Zucchini Lasagna with Beef & Mushrooms

I posted this so-so photo of the lasagna I made last night, inspired by a Skinnytaste recipe. After many requests for the recipe, here’s my adaptation!

Do not be fooled by the fact that the original recipe is Skinnytaste. As you may know by now, I love cheese. So I was compelled to add extra cheese. Not sorry.

Make sure you salt the zucchini slices, laid out on paper towels. Pat them dry after 15 minutes. If you skip this step, you’ll have lasagna stew because zucchini is full of water.

Use any type of ground meat you like – I used half a pound of venison and half a pound of beef sirloin. Turkey…Italian sausage…it will all work great!

I shortcut the sauce by using jarred. 6pm on a Monday after a full day of work is no time to make your own sauce, so pull out the jar, folks! I won’t tell.

Zucchini Lasagna with Beef & Mushrooms

servings=6

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, stem end removed, sliced to 1/8″ on a mandolin slicer (this is the weight of the final stack of slices)
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, turkey, pork, venison, etc.)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 jar (around 24 ounces) of your favorite spaghetti sauce (tomato basil works great)
  • 24 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (or you could use shredded if you like), plus more for topping
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt, for zucchini

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Slice the zucchini and lay on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.

In a large pan, brown the meat and onion over medium heat. While the meat cooks, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and egg in a bowl. Set aside.

When the meat is done, drain off any liquid. Add spaghetti sauce and mushrooms; stir to combine. Simmer, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, blot the zucchini dry.

In a deep 3 1/2 quart casserole, layer 1/4 meat sauce in the bottom. Layer 1/3 zucchini slices on top, making the slices overlap. Spread 1/3 ricotta mixture over top; repeat sauce-zucchini-ricotta two more times so you have 3 layers.

Spoon remaining sauce on top of top layer of ricotta. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then 15-20 minutes uncovered until cheese is browned and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Adapted from Skinnytaste.com’s Zucchini Lasagna


One-Skillet Eggs with Potatoes and Kale

Thanks to Julie at feedfeed.info for featuring this post on her “Breakfast Eggs” feed in November 2014!

Here’s an easy, one-pot-to-clean way to get breakfast or brunch on the table. I’m always throwing things together in a pan and this morning’s turned out pretty derned good.

This is a simple recipe. Use the pretty multicolored potatoes like I did, or use any waxy potato (such as small red “new” potatoes).

I made 2 servings in a 10-inch pan. You could squeeze 3 or maybe even 4 servings out of a 12-inch pan.

I love when a meal you throw together turns out great! Enjoy.

One-Skillet Eggs with Potatoes and Kale

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 – 3/4 pounds waxy potatoes, such as red or fingerling, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 2-3 cups kale, stems removed, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pepper, to taste

In a 10-inch skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and garlic powder and cook 10-15 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add onions and cook another 5 minutes. Pepper potatoes and onions to taste.

Reduce heat to medium. Move potatoes to one side and add bacon. Cook slowly for 10 minutes until crisp. Set on paper towels to drain.

Stir potato and onions, and add kale. Move potatoes to one side and slowly pour eggs (pan should be hot enough that the eggs begin to cook immediately and don’t mix too much with the potatoes). Top with cheese. Scramble and cook until fluffy.

Serve half the eggs and potatoes with 1 slice of bacon. Enjoy!


Feta & Basil Turkey Burgers with Pesto Mayo

Confession: I’m not a big fan of turkey burgers. Not as they usually are.

You know: dry, flavorless, generally not worth the calories? I’d rather have beef, thankyouverymuch.

But oh…dress up the meat and turkey burgers can be fabulous.

Case in point. This recipe.

Let me explain.

Feta. Basil. Pesto. Mayo. Ciabatta. Grilled.

We want.

Get it?

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Feta & Basil Turkey Burgers with Pesto Mayo

one note: don’t overmix the turkey; it’ll get tough. Use your fingers and mash everything together carefully. It won’t be fully incorporated, and that’s okay.

  • 1 pound ground lean turkey
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs (regular or panko will work)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil
  • mayonnaise of your choice
  • prepared jarred basil pesto of your choice
  • tomato slices
  • cucumber slices
  • lettuce leaves
  • 4 ciabatta rolls

In a large mixing bowl, break ground turkey apart carefully. Add egg, breadcrumbs, feta and basil. Mix gently by hand until just incorporated.

Divide the mixture evenly into 4 patties.

Heat a grill pan or skillet to medium high. When pan is hot, slice ciabatta in half, oil lightly, and grill cut side down until charred. Set bread aside.

Reduce heat to medium, oil pan and add burgers, but don’t overcrowd. (You can also do this on a traditional outdoor grill!)

Cook about 7 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

To make the pesto mayo, add equal parts mayonnaise and pesto. Whisk together until combined and spread generously on the top of each of the bread halves.

Top burger with tomato, cucumber and lettuce. Enjoy!


Hash Brown Birds’ Nests & Eggs

Here’s a great breakfast or brunch recipe idea. Build on it with your own ingredients!

I was leafing through Eating Well magazine and came across a hash brown/egg recipe that inspired me to create my own version with the ingredients I already had.

The potatoes do take some time to crisp up. Just leave them to cook, letting most of the moisture evaporate. Using a spatula to turn them (instead of just pushing them around in the pan with a wooden spoon) will help them brown and hold together for when you form the “nests” for the eggs.

Cook the egg until just set for a bit of runny yolk to dip your potatoes in. Mmmm. Add mimosas or bloody Marys and I’m coming to your house for brunch!

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Hash Brown Birds' Nests & Eggs

Recipe inspired by Eating Well, Sept-Oct 2014 issue

  • 2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • scallions and hot sauce, for garnish
  • shredded cheese, if desired

Preheat the broiler on high.

In a medium nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the hash brown potatoes, garlic powder and onion powder. Salt to taste.

Spread the hash evenly in the pan and continue to cook on medium-high about 10 minutes. Use a spatula to occasionally turn over until the potatoes are lightly browned and beginning to get crispy. Turn off heat.

Divide the hash evenly in the pan, forming into two “nests”. Make a hole in the center of each and crack an egg there.

Place the pan in the preheated oven and broil on the second-from-top rack until egg yolk is soft-set, about 1-2 minutes.

Remove immediately and top with cheese if desired. Sprinkle with pepper and scallions. Use a spatula to transfer to plates and enjoy!


Hot Roast Beef & Swiss Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo

It’s football time and I’m so excited!

Get ready for some serious good eating. Here’s the first installation.

Spicy, savory, sweet…this sandwich is so good, and easy to make. Fancy up the plain ‘ol roast beef sandwich with some spicy horseradish mayo and caramelized red onions.

Put it all on a buttered pretzel bun and oh…devoured. Pronto.

Hot Roast Beef & Swiss Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo

  • 2/3 to 3/4 pound good quality deli sliced roast beef (I like Boar’s Head brand)
  • 4 thick slices Swiss cheese
  • 2 1/4-inch slices of red onion, broken into rings
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, plus more for rolls
  • 2 pretzel sandwich rolls
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, combine mayo, horseradish and a small amount of pepper. Stir and set aside.

In a medium nonstick pan over high heat, melt the butter. Reduce heat to medium-high and add onions, cooking until browned and soft, about 5 minutes. Put onions in a bowl and set aside.

Halve and butter the inside of each slice of pretzel roll. Place butter side down in the pan and let cook until browned, 1-2 minutes. Place buns on a plate.

Turn heat to medium-low. In same pan, add the roast beef slices. Using tongs, toss the slices until evenly browned and warmed through, 2-3 minutes. Form meat into 2 piles in the pan and top each with 2 slices of Swiss cheese. Turn off the heat.

When cheese is beginning to melt, use a spatula to transfer the meat pile to each of the pretzel buns. Top with the cooked onions, and spread the horseradish mayo on the top half of the roll. Open mouth, shove sandwich in, and enjoy!


Bubble Toast

Bubble toast. This is the garlic bread of my childhood.

There used to be a restaurant we’d go to that served this bread, but it’s long since closed.  They called it Bubble Toast.  My mom sought to replicate it at home.

It’s so simple, yet so good.  A delicious variation on classic garlic bread!

The sour cream is unexpected, but it’s like the sauce on a pizza.  It just has to be there.

Use any cheese you like – cheddar, colby jack, even provolone.  But make sure you use a thick, crusty bread, or it will never get toasty – it’ll just be soggy.

Bubble Toast!  Yum!

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Bubble Toast

Servings vary.

  • crusty bread, such as Cuban or French
  • shredded cheese of your choice (cheddar, colby jack, etc)
  • sour cream
  • garlic powder

Cut the bread loaf in half lengthwise and spread a layer of cream cheese on it.  About as much as you’d put cream cheese on your bagel.

Sprinkle with a little garlic powder to taste.  Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted (about 10 minutes), then use the broil function to brown the cheese.  Dive in immediately!

Enjoy!


Hash Brown Casserole

Oohhh, hash brown casserole, how we love thee!  This is my mom’s recipe, and one of the most delicious versions I’ve ever had.  A double batch is on the table every Thanksgiving and there’s never any left (gotta start making a triple batch!).  It’s not the healthiest recipe….but it’s worth the caloric compromise!

Since most canned soup is a no-no, we had to find a certified gluten free brand for my sister. You can’t tell the difference at all.  I’ve seen a few different GF brands pop up over the years, so look in the soup aisle first, or specialty foods aisle second (in our grocery store, it’s in both places).  It might be in a can or a carton (like shelf-stable milk or boxed tomatoes).  Of course, you can just use Campbell’s soup too.  It’ll be delicious either way!

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Hash Brown Casserole

  • 1 bag (about 2 pounds) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed slightly
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1 pint (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 can (12-15 ounces) gluten free cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 1/2 cups (more if you like!) grated cheese – cheddar, colby jack, etc.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir gently until well combined.  Grease a 2-2 1/2 quart baking dish and spoon in the mixture, smoothing over the top.   Bake for about an hour or until browned on top and bubbling on the sides.  Enjoy!