Tag Archives: vegetarian

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

Kale and Quinoa Salad

Please forgive me in advance for the iPhone pictures today!  But it seems that we’re all on the New Year’s resolution train for healthy eating together, and according to my Instagram blowing up, y’all wanted this recipe.

Presenting the Anti-Super Bowl Recipe:

Kale & Quinoa Salad Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

I wanted to throw something together using what I had last week, and what I had included some (very) baby kale and fresh green onions from the garden, quinoa (a pantry staple), and the last of my Meyer lemons.  I figured that all could make a really tasty salad, so I got to work.

Baby Kale, Fresh from the Garden | Oysters & Pearls

Kale and Quinoa Salad
serves 3 to 4

ingredients

– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 cups water
– 1 bunch kale, washed & torn into bit size pieces
– 1 whole Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
– 2 or 3 green onions, chopped
– 1 slightly overflowing teaspoon walnut oil
– 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
– 1/4 cup SGD Lil Moo Cheese
– salt & pepper

instructions

Toast the nuts in a dry skillet, shimmying and shaking it occasionally, until they smell nutty – about 3 or 4 minutes.

Bring water to a boil in a covered pot with a large pinch of kosher salt.  Add quinoa, lower heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  After 8 minutes, add the kale.  Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 more minutes (still covered).

While that’s going on, combine lemon juice, zest, onions, walnut oil, almonds, and cheese.  Transfer the kale and quinoa mixture to a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.

Eat.  And pat yourself on the back!  You should feel very, very pleased with yourself for making such healthy and smart decisions.

Quinoa and Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

As for substitutions, feel free to use collards instead of kale, or some other sturdy green.  Use olive oil instead of walnut oil, pine nuts or pecans instead of almonds, red quinoa instead of white.  You could sub feta or goat cheese for Lil Moo, or leave out the cheese altogether to make this vegan.  You could add some golden raisins or cranberries in there, or dried cherries, if that’s your thing.  You could add wayyyyy more greens to make it more of a salad than quinoa.  In fact, last night I made another batch, and left out the cheese and onions (it was raining – I’ll explain momentarily) and added leftover lemon sautéed green beans. So good!

In case you’re wondering about walnut oil, it’s delicious!  I bought some on clearance at Earth Fare right before I moved from Tallahassee, and I use it very sparingly.  It’s a treat!  Pecan Oil would be good, too.  Since you aren’t cooking it, the flavor of the oil really shines through, so you’ll want to use the best quality oil you’ve got.

Walnut Oil | Oysters & Pearls

You could use any kind of mild onion in this, or leave them out altogether.  However, I have a pot full of green onions that are OOC and are always in need to being cut back, so I try to use them every chance I get.

Growing Green Onions in a Pot | Oysters & Pearls

Want out of control green onions, too?  Next time you buy some at the grocery store, just don’t use the white root ends, and put them in a jar with a little water.  They will root and start growing.  Just plant them in a well-drained pot and soon you’ll have a ridiculous-looking pot full of unruly green onions, too.  If you’re into that sort of thing.

Kale and Lemon Quinoa Salad Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

This was the perfect well-balanced light salad to take to work for lunches last week.  It’s good heated back up, but it could totally be eaten cold, too.  Or on top of more fresh greens.  With a piece of fruit on the side, you’ve pretty much covered all your basic food groups.  Especially since quinoa is a complete protein!  It’s great as a main dish, or as a light and hearty side dish.

Seriously, I might be making this once a week from here on out.

Quinoa, Kale, and Lemon Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Happy Healthy Eating!

Until Next Time