It almost felt like fall today with the chillier temps. I was regretting my iced coffee decision once I got the office…I was COLD!
Although the iced toasted almond coffee with milk was still delicious :)
That would be a yogurt-waffle bowl breakfast. Haven’t had that in a while:
- 0% Greek yogurt
- sliced strawberries
- toasted Kashi waffle
- all topped with real maple syrup :)
All that was missing was a chocolate chip!
The same day I drank that pumpkin beer, I also did another Fall-esque activity: made a huge pot of homemade tomato sauce.
Since we’re still getting more zucchini from our garden than we know what to do with, I wanted to try another popular zucchini dish…
Basically using sliced zucchini as my “noodle”.
I decided I wanted a nice filling meat sauce with this. Of course, you could make whatever type of sauce you want…especially to keep it vegetarian.
I had ground beef in the freezer, so I used that. My basic sauce is as follows:
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 – 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 – 28oz can whole tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil at medium/med-high heat in a large heavy bottom pot, add onion and cook for 4-5 min.
- Add garlic, cook another 3 min
- Add ground beef, and break up using a wooden spoon, add some salt here.
- Once beef is mostly browned, add carrots, cook for another 1-2 min
- Add tomato paste, and stir around until it’s all mixed in
- Then add red wine, stir and scrape bottom of pan
- Add the rest of the tomatoes, 2 bay leaves, more salt, pepper, and other seasonings if you’d like (dried oregano, parsley, basil…)
- Simmer for 45min-1 hour
Mmm the sauce definitely stole the show, and I have leftovers in the fridge and the freezer.
Zucchini can somewhat be treated the same way as eggplant. You want to remove as much of the water in the vegetable as you can before you bake with it.
I used 1.5 med/large sized zucchinis and cut them lengthwise into strips, then in half if needed.
Sprinkle with salt and place in a colander to drain.
Mine sat for probably 1.5 hours, and I saw lots of liquid leave the colander. In theory this should have been good enough, and I think this would work if you got your zucchini sliced REALLY thin.
However, mine was just “normal” thin, and in the end I wish I had cooked the zucchini first!
So I would recommend cooking your zucchini prior to baking. Grilling would be delicious! But steaming, boiling, or sautéing would work too. Don’t cook too long though, don’t want mush!!
The rest of my lasagna consisted of:
- 16 oz part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
And Mozzarella cheese of course!!
- Start with a layer of sauce
- zucchini slices
- 1/2 ricotta mixture
- mozzarella, shredded
- zucchini, if you have some left
- leave off the last layer of mozzarella, add sauce
- then top with mozzarella!
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Cover loosely with foil for first 25 min, then remove foil.
Let sit for at least 10min before cutting.
Since I totally forgot the middle sauce layer, I had my serving with a big scoop of sauce on top!
Served with a side of “garlic bread” made on TJ’s sprouted wheat bread :)