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.

Ingredients:
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

Ingredients:
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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Mini garden update

butterflyvisitorLook at this neat visitor that we had in our garden yesterday!  We think it was most likely a “Tiger Swallowtail,” according to our insect book.

blondecuke

That is not a lemon!  It’s a cucumber.  I planted an heirloom variety this year called Boothby Blonde cucumers, that get kinda fat and yellow.  They are absolutely delicious.  The flavor is very delicate and sublime.  They definitely don’t taste like a supermarket cucumber (which to me, tastes like water with skin).

giantzukesFinally, a goof.  I neglected to check on my zucchini plants for at least 4 days, and look what happened.  GIANTIFIC zucchinis.  Not even sure if these are edible anymore.  I put them in the fridge, and Adam is talking about making a zucchini lasagna where he’ll use slices of these (sliced the long way) instead of lasagna noodles.


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Recipe: chocolate zucchini cake with raspberry sauce

zukecake

As long as we’re on the subject of my Grandma Rensenbrink, here is her recipe for zucchini cake, which I made tonight.  The raspberry sauce addition was Adam’s excellent idea.

Chocolate zucchini cake:
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 1/2 c. flour (I used a mixture of white and whole-grain barley)
4 T. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 (very generous) c. grated unpeeled zucchini (2-3 med. size ones)

Mix all ingredients together, pour into greased and floured 9×13 pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 min.  I reduced the sugar by quite a bit and substituted honey for part of it.  I also used freshly-ground barley flour for just under half of the flour it called for, but I think any mild-tasting whole grain would work fine (spelt, for example).

Raspberry sauce
3 c. fresh raspberries (or frozen, thawed)
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. water
1 tsp. corn starch

1. Press raspberries through a strainer with the back of a wooden spoon to remove (most of the) seeds.
2. Whisk corn starch into strained raspberries.
3. Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to boil over medium heat.
4. Add raspberry/corn starch mixture and return to boil to thicken.
5. Allow to cool.  Makes about 2 cups… we should have leftovers for ice cream this week.

Optional variation: substitute 1/3 c. maple syrup for the sugar/water mixture if you like.