, maybe some green peppers. In the Laurel's cookbook
it suggests using tofu instead of cottage cheese. Also, a topping of
bread crumbs with a little olive oil would be good too. This is
definitely good for company. We had guests the night I made it and
they really liked it. Don't omit the walnuts. They have that good for you omega-3 fat in them and added a nice crunch!

A Pretty Corny Pizza Recipe

Here is an innovative pizza I tried from my Laurel's Kitchen cookbook.
It was really good and the WHOLE family really liked it. What a great
way to use up your abundance of summer squash!

1 3/4 pounds summer squash
1 tablespoon honey
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon (or less salt)
2 teaspoons baking powder

1 large onion, chopped (next time I'm adding more)
2 tablespoons olive oil ( I used less)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil ( I added more, I love the flavor)
1 1/2 cups grated jack cheese ( I used mozzarella and only used half the amount)

(This recipe is also good with mushrooms and any other veggies you
want to add to it.)

Cut squash in large chunks and steam until tender. Puree; you should
have 2 cups. Mix honey, eggs, and oil with the puree. Combine the
cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients and wet,
stirring until smooth. Turn into a greased 12"x18" baking pan or a
large pizza pan (mixture should be about 3/4" deep) and bake 12 to 15
minutes, just until corn bread begins to pull in from the sides of the

While corn bread is baking, saute onion in olive oil along with chili
powder, oregano, cumin, and coriander. Spread onion mixture across
top of corn bread, then scatter tomato atop that. Sprinkle with
basil, then cheese. Return to oven to 10 minutes. Serves 6

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lebanese Fattoush

I learned a higher way of eating when we lived across the street from someone from Lebanon. Her kitchen was always full of smells, and when she'd open up her pot, she'd show me something full of wonderful vegetables. She also served Tabouleh, a Lebanese salad, heavy on the parsley. Dod didn't make this particular dish; I adapted it from a recipe on, but I was only attracted to it because of her. Incidentally, her kids were all HUGE vegetable eaters, as well.

  • 6 lettuce leaves, chopped
  • 3 cabbage leaves, chopped
  • 4 small radishes, minced
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 12 sprigs parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Toss together the lettuce, cabbage, radish, celery, red bell pepper, carrot, onion, garlic, parsley, olive oil, pomegranate seeds, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Curried Rice Salad

1 cup raw brown rice
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water

1 2/3 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red or green bell peppers
1 cup diced apples
1/2 cup currants or raisins

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar or mild honey
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne

plain nonfat yogurt
toasted chopped cashews
peeled and cubed mango (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine the rice with the tumeric, cinnamon, salt, and 2 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer very gently for about 40 minutes, until the rice is tender. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, celery, peppers, apples, and currants or raisins in a large bowl. Whisk together of of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour it over the vegetables and fruit. Cool the cooked rice for 15 minutes; then toss it into the vegetables. Top each serving with yogurt and cashews, and mango, if desired. Note: Finely chopped mango chutney can replace the sugar or honey in the dressing if desired.