Posts Tagged ‘ Broccoli ’

Veggie Lasagna

Let me start by telling you that I made a 9′ x 13′ tray of this lasagna Thursday night and it’s already almost finished.  This lasagna is so good it’s simply disappearing.  It’s a favorite recipe of mine because everyone in my house loves it including my husband who is still a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

This is a very forgiving recipe.  I tend to use a few specific veggies and then whatever is on hand.  Zucchini, onion, and broccoli are must have ingredients and then I alternate for the rest of them.  I love to use mushrooms but they were a little too costly this week so I left them out.  I seriously doubt anyone noticed.  I did add some carrot and yellow pepper which gave it great color!

The vegetables get saute’d in a pan and then roughly chopped in the food processor.  It creates a nice texture. Once assembled it’s quite weighty.  I make it with 4 thick layers of each lasagna noodles and filling.  It’s a pretty solid meal.

I served it with some home-made garlic knots which were really quick to assemble.  I purchased some pre-made pizza dough (not the kind in a tube) and sectioned it off.  I then made each piece a cord and knotted it.  I covered each knot with some fresh garlic and olive oil, baked it for 10 minutes at 350, brushed on more garlic oil and cooked another 10 minutes.  They were a great accompaniment to the lasagna.


1 lb box of lasagna noodles cooked according to directions

1 large container of ricotta

1 lb mozzarella (fresh if possible)

1 jar quality tomato sauce or home-made

1/2 cup veggie parmesan cheese

1 egg lightly beaten

At least 1 lb of fresh vegetables roughly chopped including broccoli florets, 1-2 zucchini, 1 large onion, 1 large pepper,mushrooms, carrots, or cauliflower

Salt, pepper and italian seasoning to taste


Take ricotta cheese and beaten egg and mix well, add in 1/4 cup parmesan, season well

Saute the vegetables in a pan until cooked but still crisp, season and then place in food processor and pulse until small pieces but not mushy

Spray a 9′ x 13′ inch pan with non stick spray and then place a little sauce on the pan

Place 3-4 sheets of lasagna on the pan

Add 1/2 of the ricotta mixture spreading evenly and top with 1/2 of the vegetables, top with just a little mozzarella

Add another layer of pasta and top with sauce and mozzarella

Repeat the with another layer of ricotta and vegetables, cover with another layer of pasta, mozzarella and cheese, sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, allow to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.

Peace love & greens, Lin


Primo Pasta

This recipe actually came from the most recent copy of  Vegetarian Times although I’ve made a few changes to it.  It’s photo was the magazine cover and looked really good.  As I read the recipe I realized that it was listed under an article for meals with 5 ingredietns or less.  I love that type of recipe but I always end up adding extras.  It’s still a really simple recipe and has a lemony creamy taste.

Now I’ve got to be honest and tell you that I’ve made much better recipes and when we ate it for dinner we thought it was a good weekday meal but nothing fabulous.  Sunday I took a container of it to work for lunch and was pleasantly surprised at how well it lasted and reheated.  It made me like this even more.  Following the recipe as written it was a little to thick and sticky.  I fixed this by adding a little fat free half and half until it was a creamier consistency.  I also added some veggies making it a convenient 1 dish meal.  Feel free to add in or remove whatever veggies you like.  I had considered adding some cannellini beans but last minute changed my mind.  They would have worked fine.


8 oz dry linguine cooked according to directions

1/2 cup light cream cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon zested

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Approximately 1/2 cup fat free half and half  or milk

Parsley, basil, salt and pepper to taste

12 oz bag of veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower florets


Cook pasta according to directions, during the last minute or two of cooking toss veggies into the boiling water

Drain pasta and veggies well, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water

In a large saucepan warm cream cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and zest until melted, add seasoning and pasta water

Stir in pasta and veggies and add half and half or milk until desired consistency, add additional seasoning if needed

Grilled Veggies and Pasta

This evening I was craving baked pasta but the last thing I wanted to do is turn on my oven.  With the heat index Central Florida is close to 105 degrees.  In reality the temperature is in the mid 90’s.  From what I understand much of the country is feeling the summer heat as bad or worse than Florida.  I’m sure it’s not that different in many other countries either.

So the question is, how to have a baked pasta dish without turning on the oven?  The answer is easy, use your grill!  I’ve been doing this for years using glass bake-ware and the lowest setting for the grill.  I don’t actually think it’s recommended so please do so at your own risk.  I actually use the grill 2x for this recipe.  First to roast the veggies on a high heat and then again to bake the completed pasta dish.  The only indoor heat I used was to cook the pasta.

The recipe requires very little work.  I bought sliced mushrooms and broccoli florets and used jarred sauce.  I forgot the onion so that was one less thing to slice, however I suggest remembering that part, onions do enhance the overall flavor!

I actually  made 2 trays, one with a whole wheat pasta for the men and a quinoa pasta for myself.  It seems like an awful lot for 3 people but we’ll eat the leftovers for a few days so it’s fine.  I can also freeze a couple of servings in individual portion sized bags for future use.


1 lb cooked penne pasta (whole wheat or regular)

12 oz broccoli florets

12 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced

1 onion diced

1 cup frozen peas

1 large zucchini

1 large bell pepper or several small sweet peppers

1- 1.5 large jars of quality pasta sauce (I used a spicy variety)

8 oz cubed mozzarella

8 oz provolone or gruyère cheese chopped or shredded

4 oz vegetarian parmesan cheese

salt pepper and italian seasonings (I use the kind in the grinder)


Preheat grill to medium high, slice zucchini lengthwise and lightly brush both sides with oil and season, place that and the peppers directly on the grill

Slice onions and toss with the broccoli and mushrooms in a little olive oil, season and add to a grill appropriate pan, place this on the grill

Cook the veggies for about 10 minutes and turn all, remove from heat when the appear to be cooked, slice the zucchini and add to the other veggies adding in the frozen peas

When the pepper is cooled peal off the blackened layer of skin and chop coarsely add to the veggies

Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, add the veggies and sauce, mixing well

Add all the cheeses and mix again, turn into a prepared baking dish and cover with foil, bake on medium low heat for approximately 2o minutes until the cheese is nicely melted

Have a peaceful day, Lin

Kasha Varnishkes With A Twist

Kasha Varnishkes is a traditional Jewish food.  I believe it has more of an everyday use than being a holiday specialty such as Latkes.  Kasha Varnishkes are typically cooked with chicken stock and schmaltz (chicken fat).  Of course this version has neither, instead I’ve used veg broth and oils.  The standard version has onions and often mushrooms but I’ve added sauted broccoli and sundried tomato to make it a more rounded meal.

Kasha, a toasted hulled buckwheat has a nutty flavor that is brought out by lightly pan toasting it prior to adding the water.  Cooking it is actually quite simple but if undercooked can have a gravelly texture while if overcooked becomes mush.  Don’t let that scare you away.  I managed to create a very edible version while Skyping my son in Prague.  I actually cooked the entire recipe while multi tasking and still the results were delicious.

This is a very versatile dish.  Once again my main dish while my husband grilled a small steak and ate the KV as a side dish.  My version is actually 1.5 times a traditional recipe.  I do this because it refrigerates well for several days and tastes good warm or cold which makes it an ideal work day lunch.  Feel free to use a different variety of vegetables or leave them out altogether (except the onion).


3-5 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

2 large onions  diced

2 cups sliced mushrooms (I like Baby Bella’s

1 large bunch of broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces

1/2-3/4 cup of julienned sundried tomato in oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt, Freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces bowtie pasta

1 large egg white beaten slightly

1.5 cup whole kasha (whole roasted buckwheat groats)

1 can vegetable broth, 1/2 can water

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the onions cook until traslucent,  add mushrooms, broccoli, and sundried tomato,  when almost cooked to your liking add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Remove to a large bowl.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until tender but firm. Drain and toss with the cooked veggies.

Beat the egg white in a small bowl. Add the kasha and stir until all the grains are well coated. Add to the skillet and set it over a high flame stirring, until the grains are toasted and separate, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add and add the hot vegetable stock and water. Stir, cover, and simmer until the stock is absorbed and the kasha is tender but not mushy, about 7-8 minutes.

Stir the vegetable & noodle mixture into the kasha, add parsley and season to taste, drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired

Fettucine Alfredo revisited

Ok, well lucky for me my decision to start cooking lighter foods with less dairy product wasn’t an actual resolution.  I’m also aware that in my short time of blogging I’ve already posted a recipe for fettucine/fettucini alfredo.  However, tonight my son’s dinner request was the good old thick variety of alfredo sauce as opposed to the lighter version that is mostly cream and parmesan cheese.  I really like this recipe and normally a little bit goes a long way.  It’s pretty heavy therefore small portions are typically fine.  In my case this isn’t true because a normal person’s serving is quite different than a 19 year old guy’s serving.  I used a pound of pasta for 3 people and have 1 smallish serving leftover.   I expected more than that, but it’s fine.  I find this recipe works best if you allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before putting them together.  Broccoli or peas make a good toss in.

Fettucini Alfredo with Ricotta

1 pound of fettucini cooked al dente

1 egg lightly beaten

8 oz half and half  (I use fat free)

1 small container of ricotta (low fat is fine)

1 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 stick of butter

pepper to taste


Bring the cheese and eggs to room temperature.

Cook the pasta until al dente

Wisk together the ricotta, egg and half and half, when creamy mix in the parmesan, add pepper to taste

When pasta is done cooking add back to the pot and toss in the butter until it’s melted and coating the pasta evenly

Cover with the ricotta mixture and toss until the sauce is heated from the pasta, the stove top should be turned off

Season with more pepper if needed, serve immediately