Tag Archives: meatless monday

Healthy White Vegetable Lasagna

Thanks to the recent influx of summer vegetables from our favorite farmers at Mountain Shadow Farm and Hopkins Farms, I’ve done a lot of cooking lately!  Making up for lost time I suppose.  Our (weight) gain is your gain!  But it doesn’t count when you’re cooking with summer fruits and veggies… right?

Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

This veggie lasagna is full of creamy white sauce, but don’t let that fool you.  It’s perfectly healthy while still being indulgent.  This is one dish that actually might not increase your waistline!

Patty Pan Heirloom Squash from Mountain Shadow Farm in Bainbridge, Georgia | Oysters & Pearls

Start with farm-fresh vegetables, like these beautiful little patty pan heirloom squashes from Mack at Mountain Shadow Farm. They make up the backbone of this hearty dish.  You can sub crookneck squash and/or zucchini for them if you can’t get your hands on any patty pan squash.

Building Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

You’ll roast most of the veggies, and this will require multiple pans and lots of things going on at once in your kitchen, but stay calm.  Just cover every baking sheet you own in aluminum foil to make it less overwhelming, because that cuts your cleanup time way down.  Just breathe, read the directions a couple of times, and relax.  And don’t forget to watch your roux!

Healthy Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
serves six to eight
Barely adapted via myrecipes.com

ingredients

Vegetables
– 10 very small sweet onions (or 3 large shallots), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
– 2 to 3 pounds baby pattypan squash (may sub crookneck or zucchini squash)
– 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
– 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
– 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
– 4 very ripe large tomatoes (or two pints cherry tomatoes)
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
– 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

Sauce
– 3 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
– 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten
– Cooking spray
– 9 cooked lasagna noodles
– 8 ounces ricotta cheese
– 3 ounces shredded Italian Blend Cheese (or fontina if you can find it) (about 3/4 cup, packed)
– 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil

instructions

Preheat oven to 450°.  Combine onions and squash; drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss. Arrange vegetables in pan; roast at 450° for 30 minutes, stirring once.  Don’t allow them to burn, but you do want them to have some color. Preheat broiler to high.  Place tomatoes in a roasting pan; broil 10 minutes or until blistered. Combine squash mixture, tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, chives, and garlic; toss gently.  Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; swirl. Combine broth and flour, stirring with a whisk; add broth mixture to oil. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a whisk. I like a flat whisk – they are perfect for making roux.  Stir in cream, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer gently 4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Place egg in a small bowl; slowly add 1 1/2 cups sauce to egg, stirring constantly. Return sauce to pan.

To build the lasagna, spread 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom of a broiler-safe 13 x 9–inch ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; spread half of squash mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese and dot with ricotta. Repeat the layers with remaining noodles, vegetable mixture, and cheese, ending with noodles. Pour remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly.  Turn broiler to high.  Broil lasagna for 4 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons fresh basil. Let stand for 12 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!

Roasted Veggies and Fresh Herbs Make this Healthy Vegetable Lasagna Extra Flavorful | Oysters & Pearls Roasted Veggies and Fresh Herbs Make this Healthy Vegetable Lasagna Extra Flavorful | Oysters & Pearls Healthy Veggie Lasagna with Homegrown Summer Vegetables and Herbs | Oysters & Pearls Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

This is such a pretty lasagna… before you cut it.  Is there really any way to make a slice of lasagna look pretty??  If there is, I haven’t found it yet.

Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

Feel free to roast and add any hearty, meaty veggies you have and add them in.  It’s so good and satisfying, creamy and rich without any of the guilt.  And a bit lighter than your average lasagna, so it’s perfect for summer gatherings around the table.

Shop this post:
farm style table (Southern Restoration Furniture)
flat whisk (Cuisipro Silicone Flat Whisk)
everyday china (Lenox French Perle in White)
blue baking dish (Staub Ceramic 9″ Oval Dish (Dark Blue)

You may also like:
Farm to Table Supper Club
Farm to Table Supper Club Part Deaux
Hopkins Farms CSA
Harvest Moon Farm to Table Program
Shaved Summer Squash Salad
Southern Restoration Furniture by Marc Ventry

Until Next Time

Sriracha Roasted Tofu

If you eat tofu and you love sriracha with all your heart and soul (like I do), then you will be thrilled about today’s post.  If not, please kindly disregard this recipe. ;)

Also, excuse the slew of terrible iPhone pictures coming your way, por favor.  Sometimes I make up a recipe and there’s no time for the real deal.

Nasoya Organic Extra Firm Tofu | Oysters & Pearls

This tofu was supposed to be for my very-soon-to-be-sister-in-law, but it ended up not being for her, due to the fact I forgot it existed in my fridge.  I do not hate tofu, but I do hate waste, so I cooked it for myself last week.  Wheat refused to eat it, so it became a packed lunch for work.  I did not mind that he wouldn’t eat it though, because it was so easy to cook and so spicy-good.

And let’s be honest: if I put enough hot sauce on anything, I’ll probably like it.

Extra Firm Tofu for Sriracha Roasted Tofu Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Sriracha Roasted Tofu Recipe

ingredients
– 1 pack extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
– 3 tablespoons sriracha
– 3 tablespoons soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or sesame oil, if you’ve got it)

instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut tofu into cubes, or triangles if you love 1 Fresh Stir Fry‘s tofu in Tallahassee.  In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.  Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Dredge each piece of tofu in the mixture and place on the baking sheet, leaving an inch or two of space between each piece.  Pour the rest of the mixture over the top, if you like things really spicy.  Bake for 10 minutes or so, or until tender and shrunken.

Spicy Sriracha Roasted Tofu Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Please note that I added that little parchment paper tip after the fact, based on hindsight.

Sriracha Roasted Tofu over New York Times Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

I topped a New York Times Tuscan Kale Salad with these spicy bits, and it was the perfect spicy-tangy-garlicy combination for a meatless Thursday.

Spicy Sriracha Roasted Tofu over Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Until Next Time

Meatless Monday: Creme Fraiche Pasta

Top of the morning to ya!

Thank you to everyone who left such nice comments for me and for Marc on Friday’s post.  I really enjoyed writing it, and I’m so grateful to have a platform to share the things I eat, see, do and find with y’all.  Days like Friday make me so glad I started writing this blog way back in January! :)  I hope everyone who orders a cutting board from him absolutely loves it! (I know you will.)

Today I’m flashing back to last Monday and the meatless Monday meal that Wheat (at first begrudgingly) admitted was pretty dern delicious, even without any meat.

Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

This meal started out with a kitchen, garden, and pantry evaluation.

What do I have?  And how in the world can I make a meal of it?

Last weekend I had made an experimental batch of creme fraiche, which I was dying to use somehow.  We had a box of pasta, lemons, and fresh parsley growing in the herb garden.  Put it together, and it made a really tasty pasta dish!

As for the creme fraiche, you can either make it yourself like I did, buy it, or substitute sour cream, or even plain greek yogurt.  But it’s pretty cool making it yourself!

How to Make Homemade Creme Fraiche | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Creme Fraiche Recipe

Mix two parts heavy cream with a little less than one part buttermilk in a jar.  Leave at room temperature partially covered for 24 or more hours.  I use a coffee filter and a jar band to keep the critters out.

After a day or two, give it a stir and refrigerate.  It will be thick and resemble sour cream, but it has a nutty flavor that is delicious!

Use it as a sauce for pasta or meats, add a dollop to fresh fruit, soups, or anything else.  Sweeten it a bit and use it to layer between and/or ice cakes, top pies… the possibilities are endless!

Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese for Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

Spicy Creme Fraiche Pasta Recipe

ingredients

for the gremolata

– 1 small bunch parsley (about 1/2 cup chopped)
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– zest of one small lemon

for the pasta

– 1/2 pound (1/2 a box) of rotini pasta
– 1/2 cup creme fraiche
– 2 tablespoons-ish olive oil
– 1/2 cup or so grated parmesan reggiano
– a heaping half-teaspoon red pepper flakes
– juice of one lemon
– salt & pepper to taste

instructions

make the gremolata: In a small bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest with a spoon or spatula.

cook’s note: gremolata is an Italian condiment, usually served with ossobucco.  However, it’s delicious on lots of things (including this pasta), especially rich dishes.

Cook your pasta according to package directions, until al dente.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the creme fraiche with the olive oil and lemon juice until combined, then add the parmesan, red pepper, and gremolata and mix until combined.  When the spaghetti is cooked, use a pasta grabber to transfer the pasta directly into the bowl of sauce.  Toss until the pasta is coated evenly, divide into serving portions and serve immediately.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  optional: garnish with extra parmesan, a drizzle of EVOO, and/or a lemon wedge.

Fresh Parsley for Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

I was going to post this last week, but didn’t want to give away too many hints about my new cutting board before that post went live on Friday.  However, homegrown parsley on my tobacco slat cutting board is awfully pretty, I have to say.

Fresh Gremolata for Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

Gremolata is really pretty, too.  Gremolata whipped into butter on a steak would be divine!

Creme Fraiche Pasta for Meatless Monday | Oysters & Pearls

But it pairs perfectly with rich creme fraiche.  If you’re averse to spicy, you may want to reduce the amount of red pepper flakes, but we liked the kick.

Spicy Creme Fraiche Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

You can use whatever type pasta you prefer as well.  We just had rotini on hand, but I like rotini for this because the sauce per noodle ratio ends up a lot higher than your average spaghetti.

This pasta would be awesome with a grilled chicken breast, seared scallops, or fish on top.  Ya know, if it isn’t meatless Monday.

The plates weren’t garnished, but the table was, with some fall wildflowers and beauty berries from the farm.  Fall wildflowers are one of the many, many reasons this is my favorite time of year!

Fall Wildflowers & Beauty Berries | Oysters & Pearls

In other unsurprising news, Harold rolled in something YET AGAIN and had to get a bath YET AGAIN… and he hated it YET AGAIN.

Harold After His Bath | Oysters & Pearls

What a cruel, unjust world it is, huh Harold?

Until Next Time