Let’s start with the frustration of the week. On Sunday, after a fun motorcycle ride in the morning, we came home, planning to get a lot of housework done: meals, cleaning, etc. As I started our dishwasher, it made a horrible sound so I stopped it and called the hubs. He came to look at it and realized that it wasn’t draining the water out and, generally, really didn’t sound good. After some online searches, he figured out that the drain pump was broken. Now, taking a dishwasher from under the counter, considering that it hadn’t moved since the house was built was no easy task. I’ll save you from all the details but, what it all meant was that we wouldn’t have the dishwasher until we’d get the new part and (the worst part in my opinion), it would just be left out of its usually hole until then. So our kitchen looks something like this…
Doing the dishes by hand really wasn’t a big deal. I used to do it every night when I was growing up. But having this monster in the exact place where I usually prepare the food was the real problem. We already have a fairly small kitchen so this extra obstacle was really annoying. And what you can’t see on this photo is the piles of boxes we had to put all around it to make sure the cats wouldn’t go under or behind it. Thankfully, Jeff was able to fix it all last night (My hero!) and when I woke up the morning, the kitchen looked normal again, minus a few tools that still need to be put away.
Now let’s get back to food.
Last week, a friend of mine told me about the zucchini lasagna she made. Being obsessed with pasta, I’m always happy to find new ways to enjoy similar dishes without the extra carbs. Although we aren’t really following the Paleo diet anymore, I did learn that carbs make me crash pretty quickly (duh!). However, that doesn’t mean I completely stopped eating pasta, I just try to eat it as a treat once in a while, instead of every week. Spaghetti spaghetti squash is always a winner. But I needed a little bit of variety.
And zucchini lasagna was just what I needed. She sent me the recipe she used and I improvised from there. I wanted to get the general feel of the recipe but use whatever I had bought at the store. I also made the recipe slightly smaller as I knew my husband would be unlikely to try it. I probably still made too much so I might need to freeze some of it.
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 portobello mushrooms, diced
- Juicer pulp (1.5 cups) (I happened to have it, but you could also use chopped kale or spinach)
- 2 cubes of homemade pesto (the cube size is approximately a tablespoon)
- 1.5 cans of tomato sauce (1 can = 15 oz)
- 7 oz of ricotta cheese
- 2 zucchinis, sliced thin (without a mandolin slicer, I must admit it was pretty tricky)
- Fresh mozzarella, shredded
- Slice the zucchini and let it dry on paper towels for a few minutes. Then grill the slices in a large pan, approx. 1 minute per side. Put the zucchini slices back on paper towels to eliminate as much moisture as possible.
- In a large pan (I used the same as the zucchini), cook the onion with a little bit of olive oil. When they start to brown, add the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and add the juicer pulp (or other leafy green). Add the pesto and mix well. Cook for a few minutes then add the tomato sauce and ricotta cheese. Cook on low for 5 minutes or so and then take it off the heat.
- In a baking dish, make the lasagna layers, starting with the sauce at the bottom, followed by zucchini slices, a little bit of mozzarella cheese and repeat until you reach the top of your dish. Put a generous helping of cheese on top.
- Bake at 375˚F, covered with aluminum foil for 35 minutes then keep baking, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
The result, although not that similar to lasagna, was delicious. Cheesy goodness. Aww yeah. That’s really all I