Vegetarian Lasagna With Spinach and Broccoli

Vegetarian Lasagna With Spinach and Broccoli

This tasty veggie lasagna will fill you right up.

Your search for an easy vegetarian lasagna stops right here! This particular recipe, which features spinach lasagna with a healthy dose of broccoli, three cheeses, basil, and your favorite red sauce (store-bought or homemade marinara sauce work perfectly!) will make you forget all about meat. We opted for frozen veggies because they are already cooked, but you can load this lasagna with other vegetables, too. Sauté peppers and mushrooms, and then stir into your tomato sauce for an extra boost of nutrients. We also picked Pecorino Romano instead of your classic Parmesan for a sharper flavor (no bland vegetarian recipes, thank you very much!). P.S. If you’re looking for the best meat lasagna, try our favorite lasagna with meat sauce.

 

 

YIELDS: 4                      TOTAL TIME: 0 hours 50 mins

 

 

Ingredients:

1 10-oz package frozen leaf spinach, thawed
1 10-oz package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 16-oz container part-skim ricotta
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped
6 oz. part-skim mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1 1/2 c. marinara sauce
6 no-boil lasagna noodles
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Directions:

Heat oven to 425°F. Squeeze spinach of excess moisture and pat broccoli as dry as possible. Chop both and place in large bowl. Add ricotta, garlic, basil, 1 cup mozzarella, and ¼ cup pecorino and mix to combine.

Spread ½ cup marinara on bottom of 8-inch square baking dish. Top with 2 noodles. Spread one-third (about ⅓ cup) of remaining sauce over top. Dollop with one-third (about 1 cup) of ricotta mixture. Repeat. Place remaining 2 noodles on top; spread with remaining sauce and dollop with remaining ricotta mixture.

Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and 2 Tbsp pecorino, cover tightly with an oiled piece of foil (to prevent sticking) and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until noodles are tender and top is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

 

Vegetarian Lasagna With Spinach and Broccoli
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Pepper Steak

Pepper Steak

Pepper steak is a stir-fried Chinese American dish consisting of sliced beef steak cooked with sliced bell peppers, bamboo shoots and other seasonings such as soy sauce and ginger, and usually thickened with cornstarch. Sliced onions and bean sprouts are also frequent additions to the recipe.

We’re huge fans of homemade beef and broccoli, but no matter how hard they try, some people can’t seem to convert to the church of broccoli. This is the broccoli-free version of your favorite stir-fry and has quickly become one of our favorits. We like  to use both red and green peppers (because they make the dish so dang pretty!), but you can swap in whatever colors you like best. Serve with rice and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner on the table in no time.

Tried making this awesome dish? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

 

YIELDS:

4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME:

0 HOURS 15 MINS

TOTAL TIME:

0 HOURS 30 MINS

INGREDIENTS:

 
1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
4 tsp. packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
green bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. freshly minced ginger

Cooked white rice, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

 

1. In a large skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add flank steak, season with salt, and cook until cooked through and seared on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove steak to a plate.

2. Add 1 tablespoon remaining oil and red and green bell peppers to the skillet. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook stirring until fragrant. Return the beef to the skillet and pour over prepared sauce. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is glossy about 2 minutes more. 

3. Serve with rice.


Pepper Steak
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Healthy & Yummy Zucchini Stir Fry

Healthy & Yummy Zucchini Stir Fry

Veggie Stir Fry

In my effort to change our eating habits to something a bit healthier than meat and potatoes I make a meatless meal at least once a week.  One of my favorites is this Zucchini Stir Fry.

It’s amazing how filling and tasty a simple meal of healthy veggies can be.  This week I made this dinner of zucchini, spinach, and tomatoes.  It was delicious, my husband loved it.  You can serve it with a piece of whole grain bread if you wish; the bread is great for dipping in the juices.

You can also serve this dish as an appetizer or side dish.  It’s so good!  It goes great with barbecued and roasted meats.

Ingredients:

1 large organic zucchini, cut into 2″- 3″ strips

1 cup fresh organic spinach

1/2 cup organic cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tbls. organic coconut oil

1 tbls. minced garlic

1 tsp. cayenne red pepper

Sea Salt to taste

Directions:

1.  Heat oil over medium heat

2.  Add garlic, sauté until it turns golden, stir constantly

3.  Add zucchini, cook until it starts to soften about 5-6 minutes, stir constantly

4.  Add tomatoes, cook until juices start to come out, stir constantly

5.  Add spinach, cook until leaves wilt and turn bright green, stir contantly

6.  Add pepper and salt

Serve while warm.

Healthy & Yummy Veggie Stir Fry
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Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Healthy & Yummy Veggie Stir Fry
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Heat oil over medium heat
  2. Add garlic, sautee until it turns golden, stir constantly
  3. Add zucchini, cook until it starts to soften about 5-6 minutes, stir constantly
  4. Add tomatoes, cook until juices start to come out, stir constantly
  5. Add spinach, cook until leaves wilt and turn bright green, stir contantly
  6. Add pepper and salt
  7. Serve while warm.
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Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Macluba

Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.

Maqcluba

Ingrdients:

4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)

Directions:

Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.

 

 

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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Christmas Steak

Christmas Steak

This restaurant-style steak is served carved and dressed in two fresh holiday-hued sauces — salsa roja and chimichurri — inspired by the two-tone grilled snapper served at the restaurant Contramar in Mexico City. Don’t be afraid of generously salting the meat; it helps create a real steakhouse crust.

Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 5 min

(includes resting time)

Active: 30 min

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Salsa Roja:

2 small plum tomatoes, cored

2 cloves garlic 

1 small jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and halved 

 

1/2 small white onion, halved 

1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Chimichurri:

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup ice cubes

2 tablespoons packed fresh oregano leaves

1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

Steak:

One 2-pound bone-in porterhouse steak (about 2 inches thick)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 tablespoon canola oil 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes 

3 cloves garlic 

2 sprigs fresh thyme 

Directions:

1. For the salsa roja: Add the tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno and onion to a medium saucepan. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer until the vegetables are softened, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Drain the vegetables, add to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

3. For the chimichurri: Add the vinegar, garlic and a generous pinch of salt to a blender and blend on low until smooth. Add the parsley, cilantro, ice, oregano and jalapeno and blend on medium speed. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, until smooth, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chimichurri to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

4. For the steak: Let the steak sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. 

5. Position an oven rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler and preheat the broiler.  

6. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the steak dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; the steak should be almost completely white from the salt. Add the oil to the hot skillet and when it begins to smoke, add the steak. Cook the steak until browned and crusty on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board. 

7. Cut the strip steak from the bone and carve the meat across the grain. Cut the tenderloin filet from the bone and carve the meat across the grain. Place the bone back in the center of the skillet and arrange the sliced steak around the bone in its original formation so that it looks like a full steak. Top with the butter, garlic and thyme. 

8. Broil until the butter is melted and a thermometer inserted sideways in the center of the steak registers 120 degrees F for medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes (see Cook’s Note). Tilt the skillet slightly to pool the butter, then spoon it over the steak several times to coat. 

9. Transfer the steak to a serving platter and pour the melted butter over top. Top one half of the steak with the chimichurri and spread evenly. Top the other half with the salsa roja and spread evenly. Serve with the remaining chimichurri and salsa roja on the side.

 

Cook’s Note

The side of the porterhouse with the tenderloin filet will cook faster than the side with the strip steak. Remove the filet and continue to broil the strip if you want even medium-rare doneness.


Christmas Steak
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Christmas Steak
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