It’s no secret that I like to cook. Cooking is one of my favorite creative outlets (and creating dirty dishes is lots of fun too). Sounds funny I know…what’s creative about chopping vegetables night after night? Well sometimes, when I’m feeling extra sassy,… I decide to SHRED vegetables in my food processor instead. Ta dah!
I’m telling you, I’m super creative.
Some afternoons I find myself inspired to create a new spin on an old dish, as I did today. I decided I wanted to make lasagna. I have no idea why because we never eat lasagna. But in my mind I saw visions of pesto and shredded zucchini and decided Kula Baby needed a nap so I could get cooking.
Hiding vegetables is not something I’ve always thought was important. I remember thinking years ago (BEFORE having a child): “Why the hell are parents HIDING VEGETABLES–kids should learn to LOVE vegetables because they are goooood stuff.”
Yes I realize the naive arrogance one can project before having kids. I get it, I get it. I’m all for hiding as many vegetables as possible now, hence the SECRET spinach pesto in this lasagna. Enjoy!
Super Secret Pesto Lasagna
4 small to medium zucchini, shredded in food processor
1 small sweet onion, finely diced or shredded
1 1/2 cup of secret spinach pesto (recipe below)
1/2 pound (or more if you like lots of meat) of cooked ground organic turkey
1 package of rice lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 1/2-2 cup (s) mozzarella cheese –again, choose the amount of cheese you like.
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
Shred zucchini in a food processor and set aside in a bowl. Take 3/4 cup of pesto and add to shredded zucchini. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place onion in a frying pan on stove and lightly saute for a few minutes (3ish) in a little butter, salt and pepper. Add the dried basil and mix to combine.
Add the cooked onions to your zucchini mixture. Stir in pine nuts. Add parmesan and feta cheese. Mix it all up.
Put cooked ground turkey into a separate bowl and add the rest of the pesto mixture. Stir to combine.
In a prepared 9×13 baking dish, spread a little of the zucchini mixture on the bottom. Add a layer of noodles (uncooked). Spread some turkey over the noodles. Add a layer of zucchini. Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Repeat the process until you use all your fillings. Top with remaining cheese and bake covered at 375 degrees for 1 hour. I take the top off the pan for the last 5 minutes to let the cheese brown a little cause I’m crazy like that.
Secret Spinach Pesto
(I will warn you now…I am bad with ingredient amounts when it comes to pesto because I usually wing it myself–I’m pretty sure you can’t mess it up too badly so get adventurous! Taste your creation at the end and keep adding ingredients until you are happy.)
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 clove of fresh garlic, chopped
juice of a lemon
1/2 cup (ish) olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
I’m sure there is an art to making pesto, but I just throw everything into the food processor except the olive oil and blend it up. I drizzle in the oil until I get the right consistency and then I taste it and adjust as needed. I told y’all I’m not a chef, right? 🙂