Monday, June 20, 2011

Pumpkin Lasagne

I got a new job and will most likely have significantly less time to cook. Much like the rest of 2011 was with grad classes. I actually do get to cook but it's the blogging that is a little more time consuming.

Pumpkin Lasagne

1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. hot Italian turkey sausage
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp fennel seed
2 cups fresh pumpkin or butternut squash puree (mine had been previously frozen,but not canned because it doesn't have enough moisture)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 small can tomato paste
splash of white wine (optional)
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped into ribbons

1 package fresh lasagne pasta sheets
1 lb. grated mozzarella cheese

1 quart low fat milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
dash of nutmeg

In the following recipe I salted and peppered most layers of the recipe individually to taste. Add as much or as little as you personally like but taste as you go. Sausage and cheese can be very salty and varies by brand.

  1. In a large skillet heat approximately one to two tsp of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Remove casings and add sausage to skillet. Break down with wooden spoon. Add crushed red pepper and fennel seed. Cook through.
  3. Add pumpkin or squash puree and cinnamon. Heat through and add tomato paste to sauce. Add a splash of white wine and cook approximately 10 minutes until every is combined.
  4. Add swiss chard to the sauce and stir/heat until completely combined and chard is wilted.
  5. Add approximately 1/2 cup of low-fat milk to the sausage sauce. Mix to combine and keep heat low while you make the bechamel sauce.
  6. In a medium saucepan melt butter.
  7. Add flour whisking or stirring to combine to make a roux. Make sure to fully cook the flour.
  8. Add the remaining milk a little at a time to make a white sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.
  9. In 9x13 casserole dish coat the bottom with a few drops of olive oil.
  10. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish. Layer in order pasta sheets (cutting to fit) sauce, bechamel, and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired for serving.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fish Sticks with Sauteed Swiss Chard

I never had fish sticks growing up on as a child. The closest thing was fried flounder or catfish filets. I really didn't eat a lot of fish growing up. I was in college when I started eating salmon etc. This is a more high maintenance version of the fish sticks you get in the box, at least I'm assuming. I'm still pretty sure I have had any that I can remember at least. It probably wouldn't have been so time consuming if I didn't cut the tilapia smaller than your average fish stick. These are baked not fried and crisped up nicely in the oven.

Fish Sticks (adapted from

canola oil cooking spray
1/2 cup dry seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup corn flake cereal
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites, beaten
1 pound tilapia filets, cut into strips

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray.
  3. Place breadcrumbs, cereal flakes, lemon pepper, garlic powder, paprika and salt in a food processor process until finely ground. Transfer to a shallow dish.
  4. Place flour in a second shallow dish and egg whites in a third shallow dish.
  5. Coat each strip of fish in the flour, then the egg and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Place on wire rack.
  7. Coat both sides of the breaded fish with cooking spray.
  8. Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Sauteed Swiss Chard

1 tsp olive oil
2 cups torn or sliced swiss chard
3 tbsp dried currants
2 tbsp pine nuts
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch dried rosemary
1 clove garlic

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet.
  2. Add currants and pine nuts and saute until pine nuts begin to turn golden brown.
  3. Add garlic and saute about 1 minute.
  4. Add swiss chard and rosemary and saute until wilted.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.