Hello my fellow blog lovers and supporters!
Another week has come and gone and we are inching closer and closer to Autumn – cooler temps, jacket and boots, the GORGEOUS colourful landscape of the changing fall colours all over this wonderful Niagara region and even more importantly in my books, the launch of the all to important indulgence of my all-time favorite thing – COMFORT FOOD!
I don’t know about you, but when I think about comfort food, I think decadence, ooey gooey goodness and all over yummy taste.
Unfortunately, the downside of indulging in these delicacies is the all too familiar increase in the waistline and tighter fitting clothes. So, to avoid this but still include the all too important flavour component, but possibly make it a bit more figure friendly, I thought that I would give a go to a more ‘healthier’ version of my all-time favourite comfort food indulgence – Lasagna, ooey gooey and downright delicious.
So I got my thinking cap on and came up with this – A Zucchini Lasagna. Yup you heard me right, zucchini lasagna with all the taste. Like with any of my recipes I post here, please feel free to add and or subtract for your own taste buds and preferences. Just as a reminder, all of my measurements are by feel (don’t like it, blame my Mom, that is how she taught me to cook :P) By all means, adjust accordingly. Annnnd here we go…
- 2 – medium sized green and or yellow zucchinis
- 1 – small eggplant (Optional)
- 1 – package of lean ground turkey (Omit if want to make it vegetarian)
- 1 – jar tomato sauce (I was lucky that my Mom had just made a batch of her homemade sauce so that is what I used, but by all means store bought works just fine)
- 1 – Medium tub of ricotta cheese
- 2 – eggs
- ¼ cup of parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp of dried parsley
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Slice zucchini and or eggplant into ¼ of an inch slices lengthwise. Set to the side. Sautee the lean ground turkey in a fry pan with some olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Tip: if you would like to add more veggies this is a perfect time to add some sliced mushrooms, diced onion and or diced bell peppers into the mix here. Saute till soft and golden brown. Add the jar of tomato sauce. Leave a ¼ cup of the sauce to the side to be used as the first layer to coat the bottom of the baking dish. Continue sauteing until bubbling. Set to the side. Add Olive Oil to a hot fry pan and place salt and peppered zucchini and eggplant strips in the pan on medium high. Continue to fry until all of the strips are golden brown on both sides. Set to the side. In a medium mixing bowl, add the container of ricotta cheese, the 2 eggs, parmesan and parsley and mix together until well incorporated. Time to build.
Put that tomato sauce you put to the side, coating the bottom of a 9 X 9 baking dish. Add a single layer of the sauteed zucchini. Add the tomato sauce/ground turkey mixture on top. Add a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Add another layer of zucchini/eggplant. Add the ricotta mixture on top. Continue layering in this order until you reach the top of the dish. Top it with a layer of the tomato sauce mixture and a good layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. Add as much or as little of the cheese as you like. Obviously, cheese has a high fat count so if you want to make this even healthier use it sparingly. If fat count be dammed (gotta admit you are my kind of people) then slather as much as you want. 😛
Place in a 375-degree oven and bake until the top is golden brown and bubbling with goodness. Let cool for around 5 minutes before you slice into nice size serving wedges. This would go well with a nice side salad or even just on its own with a nice glass of wine. I had a nice crisp glass of local Riesling and it made a lovely combo of flavours. Gotta admit, this has to be one of the easiest ways to get your kids to get some vegetables, hide it under the tomato sauce and cheese!
I cannot wait to hear how this recipe goes for all of you. But, before we go, let me ask you this – What is YOUR favourite comfort food and how have you made it a bit more ‘waist friendly’, but tasty for your family?
Looking forward to hearing all of your answers!
Thank you all once again for coming along on this blogging journey with me and for taking the time to read my ramblings each and every week. It does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
Until next time,
Love and Light Always,