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Ahhhhh - The Fruit of My Labor

Febuary 27

From Garden to Freezer to Table – Vegetable Lasagna

Small yellow squash, sweet & newly harvested onions, red ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley: all summer delights.  And although fresh-from-the-garden can’t be beat, there is a second option when snow is on the ground and there are no fresh vegetables.

I saute and freeze at least ten “fat” quart bags of yellow squash and onion each growing season just so I can make a wonderful vegetable lasagna at least 10 times during the cold weather months. This dish will make 2 to 4 meals for 2 people – depending on how much you like to eat and what you serve with it.

I’ll list the amounts of the ingredients I use, but feel free to useyour imagination and come up with your own unique creation. This dish is so easily changed and endless variations are possible. I hope you’ll leave your comments after trying it so all of us can benefit by your variation and/or change.

*See Time Saving Tips after the pictures.

INGREDIENTS:
9 Whole Wheat lasagna noodles – cooked

At least one “fat” quart of tomato essence.
One 6 oz can or organic tomato paste. (I use Muir)
One “fat” quart of squash and onion, drained. (The yellow squash is a bit sweeter, but you can use zucchini as well.)
Herbs.  ( I use two chopped cloves of garlic; 1 tbsp each of thyme, basil, oregano.)

Fresh parsley or a good size chunk of frozen parsley*
Tofu (14 oz container)
2 eggs

Optional: Mozzarella cheese or soy cheese for the top.

PREPARATION:
1.Cook the noodles and set aside.*

2. *Thaw and mix tomato essence and tomato paste in pan.
Add generous amounts of preferred herbs.  I add 1 tbsp of thyme, basil, and oregano if I have them.  Garlic is great as well.
Still until well distributed and simmer a while. (I skip simmering it if I am in a hurry.)

3. *Thaw and drain package of squash and onion.

4. Cube tofu and put in blender.
*Add parsely and 2 eggs. (I use to use 1, but I think 2 makes it better.)
Blend until smooth.

5. Layer 3 lasagna noodles in baking dish
Top with 1/3 of the tofut mixture and top with chopped fresh parsley if you have it
Add 1/3 of squash mixture
Add 1/3 of tomato mixture
Repeat 2 more times,

6. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

7. Add the grated (or thinly sliced Mozzarella cheese) the
last 5 minutes and return to over until just melted. Add more sauce
on top if desired.

8. If you allow the dish to cool down it is much easier to cut and makes
a prettier presentation.

9. Refrigerate left overs for next day or day after.  Or wrap and freeze
to have on hand.

I had an online class one night just after my lasagna came out of the oven.
I let the oven cool to slightly warm and put the lasagna back in and let it sit for 2 hours
while I was in class.  I think it was the best lasagna I had ever made and it looked
great too.

When you have an abundance of everything fresh and in season, feel free to make this dish, cool,
cut, wrap, and freeze in meal size portions.  Its wonderful to have on hand when you
want something satisfying but don’t feel like cooking.

Ahhhhh- you’ll say —as you enjoy the fruit of your labor!

Pictures: #1 Just out of the oven.

#2. Cut and ready to serve.  Extra sauce on top.  Add a green vegetable to make it more beautiful!

#3. Melted cheese on top but no extra sauce.

Time saving Tips when Preparing.

Cook the noodles.  Stack with plastic wrap between each and wrap stack in plastic
Refrigerate until ready to put the lasagna together.  One or two days.  Possibly three.

Thaw the tomato essence out the day before adding the tomatoe paste and herbs.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Place package of squash and onion in bowl in refrigerator to thaw the day before.

Break off a good size chunk of frozen parsley the day before. Place in bowl and
cover with plastic. Refrigerate.  When a bit softer but still frozen — chop on cutting board.  Return
to bowl.  Thaw. Drain water from bowl.

Time saving Tips when Freezing Vegetables

I harvest every day.  If I have extra squash that I will not be using for a meal,
I clean, cut and saute 4 medium size squash and 1 large onion in a bit of olive oil.
Cool and then place in quart zip lock freezer bag and label with date and content.
(This makes a very fat bag.);

Parsley – I chop a large bunch of parsley (mainly the leaves and some small stems)
I add a little water and then take the air out of the bag with a straw.  I try to keep the
bag no thinker than 1/4 inch which makes it easier to break off frozen pieces.

3 comments to Ahhhhh – The Fruit of My Labor

  • Ann

    We had the lasagna last night and it was wonderful. Broccoli was served along side the lasagna making a lovely presentation. Homemade rolls slathered with garlic butter gave another flavorful touch to make a perfect meal. The only thing missing was a strolling violinist.

  • Betty Dotson

    Theresa, the lasagna was a hit with everyone last night. Alfred had 2 helpings. I had gone to work when my son got home from work and he texted, “Mom, your lasagna is AWESOME!”
    Thank you for sharing the recipe with us.
    Betty

  • Theresa

    I’m delighted it was a hit!
    Theresa

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