Tag Archives: zucchini

If At First

Homemade Veggie Lasagna

A few months ago I attempted, and failed at, making homemade ravioli.  I was resolved that once I got my stand mixer I would try again to make my own rolled dough, and after a month of psyching myself up I finally did it!  Having the stand mixer not only greatly reduced the extreme mess, it also allowed me to focus more on what the dough looked like to insure the right balance of flour, egg, and oil.  I also made sure to take the time to let the pasta rest, and in the end I had dough that was rollable and edible.   I thought about making ravioli, or tortellini again, but wanted to make sure I could handle the basics first.  So I cleared off the space where my microwave once sat, laid out the parchment paper, and got to work.   I divided the dough into three sections to make the rolling more manageable and occasionally got out my hubby’s measuring tape to see how thick the dough was.  For the filling I used a combination of vegetables, based on what I found in the local section of the grocery – gotta love hothouse vegetables in December!

Homemade Lasagna

Serves 5-6


For Noodles:

3 cups flour

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp EVOO

1/4 tsp salt

For Filling

1/2 cup Mozzarella, shredded & divided

1/2 cup Ricotta, divided

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 vidalia onion, diced

1/4 cup oyster mushrooms, well washed, diced, and divided

1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, well washed, sliced, and divided

1/4 cup Italian brown mushrooms, well washed, sliced, and divided

1 1/2 cups favorite sauces, divided


  1. For Pasta: Add the flour to a large bowl, make a well and crack the eggs in to the well. Use a dough hook to slowly beat the eggs and flour, go slow to make sure you don't mix in to much flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on parchment, then remove any extra flour from the bowl and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover with a towel or wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30minutes remove the dough from the fridge and divide in to three balls. Keep two in the bowl under the cover, and prepare an area to roll out the third ball. I used parchment paper with about 2tbsp of flour on the paper and another 2tbsp on the rolling pin. Roll out the dough until it is around 1/8 of an inch thick or thinner. Cover with a paper towel and repeat with the remaining two bowls. Allow pasta to rest on counter for about 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Place 1/4 cup of the sauce onto the bottom of a 9x9 casserole dish, and spread out along the bottom and side of the dish. Cut the pasta dough in to 3x3 strips and place one layer on the bottom of the dish. Then add half of the vegetables and half of the Mozz and Ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup of the sauce. Repeat with the remaining vegetables then add one last layer of pasta before adding the Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4 cup of sauce.
  5. Bake for 35minutes, cheese should be brown and the sauce should be bubbling. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

I’m not sure if I’m ready to try long noodles or shapes yet, but I’m hoping that after a few more goes at lasagna and ravioli I’ll have the rolling technique down enough to start cutting the dough.  If that ever happens I can promise a very happy blog post.

I See Stars

Zucchini Oat Bread


I had a surprise in my garden yesterday: a zucchini.  I had basically counted them out since I hadn’t seen any sign of life on either plants all season.  Needless to say I was rather shocked when going to gather some tomatoes I nearly stepped on a gorgeous fully grown zucchini.  My original bread plan involved peaches, since bread is the theme for this week’s 52week challenge.  After finding the zucchini I knew that I had to make zucchini bread and that it had to be amazing.  For a few moments I debated chocolate zucchini bread, but decided to go for the health factor and modify a recipe in one of my favorite bread machine books.  The Bread Machine Cookbook does have a recipe for zucchini bread, but past experiences with it weren’t very good.  This time I decided to adjust the Carrot Bread recipe and made frequent checks to see if it needed more liquid in order to avoid the dryness of the last zucchini bread.   In the end I wound up adding a little bit more oil and zucchini, which resulted in a very moist and flavorful bread.

Zucchini Oat Bread


1 cup water

2 tbsp EVOO

3/4 cup grated Zucchini (pressed)

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/3 tsp salt

1 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

2 2/3 cup bread flour

1/4 cup dry milk

2 1/2 tsp yeast


  1. Add the ingredients to the bread machine based on manufacturer's instructions. This makes one "large" loaf in my Panasonic using the standard cook time.

As you can tell from the picture we ate our with Nutella, but honey or just butter alone is always an option.  Since finding out Joe is not allergic to hazelnuts, Nutella has  been a regular addition to our breads.

I am also submitting this to August’s Simple and in Season link-up hosted by the always fabulous Ren of Fabulous Foods.   Make sure to head over there for some more great ideas for preparing seasonal recipes!

My Neighbor

Squash Pesto 

Time for August’s Secret Recipe Club!  This month I was assigned Amy’s blog: A Little Nosh.   I had seen Amy’s blog before but for some reason I had missed some rather key things about her.  For example her kitchen is about the same size as mine, and while I refer to mine as a “one bum, two tail” kitchen her header declares her kitchen to be a “two butt” zone.  I then noticed her CSA button, mostly because the pick-your-own farm I’ve been hitting this year is called also called Great Country Farm.  Turns out her CSA is MY pick-your-own farm.   Further investigation on her About Me page declared that she does indeed live in the Washington, DC area, so with that I found my first SRC IRL neighbor!   Once I got past the initial blog-stalking aspect of my assignment I got down to the recipes.   I was immediately drawn to her CSA Friday entries, so many delicious veggie-focused options.   She also has an entire Pinterest board dedicated to CSA recipes, one that I will be following as soon as this blog goes live.   I also explored some of her past July/August recipes which is where I found the final two contenders for this month’s SRC entry.  In the end my need to get rid of some summer squash drove my decision to go with her pesto zucchini.

Pesto Zucchini


1 large squash, julienned

1 medium zucchini, julienned

1 tbsp EVOO

1 small vidalia onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp pesto

1/2 lb favorite pasta


  1. Place the squash and zucchini in a large colander, salt, and allow to sit for 15minutes. Drain as much liquid as possible and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile cook the pasta per instructions on the box. Before draining save 1/2 cup of the starchy water.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5minutes. Add the squash/zucchini mixture and cook an additional 3minutes before adding the pesto. Mix the pesto with the vegetables and then slowly add in the reserved starchy water stirring as you go. Remove from heat and toss with the cooked pasta. Enjoy!

This dish is so amazingly versatile, it can be served as an amazing side dish or easily adapted for a pasta or pizza topping.  After much debating I decided to turn it into a pasta sauce, by adding some onion and a little bit of starchy pasta water.  To say this dish was a hit doesn’t begin to cover it.  Joe declared the pesto so good that it didn’t need extra cheese, which is the highest praise possible.  Thank you Amy for such an amazing recipe!  Let me know if you want to go pick peaches…

We Go Together

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry


Secret Recipe Club time is here again!  Last month I was lucky enough to have three(!!!) SRC recipes, only time will tell if that happens again.  This month I was assigned The Cookin’ Chemist which is run by Tessa, a former chem major who sees cooking as an edible experiment.  I completely understand this sentiment, which is why I will one day own the “Baking is Science for Hungry People” shirt/apron.  Tessa’s blog has a great recipe search function that made it really easy to find all sorts of delicious treats.  Since the weather has been HOT HOT HOT lately, I wanted to find something that used the oven as little as possible.  Stumbling upon her slow cooker coconut curry I knew I had found the perfect match since she mentioned serving it up during a similar heat wave.  I did some slight modifications to the recipe it order to make it vegetarian friendly and also increase the heat level.  I also found that I needed to use all the sauce since I was using 2lbs of veggies in place of the 1lb of meat.


Slow Cooker Coconut Curry


1/2 large onion

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and quartered

2 thai chilis, minced

4 garlic cloves

1 small can tomato paste

1 can (14.5 oz) light coconut milk

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. curry powder

1 Tbsp. Garam Marsala

2 lbs cubed squash (I did 1 lb zucchini and 1 lb Japanese eggplant)


  1. Place all the peppers and onions into a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add in garlic cloves, tomato paste, coconut milk, salt, curry powder, and Garam Marsala and process until smooth.
  2. Add the sauce to the slow cooker along with the cubed squash and cook in a crockpot on low for 4 hours.
  3. Serve over rice with naan!

Delicious, simple, and easy!  What more does one really need in a recipe?!?!   We had enough for dinner, including seconds, as well as lunches the next day. Another wonderful adventure thanks to the Secret Recipe Club, I can’t wait to see who I’m partnered with next month!

In other news, my garden is going fabulously!  In fact, the eggplant and the peper for this dish came from my garden.  I’ve since harvest one more eggplant along with a large number of cherry tomatoes and a few normal sized tomatoes.  I lost a few squash to critters the other week, and have since adjusted my netting to avoid any more issues.



Wish They All

California Enchiladas

The other week I was roaming around Pinterest and saw a pin for an awesome open-faced chicken enchilada that looked amazing.  While my first inclination was to just switch the chicken tofu or chickun, I decided to take the general concept and go with it.  After further “research” I found that these open faced creations are also called California Enchiladas and decided that the time had come for me to give them a whirl.  I decided to avoid the tofu and go with some squash and also decided to make my own salsa verde in order to have more control over the heat involved.   Everything came together in record time, probably because there was nothing to roll!

Wish They All



2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lb tomatillos, husked and halved

1/2 cup cilantro, loosely chopped

1 jalapenos or 1 habanero pepper, halved and deseeded (optional)

1/2 sweet onion, diced

10 corn tortillas (6in)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, finely diced

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

2 yellow squash, finely diced

2 zucchini, finely diced

1 beefsteak tomato, diced

1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

sour cream (optional)

guacamole (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 475. Toss the tomatillos in the olive oil and then place on a roasting pan in a single layer. Cook for 30minutes or until outer edges are brown and the juices are bubbling. Allow to cool and then place in food processor. Add the cilantro and pepper and pulse until well blended. I like mine on the chunky side but the choice is yours. Set aside (should be around 1 1/2 cups) and turn oven to 350.
  2. Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and cayenne pepper and cook for 5minutes. Add the squash and zucchini and cook for an additional 7-10minutes, or until the squash are soft and onion is transparent. Set aside
  3. Take 1/2 cup of salsa and spread on the bottom of a 10x10x4 (or more) pan. Place one layer of the tortillas (for mine this results in two rows of 2.5 tortillas).
  4. Spoon about 1 cup of the squash mixture and half of the tomatoes over the tortillas, as evenly as possible. Top with 1/2 cup of the salsa and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Add the remaining tortillas and then top with the rest of the squash, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese trying to be as even as possible.
  5. Bake for 35minutes, the cheese should be starting to brown around the edges. Serve topped with the sour cream and/or guacamole.

I wound up being really bad at being even with my squash layering which resulted in some very cheesy end pieces and an insanely deep center.  Not that it stopped any of us

Salsa verde is probably my favorite salsa out there, followed by Texas Caviar (yum!), and one of these days I’m going to remember to save the seeds from some tomatillos so that I can attempt to grow my own.   I also need to remember to save the seeds from my other vegetables so that I can cut down on next year’s gardening costs.  If anyone has any tips for drying seeds please send them my way!