The Veggie Mother-load: Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

As I noted in an earlier post, we are trying to eat less meat in our house. Which is fine with me, I love veggies, all kinds. However, I am finding that a lot of the vegetarian dishes just aren’t as filling as the good old meat and potato dinners. I also don’t want to just add a ton of other fats or bread just to compensate. So I was looking for some new ideas and a friend let me borrow her Forks Over Knives Cookbook. I loved it so much, I bought my own. The recipes in the book are no fat, vegan strict, uber healthy which is great and all but I feel like our baby steps are at least in the right direction and I know me (and my family) and there is no way I could stay on that strict of a diet. However, I love the ideas in the Forks Over Knives cookbook so I have been using their recipes and then tweaking them a little to fit my families needs and tastes. I am a sucker for cream sauces so when I saw their recipe for the much healthier Cauliflower Béchamel I was sold. I made a filling and delicious Vegetable Lasagna with it. Ok I may have cheated a little with some cheese on top but like I said baby steps.

Cauliflower Bechamel ( adapted from Forks Over Knives by Del Sroufe)

3c Cauliflower florets

Unsweetened plain almond milk

1 med yellow onion chopped

2 cloves chopped garlic

2 t minced thyme

1/4c chopped fresh basil

1/4 t nutmeg

salt and pepper

Add Cauliflower to a large sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until super tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile sauté the chopped onion in a small pan until soft with a little olive oil, add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. 

Add cauliflower, onion mixture, thyme, basil, nutmeg and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Pulse until Cauliflower is broken up, add Almond milk about 1-2 T at a time, pureeing in between until it has a smooth and creamy texture, about that same as a ricotta mixture. Taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed.

Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

 

Use this sauce for stuffed shells, lasagna, or even as a base for macaroni and cheese. 

To make the Lasagna, start with a layer of the Cauliflower Bechamel sauce, then layer cooked Lasagna Noodles, Sauce, Vegetables ( I used thinly sliced zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, shredded carrots, spinach and halved grape tomatoes), and continue finishing with the sauce on top, and here is where I also added some shredded cheese. Cook at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes and then serve.

Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Béchamel Sauce

 

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Smokey Roasted Cauliflower

IMG_9150

 

Here’s a little trick, use smoked paprika to get the smokey taste of bacon without the mess, fat or calories. Also great to use in vegetarian dishes. I used it here with this roasted Cauliflower to enhance the roasted taste and add some depth of flavor.

Smokey Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower broken into florets

1-2 T olive oil ( or substitute your favorite oil)

1 T lemon juice

1/2 t salt

1/2 t-1t smoked paprika

Preheat your oven to 400. Toss Cauliflower with oil and lemon juice until well coated. then sprinkle on salt and paprika and toss again. lay on a baking sheet and put in the oven. cook for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft and starts to brown.

 

Spicy Honey Dills: Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Spicy Honey Dills: Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

No, Im not pregnant but I do love pickles, they are a perfect little snack that packs in a lot of flavor with little calories. They are also great on burgers or any sandwich and so easy to make that you’ll forget about buying them at the store.

Spicy Honey Dills: Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

1 1/2 c water

1 1/2 c apple cider vinegar

2 t chopped garlic

1 jalapeño sliced

1 small yellow onion sliced

5 small thin skinned cucumbers sliced into 1/4 “-1/2” rounds

2 T honey

2T pickling spice

1/2 t dried thyme

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 t salt

1 1/2 t dried dill weed

Pour water and vinegar into a med sauce pan. Add pickling spice, thyme, red pepper, dill, garlic, salt and pepper, bring to a low boil and stir in honey. Turn heat off and let cool.

Spicy Honey Dills: Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Meanwhile layer cucumbers, onions and jalapenos in a glass jar. 

https://hollieshobbies.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/spicy-honey-dills-homemade-refrigerator-pickles/

Add cooled liquid into jar until it covers the cucumbers, put on lid and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. 

Spicy Honey Dills: Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Make your plate a little more colorful with this Purple Potato and Bean Salad. Great as a side or a light meatless Summer meal.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

4 cups small purple potatoes, quartered ( I left the skins on)

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c red onion, chopped

2 T olive oil

2T red wine vinegar

1 T chopped  fresh cilantro ( or basil)

1/2-1t salt

1/8 t black pepper

Boil potatoes until fork tender, drain and add to a large bowl. Add bean, tomatoes, onions,  toss with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add cilantro and stir.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Chill and serve.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Baked Maple Mascarpone Sweet Potatoes

Baked Maple Mascarpone Sweet Potatoes

 

This dish is delicious and decadent. The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or any special dinner. They bake in a rich butter sauce so they absorb all of the flavor with none of the fluff of the traditional Sweet Potato and marshmallow casserole. Try this as an elegant alternative this year.

Baked Maple Mascarpone Sweet Potatoes

3 large sweet potatoes peeled and sliced in 1/4 ” rounds

4 T butter

8 0z mascarpone cheese

1 t chopped rosemary

2 T maple syrup

1/2 c milk.

Preheat the oven to 350. Arrange sweet potato slices in layers in an oven proof dish ( I used a 8×8)

Baked Maple Marscapone Sweet Potatoes

 

In a sauce pan melt butter and mascarpone cheese together over medium heat. Add maple syrup, milk and rosemary and stir to combine.

Baked Maple Mascarpone Sweet Potatoes

 

Pour mixture over potatoes and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve on the plate with a spoonful of the butter sauce from pan over the top.

 

Thanksgiving Turkey Relish Tray

Thanksgiving Turkey Relish Tray

THANKSGIVING TURKEY RELISH TRAY

 

Here is a fun idea for your Thanksgiving vegetable platter or relish tray,arrange the items in the shape of a turkey. This is the one my son made for our dinner last year. It is a great project for kids, tweens, and teens and let’s them contribute to the big dinner. We used pickles, olives, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and carrots. His head is actually a mini orange bell pepper. Be creative and use what you have hand.

Thanksgiving Favorites

Yes, I have been a slacker lately, I have lots of new and delicious recipes but I just haven’t gotten around to posting them, it is on my to do list this week though. Since November seems like it is flying by and I wanted to post some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes before the big Turkey Day.

Spiced Pear Sangria

Spiced Pear Sangria

 

 

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

 

 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos 

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos

 

Spiced Rum Cranberry Sauce

Spiced Rum Cranberry Sauce

 

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

 

Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash

Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash

 

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus with Beer

Enjoy!

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed

1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)

2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces

1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths

1 tomato sliced into wedges

1 T olive oil

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 t chopped garlic

2 t cumin

1 T lime juice

Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired

Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and  lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

 

 

Easy Sunday Dinner: Steak, Hasselback Potatoes and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Easy Sunday Dinner: Steak, Hasselback Potatoes and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

 

Here is a menu for an easy, yet elegant Sunday dinner. Montreal Seasoned Top Sirloin Filets, Cheesy Hasselback Potatoes and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

For the steak liberally sprinkle both sides with Montreal steak seasoning (found in the spice aisle at the grocery store). Grill to your desired doneness. See so far so easy.

Hasselback Potatoes

5 large baking potatoes

6T melted butter

1 t chopped garlic

1 t dried parsley

1/2 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Pre heat oven to 400. Peel and dry potatoes. carefully slice potatoes 3/4 of the way down, making sure not to slice all the way through in 1/4 ” slices (this is the hardest part of the meal) In a small bowl combine butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Place potatoes in an oven proof baking dish and pour butter mixture over top making sure to get into all the crevices.

Hasselback Potatoes

 

Cook for 1 hour, basting the potatoes every 15 minutes. Using a hot pad, tilt baking pan to the side and use a spoon to catch the butter, spoon back over potatoes.

Hasselback Potatoes

 

Remove from oven, sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and place back into the oven until cheese is melted

Hasselback Potatoes

 

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

16-20 spears of asparagus

4 slices of Prosciutto Ham

 

Preheat oven to 400. Bundle 4-5 spears of asparagus together and wrap with prosciutto. Place on a baking sheet.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

 

Cook for about 10 minutes or until ham is crispy.

Serve meal with sour cream and bernaise sauce if desired.

Easy Sunday Dinner: Steak, Hasselback Potatoes and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

 

 

 

Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash

 

Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces

1/3 c maple syrup

1 canned chipotle pepper chopped plus 1 T adobe sauce (canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce can be found in your supermarket in the latin/mexican section)

1T olive oil

1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 400.Mix together maple syrup, olive oil, adobe sauce and chipotle pepper in a medium sized bowl. Add squash and toss to coat. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, bake for 20-30 minutes(or until fork tender), turning once.  Serve.