Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2011

Eggplant Lasagna

Am I crazy for turning my oven on in this 100° weather? Maybe.

I don’t care. This lasagna is worth it. It’s ridiculously delicious.

This recipe came to me in a dream. True story. I take that as a sign that this lasagna MUST be shared with the world. You’re welcome. (I’m also pretty sure Neil Patrick Harris was in the same dream…possibly as Barney Stinson…eating whole eggplants. Random? Yes, but pretty typical for my weird-o brain. I should probably stop watching HIMYM before bedtime).

**Wow, I just reread that last part and could hear NPH speaking it. Get out of my brain!**

I wanted to have a lasagna that was heavy on the veggies, but have a texture and consistency similar to “typical” lasagnas.

After I cooked the sauce in a dutch oven, I let it cool a bit; then add the whole thing to my food processor (you could use a blender too).

By pureeing the sauce, it becomes a veggie-marinara. Tastes like “typical” marinara but is more rich in vitamins. Plus, it gets a fun orange color.

It’s JBird approved.

What you’ll need :

– 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles

-16oz part skim ricotta

– 1 cup shredded mozzarella 

-1 cup grated parmesan

– 1 eggplant; thinly sliced

-1 zucchini; shredded

-5 carrots; peeled and shredded

– 5 ripe tomatoes; whole with the tops cut off

-6 cloves of garlic; chopped

-1 onion; chopped

-2 tbsp olive oil

-1 handful fresh basil; whole leaves

-1 tsp dried oregano

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

-1 tsp seasoned salt

-salt and pepper

Let’s get saucy! In a dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, add your chopped onions and garlic. Add a few grinds of salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are tender.

Now, add the whole tomatoes, basil, shredded carrots and zucchini to the dutch oven. Cover, turn your heat down to low and let simmer for 2-3 hours; stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, oregano, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes and seasoned salt. Ricotta is virtually flavorless, so by adding some spices it really “peps” it up a bit. Plus, I love the combination of cheeses in the layers of this dish. Super tasty. Set your cheese mixture aside (preferably in your refrigerator) until you’re ready to assemble your lasagna.

Once the veggies in your sauce have had a chance to break down and “mingle” together, remove your dutch oven from the heat and let cool uncovered for about 10 minutes. **It doesn’t need to be completely cool, just not HOT enough to cause damage to your food processor (or blender)** Puree on low until everything is a uniform consistency (i.e.: no more chunks of tomatoes or zucchini). Pour the blended sauce back into your dutch oven, put back on your burner and let cook, covered, for an additional 30-45 minutes. You could also use an immersion blender to puree everything IN your dutch oven! They are super handy and I will forever regret giving mine away. One of my few regrets in life. C’est la vie. 

Tip: I usually add about 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese to the sauce at this point. Just for kicks. You can leave it out but I think it takes the sauce to a whole new level…so, do it!

Preheat your oven to 375°. Place uncooked noodles in a large pot of boiling walter. You don’t need to cook them completely; you just want to soak them long enough so they cooperate with you (i.e. flexible, not rigid). About 5 minutes.

In a greased 9×13 pan, cover the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of veggie sauce. Layer your lasagna as follows:

Noodles-Sauce-Sliced Eggplant-Sauce-Ricotta/Parmesan

Noodles-Sauce-Sliced Eggplant-Sauce-Ricotta/Parmesan

Noodles-Sauce-Mozzerella!

Phew, that was a workout! Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes; or until the top is nice and bubbly.

Tip: I usually spray the foil with a non-stick spray so the cheese doesn’t stick it

Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Trust me, this dish is legend…wait for it…dary.

Serves 12

Tip: You could easily make this sauce in a slow cooker if you’d like. Just pop all your ingredients into the slow cooker, put on the lid, and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Heck, you could make the sauce ahead of time (like on a Sunday), then assemble you’re lasagna in the slow cooker the next day! By the time you get home from work, it’ll be ready to devour! I just love slow cookers. 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I just got back from camping. I love camping but I hate how I eat when I’m camping. I always end up eating horribly, then feel like crap for several days afterwards. I think this has something to do with the “I’m on vacation so I’m going to eat whatever I want to eat…because it’s vacation!” mentality. I’ll be honest, all I wanted this entire weekend was a large bag of gummy worms BUT I fought these urges and ate oodles and oodles  of Chocolate Chip Cookies instead. At least the cookies had flax in them…that justifies my binge eating, right?

Now that I am back to reality, I feel like I need to detox a bit. This week: no flour, no pasta, no sugars, no alcohol. Just veggies, berries, miso soup, grains…and a bit of lean protein. Last night I ate a whole bunch of Kale chips and a BIG tasty salad…and guess what: I didn’t wake up feeling like death! Hooray!

This week I’m going to be focusing on bright and fresh summer salads! I always crave salads in the summer (and soups in the winter..is that normal). I think it’s because everything is so FRESH! Truth be told, this whole CSA thing has ruined bagged salads for me! I doubt I’ll ever be satisfied with slightly rusty lettuce or “limp” greens again.

To kick things off with my “back to health” diet this week I made a Cilantro and Lime Grilled Chicken Salad for dinner…YUM!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

For the marinade:

-the juice of 2 limes

-2 tbs olive oil

-4 cloves of garlic; chopped

-one handful of cilantro; chopped

-one uncooked chicken breast

-salt and pepper

For the Salad:

-one head of leafy lettuce (I used red lettuce); rinsed and chopped

-alfalfa sprouts

-cucumbers; rinsed, peeled and thinly sliced

-red onion; chopped

-cherry tomatoes; halved

-freshly made guacamole (truth be told I used Wholly Guacamole…because my avocados weren’t ripe yet…stupid avocados)

(serves 2)

First things first: combine the ingredients for the marinade. Whisk together.  Add marinade and chicken to an airtight container, shake it up, then let it sit in the fridge overnight (ideally 24 hours or longer…but 8-12 hours will do in a pinch).

24 hours later: Heat up a grill! I was too lazy to wait for charcoal to heat up on our ACTUAL grill…so I used my cast iron grill griddle instead. Man, I love that thing. Once it’s nice and hot add your chicken. Cook for about 15-20 minutes; flipping once (around the 7 minute mark). I actually flip mine twice…b/c I like to make criss-crossed grill marks in my chicken. It’s the little things that make me happy.

While your chicken is sizzling away, start prepping your veggies. Give your lettuce a cold water rinse, chop it up and throw it in a salad spinner. Rinse and peel your cucumber, slice it up and toss that in the salad spinner too. If I were using any other washable veggies (carrots, peppers, tomatoes, etc) I would wash, chop and toss these bad boys into the salad spinner as well.

*I used a salad spinner because: A) it was a wedding gift and I’d hate to see it go to waste and B) because I am extremely lazy.* 

Spin, Spin, Spin and VOILA…excess water is removed and everything is tossed together. Brilliant!

Once your chicken is done, slice it into strips. Set aside.

Now for the fun part, assembling your salad! I like to do a “Lettuce/Cucumber/Tomato-Chopped Onion-Sprouts-Chicken-Gucamole” kind of pattern…but that’s just me.

The lime juice gives the chicken a nice tangy taste, while the cilantro makes everything taste so bright! Such a great flavor combo!

Salads for dinner are my absolute favorite because they take NO TIME whatsoever to throw together! Plus, no pre-heating an oven on a hot day! Double bonus!

**Not a big fan of guacamole? Try making your own Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette! That would be a superb compliment to this salad!**

Read Full Post »

Hello Everyone!!

Please excuse my lack of posts over the past week! My mind has been one jumbled mess! My family and I are currently camping in Northern WI. Actually, I am currently sitting in the Home Depot parking lot while JBird naps; while the hubster buys an extension cord! Then it’s off to Wally World we go…since SOMEONE forgot to pack pillows (and by someone, I mean ME..haha oops!)

I will return next week refreshed and energized to write lots of new and exciting posts!

But until then I will leave you with some fun facts that I learned last night at my Holistic Mom’s Network meeting:

-Adult males in the US eat 500 times more protein then they need to (and women eat 200 times more than is recommended); and the majority of this excess protein comes from processed food. So, next time you feel like you’re low on protein eat some legumes…not a triple decker bacon cheeseburger.

-Do you often wake up fatigued? That’s a sign that your liver is congested! Try cutting out processed foods (bread, pasta, sugar, soda, etc) and eat some leafy greens (LOTS of leafy greens)

-Fresh mint leaves are a great way to boost energy! Throw some in ice tea, ice water or just chew a few leaves!

-Do you often feel over stressed about everything? Feeling anemic? Do you crave salt? Chances are your adrenal glands are out of whack.

Also, when you let yourself get too run down and don’t take care of yourself (not eating right, not getting enough sleep, etc) you run the risk of messing up your adrenal glands..which can lead to chronic fatigue and even psychological disorders (like depression).

-Are you constantly constipated? Do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Were you breastfed as an infant? Not being breastfed as a baby can lead to digestive issues as an adult. Breastmilk helps create and stabilize essential bacterias in our guts. In fact, an infant’s gut isn’t fully formed until they are about 6 months old (so they should be breastfed for at least 6 months; and not be fed solids until then either).

-Did you know that food poisoning is a sign that the bacteria in your gut are “off” (if everything was “normal” they would’ve been able to fight off whatever nasties entered your system..preventing you from getting sick in the first place).

Last night’s meeting was so inspiring! I’m hoping to schedule a consultation with our guest speaker Dr. Katy Wallace to get her input on my own health and digestive issues (and maybe score an interview for the blog while I’m at it!).

Enjoy your weekends! I will be “roughing” it until Sunday! Stay tuned for a Camp Cooking Post!

Read Full Post »

I just adore spicy foods. The spicier, the better. Like: burn your esophagus, make your nose run like a faucet spicy.

I used to have a total aversion to all things spicy. However,while I was pregnant I really grew to love (and crave) HOT food. Now, my spicy tolerance level is through the roof!

Good thing too…because this dish is S to the P to the I-C-Y. (Sorry, I’m trying to channel my inner Black Eyed Peas)

Aside from being Hot Hot Hot, this dish is ridiculously easy to throw together. It’s literally a “throw it all in the pot” kind of meal; aka my favorite kind of meal to make!



What you’ll need:

-1 package of Smoked Chicken Andouille Sausage

-1 c long grain brown rice; uncooked

-1 1/2 c low sodium chicken stock

-1 poblano pepper; chopped

-5-6 cloves of garlic; chopped

-1 tbs olive oil

-3 whole tomatoes; with the tops cut off

-1 large white onion

– the juice of 1 lime

-handful of fresh cilantro; roughly chopped

-1 can of black eyed peas (Will I Am optional); drained and rinsed

-2 tsp chili powder

-1 tsp creole seasoning

-1/2 tsp ground red pepper

-1/2 tsp ground pepper


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, add the chopped up onion and garlic. Stir it up! When the onion is nice and soft, add the tomatoes and poblano pepper. Cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes; until the tomatoes start to break down (I like to remove the skin on the tomatoes once it loosens up).

Add the rice, stock, lime juice, cilantro, and spices. Cover again and cook for about 30 minutes; or until the rice is nearly cooked all the way through (stirring occasionally). Reduce the heat to low, add the black eyed peas (minus Fergie) and the Andouille sausage. Stir everything together and cover it all up again! Let simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes; or until your rice is completely done.

Dish it up and enjoy!

Makes 4 (BIG) servings

Read Full Post »

I hope everyone is have a super fabulous holiday weekend!

The 4th of July is always one of my favorite holidays because I love summer cookout food; various grilled meats, tasty pasta and potato salads, baked beans, and of course summertime desserts!

I want YOU to send me your favorite Summer Cookout/BBQ recipes and I will work my magic and turn them into TheFeelGoodFoodie-approved tasty treats; proving that you can eat great food (that’s good for you) no matter where you are!

I will randomly select 5 recipes and feature them on the blog!

Hooray for fun games!

 

Email me at: thefeelgoodfoodie@gmail.com 🙂

I can’t wait to see all the great things you send me!

 

 

Read Full Post »

I love when two amazingly delicious things are combined into one spectacular culinary delight.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Bacon and Anything

Chicken Carbonara and Lasagna?….say what?!

My friend Riley shared this recipe with me a few weeks back; it literally blew my mind.

*I’ve tweaked things just a bit to make them more “feelgoodfoodie friendly”…however, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results


Chicken Carbonara Lasagna

You will need:

-10-12 no-boil lasagna noodles

-1 16oz bag of frozen peas (or 2 cups of fresh peas!)

-2 uncooked boneless chicken breasts; seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder

-1/2 c of low sodium chicken stock

– 1/2 a pound of all natural uncured bacon (or a full pound if you’re feeling extra daring); cooked and crumbled

-1 c. shredded mozzarella (I like to use the fresh stuff)

-1  c. shredded cheddar (I like to used aged cheddar)

For the Sauce:

-1 16oz container of organic half and half

-1 cup low sodium chicken stock

-1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese

-2-3 gloves of garlic; chopped

– fresh basil; a handful, chopped

-salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a large skillet, fry up the bacon! (mmm..bacon). Once your bacon is cooked to your liking, set aside. Let the “drippings” cool, then pour into a bowl. DO NOT clean your pan…all that residual bacon-y goodness is your friend.(everyone has different ways of discarding of bacon grease…I’m sure you do too..do so…now!) *

Place un-clean bacon skillet back onto the burner. Once it’s nice and hot, add your seasoned chicken breasts. Cover and let cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of chicken stock, flip the chicken, turn the heat down to medium and cover again. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. **the extra splash of chicken stock acts to break up the cooked on bacon-y goodness. It also keeps moisture in the chicken while it simmers…and it’s pretty darn tasty too**

Once your chicken is cooked all the way through, remove it from the pan, shred it up with a fork, and set aside for the time being. Don’t clean the pan. All those tasty brown bits will make your sauce AWESOME. Put the pan back onto your stove. Here comes the fun part…

Heat the pan to medium-high heat (which shouldn’t take long since you JUST cooked your chicken in this pan). Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to break all the cooked on chicken/bacon remnants free. After your pan has been deglazed, add the chopped up garlic, basil and half & half. Give it a good stir, cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Now, add the parmesan cheese and remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Stir and cover for another 10 minutes; stirring occasionally so the sauce doesn’t burn. That would be a big bummer.

Once your sauce starts to bubble, add the peas and chicken to the skillet. Mix everything together until well combined; then turn the burner off.

In a small bowl, combine the shredded cheeses (this step isn’t necessary but will make “layering” your lasagna easier)

In a greased 9×13 baking dish, spoon out a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of noodles. Top the noodles with another layer of sauce. Sprinkle with a third of your crumbled bacon; then add half of your cheese mixture. Cover with another layer of noodles and spoon out the rest of your sauce. Take another third of your bacon and sprinkle it over the sauce; add the rest of your cheese. Now, sprinkle the rest of your bacon on top of the cheese. Have I mentioned that I love bacon?

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-15 minutes; or until the cheese is browned and ooey-gooey.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes

Cut. Serve. Devour. (Pairs great with a large salad of fresh greens and a light vinaigrette…and a big ol’ class of wine)

Makes 10-12 servings

Read Full Post »