Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Butternut Squash Lasagna


 
We first tasted this savory meal at our friends Jason & Debbie’s house! My husband Ben and I kept going back for seconds…and thirds…etc. We asked for the recipe, and Jason said he’d found it on allrecipes.com!
 
When I read the recipe, I was surprised that the creamy pureed sauce contained so much squash!
 
Since then, I’ve made butternut squash lasagna several times for my own family. Tonight as I cleaned up dinner and packed away the extra Ben said, “I can’t wait for the leftovers!”
 
Health bonus: 1 cup of lasagna = almost half your daily calcium!
 
Ingredients:

3 lb. butternut squash
    (pre-packaged cubes from produce dept.)
3 T olive oil
1 t. salt

Ingredients!
¼ t. black pepper
¼ c. butter
6-8 cloves garlic, minced (~2 T.)
¼ c. flour
4 c. milk

8 oz. "oven ready" (no-cook) lasagna noodles
1  1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
 

Roast Squash:
1. Preheat oven to 450° F.

2. In large mixing bowl, combine cubed squash with olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.

3. Spread oily squash on greased baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes, until golden and easily pierced with a knife.
 

Roasted squash
 
4. Puree squash in food processor or blender, leaving a few chunks if desired.


Make Sauce:
1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic in butter.

2. When butter is melted, add flour. Whisk 2 minutes.

3. Add 1 cup milk, whisking. Add 2nd cup milk, whisking. Add rest of milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Cook until thickened, 6-12 minutes.

4. Add squash puree, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Turn off heat.


Assemble & Bake Lasagna:
1. Heat oven to 375° F.

2. Spray 9 x 13” pan with cooking spray.

3. Make layers in pan, starting with bottom layer:


Top:       1/3 c. Parmesan
               2 c. sauce
               1/3 of noodles


Middle:  ½ c. Parmesan
        2 ½ c. sauce
        1/3 of noodles
 

Middle:  ½ c. Parmesan
        2 ½ c. sauce
        1/3 of noodles

Bottom: 1 cup sauce


4. Loosely cover with foil.

5. Bake 30 minutes; remove foil and bake 10 more minutes.
 
 

Recipe Modifications from original on allrecipes.com: Jason left out the cream and we didn’t miss it—tasted very creamy! I don’t use cream either, and I further adjusted the recipe by adding more salt and using salted butter instead of unsalted.

Nutrition Facts:

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium
(% RDA)
Protein (g)
Fiber (g)
Calcium (% RDA)
3 lb. (4 x 12 oz. pkg.) butternut squash
640
3
16
32
34
3 T. olive oil
360
0
0
0
0
1 t. salt
0
100
0
0
0
¼ c. salted butter
400
16
0
0
0
¼ c. flour
110
0
3
0
0
Qt. skim milk
360
20
32
0
120
8 oz. lasagna noodles
800
0
24
8
0
1  1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
624
94
62
0
187
Total:
3294 kcal
230 %
137 g
40 g
371%
1/8 pan (~ 1 c.)
412 kcal
29%
17 g
5 g
46%

 

Nutrition facts calculated from packaging:

I used “Marketside” (Walmart) packages butternut squash“Kirkland” (Costco) brand olive oil, “Morton” brand salt, “Daily Chef” (Sams Club) brand butter, “Bakers and Chefs” (Sams Club) flour, “ACME” brand fat-free milk, “Ronzoni” brand oven-ready lasagna, and “Kraft” brand grated Parmesan cheese.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Zack's Famous Guac


Back in April, my 5-year-old suggested he cook his “famous Mother’s Day Soup” for me on Sunday. Intrigued, I told him it wasn’t Mother’s Day yet, but asked what was in his “famous” soup? (Apparently, potatoes.) 

On a more recent night when we expected dinner guests, the same child volunteered to make his “famous banana bread” for dessert. (I had to turn him down b/c we were out of bananas.) 

Then, last weekend in Walmart’s produce section, he requested avocados to make his “famous guac”. Glad I would finally be able to sample something “famous” prepared by my aspiring chef, I agreed and he happily loaded up a plastic baggie with three of Walmart’s finest! Here’s our recipe:



Ingredients:


3 ripe (soft) avocados 
Our ingredients!

Juice of one key lime (or ~ ½ T. lime juice)

½ t. salt

1 t. taco seasoning

1 (or more) med. tomato, diced

The Chef

Directions:


1. Cut open avocado with a knife. Put green avocado flesh in a bowl, discard peel and pit. Squish green flesh with a fork or potato masher.

2. Add lime juice, salt, and taco seasoning. Stir.

3. Add diced tomato. Stir.

4. Serve as dip with tortilla chips or as a garnish on any of your favorite Mexican recipes!

Note: If you’re not familiar with guacamole, let me warn you that it turns dark green when exposed to air. So encourage people to eat all the guac right now! J You can save extra guac in a Tupperware-type container in the fridge, and temporarily minimize color change by closely covering the guac with plastic wrap, in addition to using the container lid.

Ingredient
Calories
Sodium (%RDA)
Fiber (g)
Protein (g)
Calcium (%RDA)
3 avocados
966
3
39
12
6
½ T. lime juice
2
0
0
0
0
½ t. salt
0
50
0
0
0
1 t. taco seasoning
10
9
0
0
0
1 medium tomato
22
0
1
1
1
Total (1 ¾ c.)
1000 kcal
62 %
40 g
13 g
7 %
¼ c. serving
143 kcal
9%
6 g
2 g
1 %
2 T. serving
71 kcal
4%
3 g
1 g
0.5 %

*Calculated from food packaging and the following website: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/

 I used “Morton” brand salt and “McCormick” brand taco seasoning