Last Supper Last Night

imageDo you know how many vegetables you can hide in lasagna?  Many, many…is the correct answer.  I used to make things like this all the time so that my kids wouldn’t die from malnutrition and so that I didn’t have to listen to their long litany of lists of vegetables they didn’t like.  Turnips, for instance.  My mother in law once cooked us a liver and onion and turnip meal which my daughter described as a child’s nightmare supper.  I thought it was delicious.  My kids did not inherit my taste buds.  They had to develop them, with a little help from their devious mother.  Now of course there is no need to disguise these gorgeous vegetables but I continue to do it anyway just because I can.

Come to think of it, this also works well for spouses who still think the only vegetables worth preparing are canned kernel corn and mashed potatoes.   Yes, I married one of those.  Now he eats a much wider variety than he knows or even suspects.  Spaghetti sauce and chile and cream soups are other clever places to load up with vegetables.

But yesterday it was a New Years Eve lasagna surprise that satisfied my creative vegetable hiding urges.  There’s white onion and garlic cloves in the chopper, with yellow, red, and green peppers, celery, zucchini and bok choi waiting their turn.  Sometimes I add a carrot or a parsnip.  Really, just about anything goes.

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Because this is what it looks like simmering away in browned lean ground beef and a jar of chunky vegetable tomato sauce.  I call this death by vegetables.  I don’t really, but this picture makes it look like it a big pot of God only knows what.  At this stage I added some vegetable and roasted red pepper seasoning and salt and pepper.

Okay!  I use the oven ready noodles that don’t have to be boiled.  I can’t find them in gluten-free but I figure all that other good stuff cancels out their badness.  I am very skilled at rationalization when it suits me.  One layer of the lasagna is beaten eggs mixed with cottage (or ricotta) cheese and lots of chopped spinach.  I buy big bags of fresh spinach and freeze them.  The frozen spinach is easy to crush and crumble so it takes up less space and works great in smoothies.  Or in any kind of hidden vegetable concoction.

I think the layers went something like this.  Sauce, noodles, cottage cheese mixture, noodles, sauce, Parmesan cheese, noodles, sauce, two full bags of grated Italian mix cheese (mostly mozzarella). This of course makes a pan so close to over flowing that you have to rummage around for a big cookie sheet to place it on when you bake it (covered with foil at 350 for about an hour) because otherwise it will bubble over and then you’ll have to clean your oven, and nobody wants that.

I have a recipe for lasagna that substitutes steamed cabbage leaves for the noodles.  Doesn’t that sound amazing?  One gigantic unrolled cabbage roll!  But that’s a bit too much of an experiment if you’re having company, even for me.  I’ll save it for W, even though I know already he’ll be less than impressed.  Unless I throw in a can of corn.

I used the broiler to brown the cheese.  There’s nothing like hot bubbly browned cheese to camouflage whatever disaster lurks beneath.

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Of course I didn’t take a picture of the uncut perfection and of course mine was the only slice that fell to pieces on the plate.  The salad came from a bag and included cranberries and pumpkin seeds and some other strange but delicious green things.

There was enough left over for our daughter to take home (and possibly feed her dog for a week).  But it was pretty good, so the dog might be out of luck.

It was a good last supper for the last day of last year.  Today I’m going to use my homemade chicken stock and make my first vegetable soup of 2015.  It may or may not contain turnips.  No one but me will ever know.

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22 thoughts on “Last Supper Last Night

  1. This cracks me up…fortunately I’ve never had to resort to this as my family members are great vegetable eaters. However, I have a friend who claims to be a vegetarian but he doesn’t eat vegetables; he only doesn’t eat meat.

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    • Well that’s just weird. A life without vegetables sounds like hell. I always wonder how in the world vegetarians get enough protein, though. And life without cheese would hardly be worth living. 😄 Oh well, to each his own.

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      • Let’s not even talk about a life without cheese…or chocolate…or wine! Ok, I LOVE food. There’s nothing quite like a wonderful salad though.
        Seriously, this guy eats mostly bread and cheese, no meat, some fruit, and only veggies are “french fries”.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Um, I think it might enable legislation and prohibition, being as how so many are already receiving poor nutritional results. I will say, I have always thrived, Yes THRIVED on junk. I am 50 and have yet to be told I have a cholesterol, blood pressure, or sugar level that bears out changing my diet over. In fact, for my last tests, I barely registered any numbers, haha. And, no one seemed concerned about those coffee grounds in my last blood draw…
          😀

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  2. The latest wisdom is stay away from gluten-free. Really. Wait long enough and they reverse everything! And freeze the fresh spinach? I didn’t know! Oh, I am really excited about that!

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    • I know, you still have to really read the labels to be a smart consumer. Remember when everything went fat free and there was a ton of sugar and chemicals added instead? And they’d label stuff like lettuce fat free? Duh.
      Yes, the frozen fresh spinach goes all crispy, like spinach chips. And then you can crush it up to take up less space. I use it in smoothies and cooking, so I don’t know how it steams after that.

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  3. Yes…wonderful and the ingredients made a lovely colorful picture. And yes to starting the year with a big pot of vegetable soup. The first chill day of Autumn I make vegetable soup, but shall copy your idea and make it this weekend. Enjoy.

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  4. My ex-fiance (I was once engaged, before the three-year co-habiting Teddy Bear, and the 30-year ex–the son-of-a-bear) hated mayonnaise. Just hated it. The thought of mayo made him feel physically ill. I mean, he would literally begin to gag.

    I thought this was the most ridiculous thing ever, because he ate salads that had mayonnaise in them: tuna and chicken salad sandwiches, potato and macaroni salad. I debated this with him, and he said “I don’t eat them if I know they have mayonnaise in them.”

    This was so illogical to me–so “ridiculous” is how I thought of it–that for his birthday, I baked him the richest, creamiest chocolate cake ever. And you and I both know how to achieve that.

    After he pretty much inhaled his second piece, I said “See? You LOVED it! And that cake has loads of mayonnaise!”

    I was lower on the spectrum back then. Even after he vomiited up every bite in horror, I still thought he was being an illogical idiot.

    And now I’m the illogical idiot. I know you were planning to have me over soon, Grandmalin, but you can forget it now. The thought of nasty cooked spinach insinuating its evil odiferous limp strands inside my precious and already-precariously-out-of-whack pink-and-shiny interior, accompanied by the turnip, that innocent-appearing false cousin to the EDIBLE underground bulgy-footed plants–

    Pardon me: I’m off to make my obeisance to the Porcelain Queen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well son of a bear. See if I ever make anything for you again. Lol – that’s a great story. It really is all in our heads most of the time. Like preferring butter to margarine or coke to Pepsi and really not being able to tell the difference in the dark blindfolded. I haven’t really tested that out, but it could be true…. W shares your aversion to turnips, but he has eaten them without knowing it. I’m not revealing where.

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