Tag Archives: cheese

Pumpkin Lasagna

I made this lasagna for Thanksgiving this year and it was a big hit.  It is pretty time-consuming to make (about 2 hours), so I would actually recommend making 2 at once if you can, and freeze the second one for later.  Lasagna freezes really well, and I’ve found that they are almost always better when cooked ahead of time and then reheated.  I promise, you will not regret making two…or three or four 🙂  Just be sure to share…this is a 4 cheese and is not low on calories!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1 pear, cored & cubed
  • 1 med.  leek, sliced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3 Tbs pumpkin butter (click on the link for my recipe)
  • 6 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 (4 oz) package goat cheese
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut pumpkin and butternut squash in half, remove seeds and place skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet with 1/2 cup water.  Roast in oven for about 45 mins or until you can very easily stick a fork through the skin
  3. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, goat cheese, spinach and eggs.  Set aside for now.
  4. When the pumpkin and squash are done, remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile you can start your sauce: heat veggie stock in a pot over medium high heat.  Add pear, leek, garlic, pepper, and oregano.
  6. Remove skin from the butternut squash, cube the squash and add to the sauce pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer until all ingredients can be easily mashed.
  7. Add pumpkin butter to the sauce
  8. Blend the stock & veggies until smooth.  An immersion blender is ideal, but you could use a food processor or regular blender in small batches as well.  Set aside and let cool
  9. Remove skin from the pumpkin and cut into 1/3″ slices, or cut first and remove skin as you go.
  10. Spread 2/3 cup sauce in a 9″x13″ lasagna dish.
  11. Layer 3 lasagna noodles, 1/2 remaining sauce, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 pumpkin slices, 1/2 mozzarella & 1/2 Parmesan.
  12. Repeat layers one more time with remaining ingredients.
  13. Bake in oven at 375 for about 45 mins

Substitutions: The sauce is basically a homemade butternut squash soup with some pumpkin butter added.  If you are short on time, you could buy canned butternut squash soup, cook it down a little on the stove to thicken it and then add some canned pumpkin pie mix in place of the pumpkin butter.

The incredible edible frittata!

I’m a big believer in the frittata.  If you’ve never had one, it is basically a Quiche without the pastry shell.  I’m sure that is probably a HUGE generalization though and will wait for all of the real chefs out there to send me hate mail…haha, as if real chefs read my blog 🙂  Really though, they are totally fool-proof, it only takes one pan, and you can put anything in them.

The key is to start with a good pan.  I love my cast iron one, but any oven safe omelet pan an inch or two deep will do.  This is my latest, and I usually make veggie frittatas, but I have to admit that they are super delicious with a really good sweet Italian sausage too.  If you make it with meat, just cook the meat in your pan first and then add the veggies.  Get creative, use the vegetables you love and you can never go wrong!

This makes about 4 servings at approximately 320 calories each (courtesy of my “lose it” app)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion (I use Walla Walla Onions because they are plentiful at my market, but if you are on the east coast you may be more familiar with Vidalias)
  • 1 Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Head Broccoli Chopped
  • Fresh Basil Chopped
  • 7 Farm Fresh Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your pan on a medium heat stove with a Tablespoon of olive oil
  2. Add your onions and garlic and stir occasionally until the onions just start to soften
  3. Add the peppers and stir until they just start to soften
  4. Add the broccoli.  You just want the veggies to be almost perfectly cooked to your liking.  The key is to fill the pan almost entirely with veggies.
  5. Add some chopped fresh basil, a little salt and pepper to taste, then stir thoroughly
  6. Beat 7 eggs and pour them into the pan with the other ingredients letting them sink into the open spaces and let cook on the stove without stirring until you can tell that the mix is solid up through the middle.  The top will still be uncooked.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.
  8. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  9. Place in the oven under a low broiler for about 5 minutes or just until the cheese is melted and the top starts to brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and let your frittata cool for a few minutes as it will be easier to slice and remove from the pan if it is a little more stable.

Smokey Melts

Are you sitting down?  Seriously, get ready, because I am about to tell you the secret to pure bliss!  These Smokey Melts are one of my favorite things in the world and Mike and I make them about once a week in the summer when we can get everything fresh at the farmer’s market.  The rest of the time we just pine for them, and dream of tomato season because not much can compare to this perfection.  The best part is that they only take about 10 minutes to make and a whole plate like this is about 250 calories if my nifty little iPod app is correct.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Fresh Zucchini
  • 1 Ripe Tomato
  • Fresh Whole Basil Leaves
  • Smoked Gouda (or Fontina or Mozzarella, but Gouda is my favorite…the key word is “smoked”)
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Salt

Slice the zucchini into rounds about 1/3″ thick, coat them lightly in olive oil and place them on a cookie sheet under the broiler on low for about 4-5 minutes until they just start to soften and brown.  Meanwhile be picking out your basil leaves, one per zucchini round. and slicing your smokey cheese into small squares.  You want them to be just big enough to melt on the zucchini and almost cover the round.

After 4 mins in the oven, take out the zucchini and flip each round upside down.  Then place a basil leaf on each one and a slice of cheese on top.  The cheese will hold the basil in place.  Now put them back in the oven under the low broil just until the cheese melts.

Place a fresh slice of tomato on top, salt them to your liking, and try not to lick the plate…I dare you!