Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers' Day Brunch and other uses of vegetables

Happy Mother's Day! We made brunch for my mom, including our family recipe from a village in Germany:
These steam dumplings with blueberry sauce are delicious, but you've got to get started 2-3 hours before you want to eat them because there are two rises involved. My mom loves them but doesn't want to make them herself, so it was a good choice for Mother's Day. We also had cheesy eggs, chicken italian sausage, rosemary-sundried tomato scones (homemade), Gretchen's kale and flor de jamaica salad, canteloupe, and tangerine mimosas. Not a super-vegetable heavy meal, but we did use kale and rosemary from the CSA.

Last night, we made an incredibly healthy but indulgent tasting baked pasta casserole. Each serving only has 1 oz of meat and 1 oz of pasta (measured dried), but is totally filling and cheesy and good. And, we used a ton of vegetables. Which is good, because we were hungry after hiking in Griffith Park (the pic is a flower growing out of a rock in Griffith Park).

Here's the recipe:

Becky's Super-Veggie, Cheesey, Tomatotey, Pasta Delight (8 servings)

8 oz whole wheat penne or ziti
8 oz italian sausage
3 small eggplants, sliced
1 poblano pepper, chopped, no seeds
1 humungous carrot or 2-3 normal carrots, shredded
1 onion, chopped
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can of chunky tomato sauce (or a regular size can of diced tomatoes, drained, and a regular size can of tomato sauce)
1/4 cup feta cheese
3/4 cup shredded asiago
1 cup shredded mozarrella
1 tbsp italian herbs, dried
4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil

Set a saucepan of water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a wok or wok-like skillet and sautee poblano, onion, garlic, and carrot. In a separate pan, steam the eggplant slices until soft. After a few minutes, add the mushrooms and chard to the mixed vegetables. Continue cooking until mushrooms are cooked through. Around this time the water should be boiling. Add 8 oz whole wheat pasta to water and cook al dente. Add can of tomato sauce, dried herbs, and fresh basil to vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Remove sausage from casing and brown in a separate skillet, then chop into small pieces. In a lasagna pan (or two small lasagna pans), put down a layer of vegetables and pasta, then a layer of mozarrella cheese and sausage, then more vegetables, and finish with a layer of feta and asiago. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

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