I have been dreading this day for over a week now, but it’s time to face the music and do this post. I like to think that I am doing this for the greater good of all people, and not for selfish reasons. I’m doing this so that everyone out there can make an informed decision. So that when everything around you starts to spin, you find yourself gasping for air and your kitchen resembles a scene out of your favorite crime show you will realize (and better understand) where you went wrong. Yes, this post is more of a public service announcement than about an easy vegetable lasagna.
It started simply enough, a request for a low carb and easy vegetarian lasagna. I instantly knew what I was going to do. No pasta, some fresh ricotta, a homemade tomato sauce and a play on a ratatouille recipe. So I gathered all of my ingredients and started on my way.
I made up the Epicurious ricotta cheese recipe and had that chilling. By the way…once you make this recipe, you will NEVER buy ricotta cheese ever again. This tastes so much better (oh, and it’s easy to do). I cranked up the oven and I put the pot on the stove and had the tomato sauce cooking away. I was ready to start on the vegetables.
I washed up my eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes (you know, all the traditional veggies for a ratatouille recipe) laid out my cutting board and got the mandoline ready for a slicing frenzy. Ordinarily, I would just slice all the veggies with a knife and be done with it, but I was making a double batch of this lasagna and the vegetables were going to be sliced lengthwise. I wanted to make really thin slices of the vegetables and arrange them so that they looked like a large flower. Yes, every once in a while I get a little too creative for my own good.
The zucchini were first up, so I grabbed one and started in on it. The first slice was difficult to make using the guard, because I was trying to cut them the long way, so I tossed the guard aside (DUMB idea). Slice, slice, slice, sli…..and then it was all thumb. I was watching the entire event unfold and I still did it. Worse yet, my brain (although believed to be connected to my arm and hand) could not comprehend why the zucchini was seemingly stuck. Everything looked right. Oh, maybe it’s because my thumb was stuck in the blade and blocking the vegetable from continuing on its smooth path. Then all of a sudden it registered – MY.THUMB.IS.STUCK.IN.THE.BLADE.OF.THE.MANDOLINE!!!!!!
In shock, I managed to pull my thumb out of the blade and proceed to bleed all over myself (hey, I may be injured….but I’m not gonna bleed all over my kitchen and have to clean that up). Over to the sink to run some water on my injury and to further inspect the damage. A call to urgent care to check their hours and then a call to Craig to see if maybe he was on his way home. The first thing out of his mouth was “so what, did you cut your finger off?” (oh he knows me so well). “Not exactly off, but I’m bleeding like one of Jason’s victims.” A call to my neighbor to take me to urgent care and I was off.
Of course I was seen by Dr. Hotty McSexy and I looked like hell, which made me feel oh so much better about myself. Yes, I was in shock, bleeding all over the place and having self-esteem issues. If I had a therapist, we’d probably have lots of billable hours regarding this. He took a look at it and gave me the choice of glue or stitches. I chose glue (which, for the record is just super glue in a cool package), got a compression wrap, some pain killers and was sent on my merry way.
About a week later, I actually made the “easy” vegetable lasagna (yes, it’s easy if you aren’t process interruptus with a hanging appendage) for the person who had requested it and a dish for us. I can’t say that I didn’t endure a little PTSD while I was using the mandoline (this time using the guard regardless of how awkward it was).
Now that it’s been a week and a half since the ‘slicing’ things have really started healing (to the point where it’s actually noticeable). I’m pretty sure I’m not going to have much feeling in that part of my thumb, which if I were a guy would mean I could do all kinds of stupid things to it and freak people out. Craig has been a big help through all of this, although his “I told ya so” is getting kind of old at this point. But I probably deserve to hear that.
As far as meatless dinner recipes go, this one is a definite winner, and I’ll be making it again and again. Although I’ll be buying a kevlar glove to use with the mandoline from now on.
While my husband is wonderful (most of the time) I thought I would stay in the PSA mode and help you a little bit more by passing along some of the things that I have learned. Why should this good info go to waste?
10 Signs That You Are Dating A Douche
- He not so casually announces to you how much the bill for dinner is and that he’s picking up the tab.
- Fitting you in to his ‘busy’ schedule feels like trying to shoehorn your feet into those Louboutins that were a half size too small but on sale for an amazing price.
- When a group of you go out for drinks, he’s the one buying shots for everyone and telling them they have to drink it and if they don’t, he starts making up stupid names for them.
- When you call and leave him a voice mail, his response always comes in the form of a text message.
- He hits the tanning salon (spray or bed…doesn’t matter).
- He compares his abs to those of ‘The Situation.’
- As soon as he’s satisfied, in bed, he rolls over and goes to sleep.
- Because he’s a triathlete, you will train like he does and with him. Even if this means he will pull you (on your bike) up the hill while he pedals his own bike. (slightly impressive, but still really douchey)
- Wears anything by Affliction or Ed Hardy.
- In every picture he’s in, he has that pseudo tough guy constipated look on his face.
Recipe: Meatless Dinner Recipes: Easy Vegetable Lasagna
For Tomato Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion (diced)
- 3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1 28 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Basil
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Large Eggplant (sliced lengthwise 1/8″ thick-then cut slices in half lengthwise)
- 2 Medium Zuchinni (sliced lengthwise1/8″ thick)
- 4 Roma Tomatoes (sliced lengthwise 1/8″ thick)
- 2 Cups Ricotta Cheese
- Olive Oil
- 4-5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme (leaves removed)
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
For Tomato Sauce
- Add olive oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat.
- Once oil is hot, add in onions and garlic. Stirring frequently, cook until the onions start to soften.
- Turn heat down to medium and add in tomatoes, oregano and basil.
- Continue cooking until tomatoes break down and mixture is a bit thicker (approximately 15 minutes). If mixture is spattering all over, you can reduce the heat a little more. But keep stirring.
- Using a stick blender, puree the tomato mixture. (You could also do this in your blender – just make sure to vent the top a little.) I like mine to still have some chunks in it, so I don’t puree all of it.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
- Spoon tomato sauce onto bottom of pan.
- Start by laying a piece of eggplant (skin side up) along the edge of your pan. Continue doing this all the way around the pan only slightly overlapping the ends.
- Next, spread some of the ricotta cheese onto a slice of zuchinni. Firmly place this slice (cheese facing the eggplant) next to the eggplant. Continue doing this all the way around the pan.
- Next, lay the tomato slices next to the zucchini. If you like, you can double up on the tomato slices or leave it a single layer.
- Continue doing this until the bottom of the pan is covered.
- Lightly drizzle the top of the lasagna with olive oil then sprinkle on the thyme leaves and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Cover the top of the lasagna with a piece of parchment paper that is cut to fit the dish and bake for 40-45 minutes (until top is slightly browned),
- Remove the parchment paper and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Put the lasagna back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
I made 2 separate pans of this lasagna. One pan was 4qt and the other was a 2 1/2 qt. You could easily make this in a 9″ pie pan or in an 8″ square pan.
This recipe is also easy to multiply up for larger dishes.
This would also taste delicious with onions and/or peppers added to it.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (General)