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Friday, December 14, 2007

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

This is my favorite veggie lasagna. Roasting the vegetables first makes them very tender. You can add spinach, eggplant or any other desired vegetables.

3 cups sliced portobello mushrooms

2 medium zuchinni, sliced
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 T olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (extra smooth)
1 cup 1% cottage cheese
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg white
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, uncooked
3 cups of spagetti sauce (28 oz canned pureed tomatoe sauce, 3oz tomato paste, garlic minced, 1 tsp both rosemary and oregano)
1 1/2 cups shredded, part-skim mozarella or swiss cheese


1. Spray a large roasting pan with non stick spray. Add the first 10 ingredients. Mix well until the vegetables are coated with the seasoning. Roast uncovered at 400F for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time.

2. While vegetables are roasting, prepare cheese filling and cook the pasta. For the cheese filling combine the following in a medium bowl: the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, 1/4 of the parsley, parmesan cheese and egg white. Mix well and then refridgerate until ready to use. For the noodles, cook according to the package. Make sure to rinse and drain them well.

3. To prepare the spaghetti sauce use 3 cups of pureed tomatoes (canned 28oz), add 3 oz tomato paste, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp rosemary.

4. To assemble the lasagna, spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non stick spray. Spread 1/4 of the spaghetti sauce over bottom of pan. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles (3 lengthwise and 1 crosswise) over the sauce. Spread 1/2 cheese filling over noodles, followed by 1/3 of the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle vegetables with 1/3 mozza or swiss cheese. Repeat layering by placing 4 noodles, then 1/4 sauce, 1/2 cheese filling, 1/3 roasted veggies, 1/3 mozzarella. Final layer: 4 noodles, rest of spaghetti sauce, and top with rest of roasted veggies (1/3).

5. Cover with foil and bake at 375F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining mozza cheese and parsley. Return to oven for 5 mins. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mini Lemon Pepper Salmon Cakes

These can be made with real or canned salmon. They work as an appetizer or an entree (make larger or keep them mini and serve with salad). They freeze well and can be reheated in 12-15mins at 425F.

2 large potatoes (1 lb)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 cans (7.5 oz) red sockeye salmon, drained
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind

Alternative dip: mayonnaise, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper

Peel and cut potatoes in half crosswise. In saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes; drain and return to pot. Using potato masher, mash until smooth.

In large bowl, combine potatoes, bread crumbs, onions, parsley, lemon rind and juice, garlic, salt and pepper; blend in egg. Fold in salmon. Let cool for 5 minutes. Form by rounded tablespoonfuls (15 mL) into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick patties.

Make-ahead: Place on plates; cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Dipping Sauce:
In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, parsley, garlic and lemon rind. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)

Cooking Cakes:
In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Fry fish cakes, in batches, until golden, about 4 minutes per side.

Make-ahead: Place on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; let cool in refrigerator. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Reheat in 375°F oven, about 6 minutes.

Serve with dip.
Yields: 32 mini cakes

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Story of Stuff

I came across this interesting cartoon regarding the story of stuff from extraction of resources to consumption and disposal. The purpose is to "expose the connections between environmental and social issues, in the hope to create a more sustainable and just world."

Post WWII some bright capitalist got the idea that in order for economic growth to occur a system of consumption needed to be created. He stated that ...

"Our enormously productive economy…demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction in consumption, we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate."

This cartoon is pretty long at20mins, but can be broken down into chapters listed at the top of the screen. Although all chapters have interesting and important information, I think the consumption chapter is expecially important and interesting as it is something we can all relate to. So if you do not wish to view this at all or in its entirety, I urge you at least to skip to the consumption chapter and/or listen to bits of each chapter. I think we owe it to yourselves, our family, future generations and your planet.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Chocolate Crunch Cookies

This cookie was featured in the LCBO Food & Drink magazine. The recipe is from Ottawa's Planet Coffee in the Byward Market, who offer organic fair trade coffee and delicious treats.

1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups oats
2 cusps Rice Krispies cereal
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, cereal, chocolate chips and pecans. Stir together until combined.
Drop batter on baking sheets in mounds of 3T about 3 inches apart for large cookies, or 1 T mounds for smaller cookies and flatten with hands. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until pale gold.
Makes 30 large cookies.