Stacking Functions Garden

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Adam’s Recipe of the week: Zucchini Lasagna

lasagnapieceSo, my big challenge for the week was trying to figure out something to do with the giant zucchinis in the fridge. I also wanted to use ingredients that we had on hand…the result was quite delicious.

3 large zucchinis sliced thin the long way (or 1 jumbo!)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Butter
1 large onion diced
2-4 cloves garlic minced
1-2 T. fresh parsley
10 oz. roasted red pepper, diced
1 c. yogurt cheese* (or ricotta)
2 eggs
1 c. bread crumbs
2 c. mozzarella  cheese
1 c. parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 recipe pasta sauce* (or 1 jar store bought)

Slice zucchini and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Leave rest while you prepare the other ingredients:zucchinisliced

In a large saute pan heat olive oil and butter over medium heat, add onion and cook until soft. Turn off heat and add garlic, red pepper, and parsley:lasagnafilling

In a large bowl mix together the yogurt cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella, 1/2 of the parmesan, eggs, red pepper mixture, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Assemble in a 9×13 cake pan. Start by spreading 1/4 of the pasta sauce an the bottom of the pan, sprinkle 1/4 of the bread crumbs, cover with 1/3 of the zucchini slices and 1/2  of the red pepper cheese filling. Repeat (sauce, bread crumbs, zucchini, red pepper mixture, sauce, bread crumbs, zucchini). Cover with the remaining sauce and bread crumbs, and the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. I then added some fresh basil and oregano and another pinch of salt and pepper to the very top. Bake at 350 covered for 20 min., uncover and bake for an additional 10 min. (or until cheese starts to brown). Let stand for 10-15 min. to set.lasagnafinishedI baked this one on the grill, because I hate turning on the oven in the summer. Just make sure you don’t have the flame directly under the lasagna.

*Yogurt CheeseyogurtcheesePour plain yogurt into a colander lined with 2 layers of cheese cloth and let drain into a bowl for 2-6 hour (or overnight). The result is a nice thick cheese like yogurt. Use in place of cream cheese or ricotta.

*Simple pasta saucepastasauce

1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion
1-2 cloves garlic
1 can diced tomatoes 14 oz. with some of the liquid drained (or 2 whole peeled and diced)
2 T. fresh herbs (here I used basil, oregano, and thyme)
Pinch of salt, pepper, and sugar

Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer stirring and squashing tomato chunks with back of wooden spoon for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

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New header & a great reference website

It was about time I updated the header to reflect more of what’s going on around here right now, at the height of a glorious Minnesota summer.  Left to right: Rowan picking strawberries, my raspberry hedge, my hollyhock/strawberry/asparagus area next to the rain barrel, a ginger bug, and Anneke eating an onion.

I have a new batch of ginger beer that is very close to being done, but I am going to hold back on posting about it until I know for sure whether it was a success or not.  We did make it to the bottling stage this time; but we tasted it last week and it was still very flat.  Will try it again soon.

In the meantime, check out this blog, The Simple Green Frugal Co-op.  It’s my new favorite, so much useful information and updated frequently by a group of different writers.  I also added their RSS feed to the right of this page so you can I can see what they’re up to at all times.

Also, I am going to meet Sandor Ellix Katz Wednesday night!  He of fermentation fame!  I need to start writing down my questions.  Gotta go…

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CSA Week 5

Today’s CSA:


Currants  (!)
1 bunch basil
2 bunches collards
1 bunch green kale
2 bunches red chard
1 bunch red dandelion greens
2 bunches chioggia beets

We split this pretty much down the middle with the neighbors.  The kids ate almost all the peas right away, raw.  We had to pull them away from the currants.  I may have to plant some currants, wow are they good!  I’ve never had them fresh before, only dried.

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King Corn

I watched King Corn last night.  This 2005 documentary is about two urban east-coast boys who decided to move to Iowa and raise 1 acre of corn, and learn about the ways that corn has infiltrated pretty much every food that Americans eat.

They even had their hair tested in a laboratory and the lab tests confirmed that the guys were, indeed, pretty much made of corn.

This was entertaining and not at all preachy and included an appearance by Michael Pollan; his Omnivore’s Dilemma is required reading for the New Home Economics.

It’s just amazing to see how much Earl Butz‘s farm policy in the 1970s, which I’m sure he enacted with really good intentions, has changed family farms, our health, and our environment, and all for the worse.  Does that mean the old farm policy of the 50s and 60s would work now?  I don’t know.  But something has got to give, and the farmers in the documentary were in agreement that the ridiculous amounts of corn they produce are, well, ridiculous.

I wish I knew what the solution was.  Simply educating consumers to make informed choices is a start, but I just don’t think it’s enough, not when our government is pouring giant subsidies on a crop that no one can eat.