Not too interested

Emily and I are sisters. We might look alike, we might talk alike, but we are so NOT alike.

She is to shopping as I am to cooking. She hates cooking as I hate shopping. We are practically polar opposites. She is currently living in my father’s apartment while she has an internship, a few hours away. Coming home late, they hardly ever fix dinner because they are too tired, and (Emily) is just not interested. They will go out to their favorite neighborhood restaurant, Southside 815, at least 2-3 times a week. [I never would choose to go to the same restaurant if I was surrounded by the plethora they have.] But they do, because the food is not just good, but incredible!   Serving  “Southern Cuisine”, they offer entrees such as Corn Bread Stuffed Ribs, and Lemon Pepper Tuna Steak (this I had). Although well priced, going out to eat this often becomes expensive, and unhealthy. My mom and I always tell Emily she should cook, but excuses fly out of her- she claims she would, but she needs to watch it being made first. (THIS IS WHY I LOVE FOODNETWORK!!)

While the power was out, I went to go visit her, and to save money, I cooked one night. After looking through their scarcely stocked pantry and fridge, I decided on Mediterranean-style Stuffed Bell Peppers. They were so good, and easy, she said she would make them again. I don’t know if she has or not, but I could take a guess…

When both her and my dad were here last weekend, we decided it would be no excuse for them not to eat a homecooked meal if we made it for them! SO, my mom and I did.

GARDEN LASAGNA: 

from Health Magazine; http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001097982,00.html

(serves 6)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups (1 pound) chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Cooking spray
  • 9 (about 5 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

INSTRUCTION:

1. Preheat oven to 400*.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, onion, and carrot; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; stir in corn, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cottage cheese, Parmesan, nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

4. Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in bottom of an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over sauce; top with half the vegetable mixture (about 2 cups) and one-third of the remaining white sauce (about 1 cup). Top with 3 noodles, remaining vegetable mixture, half the remaining sauce, and 3 more noodles. Spread the remaining white sauce over noodles. Cover with foil and bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake an additional 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes.

Cooked Vegetable mixture

Cheese for the top

When making this, we decided to use two 9″by13″ dishes, one for us to keep, the other for them to take back. And for dinner the next night, we ate Garden Lasagna with a  carrot, orange pepper, and orange segment salad topped with a wonderful Balsamic Herb Vinegrette. Since both were light, it was the perfect dinner for a mild summer’s night.

This vinaigrette paired so well with the citrus of the orange.

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Filed under Recipe, Side Dish

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