It's Wednesday!!! I sure do love a short week. Yes I do. I finally uploaded the lasagna pics and have this yummy recipe for you.
I can't believe that I had never made a lasagna. Yes you read that correctly. For someone that cooks on a regular basis, it's kind of nutty that I have never tried such a childhood favorite. But a few weeks ago I needed a meal that I could pop in the oven before meeting my sister for a drinks and that he could heat up quickly when he got home. And this my lovelies is perfect for just that. You can really make any combination of veggies or cheeses for yours but the thing that actually MAKES this lasagna is this Near East Quinoa that I added into the filling.
Holy moly we are obsessed with it and make it a few times a week (we had it last night with chick peas and kale). It is soooo easy to make and delicious. It can be a meal on it's own or combined with other ingredients (hello, veggies and meat/fish as a stir fry or add beans and chicken for a healthy mock rice and bean dish). Try it, it will not disappoint. Here is how I transformed our lasagna with it.
Turkey & Veggie Lasagna w/ a Quinoa Twist
1 package of lasagna noodles
1 prepared package of quinoa
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 tbsp minced garlic (or more is your me)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp of dried basil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 red pepper
1 cup of roughly chopped cauliflower
12oz crushed tomatoes (or more if you like your lasagna tomatoey)
2 1/2 cups of a mix of grated manchego, aged provolone and mozzarella cheese (you can use whatever mix you'd like and more/less depending on the level of cheesiness you'd like)
Cook the lasagna noodles per the package directions. You want it al dente (or under cooked) because it will finish cooking in the oven and won't fall apart when assembling the lasagna. Strain and cool with cold water (this will stop the cooking).
Set it aside and place heavy bottomed pan on the stove with the olive oil, onions and garlic on medium heat. And let it brown, stirring occasionally so the garlic doesn't burn. About 4 minutes.
Add the ground turkey and season with salt, pepper, oregano and dried basil. (You can season in a separate bowl but I was in a bit of a rush... Especially since there was a glass of wine waiting for me at the end of my run.) Let the turkey brown on medium heat, breaking up the meat with your spoon so it doesn't clump up.
Chop up your veggies while the meat is cooking. Once the turkey has browned stir in the vinegars (the vinegars give such an incredible layer of flavor). Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
Mix the sauce in well and then add the veggies. These are what I had on hand but feel free to add whatever your house favorites are. I may try adding kale next time. Bring the pan back to sizzling (about 3 minutes on medium heat. Careful not to over cook, they'll finish in the oven).
Then comes the star of the show. Near East Quinoa. lol. Seriously, I usually have to hide all of the healthy stuff in a meal but this is one everyone likes.
Mix in the cooked quinoa.
Taste the filling... Add salt and pepper is needed.
Don't be fooled I had an entire bowl of it. Incredible on it's own.... Now it's the cheese time. This is where it get's a little complicated. Folks love them some ricotta but I do not. My mom always made it with just mozzarella but I had some manchego and aged provolone from our little cheese shop and decided to use a mix. You my lovely can use whatever you'd like.
I sprayed my 9 X13 pan with olive oil spray so the pasta wouldn't stick.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. And then I assembled a couple layers of pasta, cheese, filling, cheese, pasta, filling, cheese, pasta and topped it with cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes (or until the top is golden brown).
Serve with extra sauce (him not me) and a big hunk of crusty bread (booo to us because we didn't have any). And if you have any left store in the fridge for 3 days (or 30 in the freezer) in an airtight container. But if it's anything like our house you'll have it for dinner, lunch the next day and dinner again...
I am so happy to say that my first attempt to a lasagna was a success. Is there a childhood dish that you haven't tried making? I hope you try it and tell me about how it turns out. :)