Roots and Eggs

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Oddly enough, the inspiration for this dish began here http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/01/roasted-root-vegetable-wheat-ber/. Weird huh? I found myself with a vegetable bin of root vegetables and was looking for inspiration. And what I really mean by  that is, I drove by a fruit stand that had a giant box of root vegetables on sale for three bucks- so I HAD to buy it. Then we had to figure out what to do with them all….As I mentioned before, farmers markets are a dangerous place for us. I followed the preparation in the above recipe for roasting the vegetables; just changing the quantities for what I had on hand. We’ve been (trying) to prep ingredients for simple meals over the weekend or early in the week, in so that we reach for better things when were hungry, and because it saves dollars by not buying something on the go. For this breakfast and for the faro salad, listed above, I roasted the vegetables the night before. It made for a pretty great and easy breakfast dish. I did ultimately make the above recipe too, because I roasted A LOT of roots. But this turned out to be a great, quick breakfast, that looks fancy and was pretty delicious too.

Ingredients:

1 small acorn squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into bite-size pieces

2 parsnips, peeled and

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 medium white onion, chopped

1 GIANT rutabega (or a few ‘lil ones), peeled and diced

1 bunch Baby white turnips, washed and halved

1 bunch turnip greens, washed, patted dry, and chopped

1 tomato, diced

4-6 Sprigs of Thyme or 1 teaspoons dried

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning (optional)

1/3 teaspoon chili flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

3 Tbs. olive oil, divided

2 eggs

smoked paprika to taste

Build:

Set oven to 450 degrees. Grab a 9×13 casserole dish and place squash, parsnips, rutabega, carrot, onions,  and turnips in it.

Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over vegetables and stir to coat. Use a bit more oil if needed.

Add all but a pinch of salt, pepper, and chili flakes.

Add thyme and italian seasoning, if using.

Mix.

Roast the vegetables in the bottom third of the oven, stir once halfway though baking, for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and slightly browned.

Start a pot of water and set it to boil, for your eggs. (I add a pinch of salt, a drop of olive oil, and a splash of vinegar to the water for poached eggs.)

Grab a skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil, set on medium-high heat.

Once your pan is hot, add turnip greens and tomato

Add remaining spice pinches: salt, pepper, and chili flakes

Cook until greens are wilted

Add roasted squash mixture.

Heat through.

By now your water should be boiling for eggs.

Crack eggs directly over pot , turn down to medium heat.

Cook-time is dependent on how well you like the yolks cooked. I like to wait until they float, and give them two-three minutes after that. (I know its a bit weird, but it works for me).

While waiting on the eggs, scoop your sautéed vegetables into bowls, or onto plates.

Top with cooked eggs.

Sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

Bon Appetit!

Escalona Eats!

Hello and welcome to Escalona Eats! This is the inaugural post for this blogging endeavor, and I have to say, it’s exciting. My husband and I love food! More importantly, we are passionate about respecting the processes of getting ones food from grower to table. We do our best at being as conscious consumers and preparers, and we embrace the preparation of a meal almost as much as we do eating it. Together, we are slightly obsessed with farmers markets; continually attempting to augment our diet to be more local, more organic, and more healthy without breaking the bank or sacrificing flavor. Though I am the more passionate cook, he is an incredible sidekick. He supports my crazy culinary antics by, not only chopping a mean onion (or six), but by being the chief overseer of our urban garden, and master cleaner-upper when I’ve gotten over creative. It also helps that he likes leftovers. We are on a constant quest to try new things, to prepare comfort foods more healthily, to experiment, to get creative with earth’s incredible bounty, to share and learn, and to have fun along the way.

Greek Yogurt Lasagna

 

With much ado…

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I’ve only made lasagna once. It was vegetarian and from scratch, minus the “you-boil” noodles. It was good but not amazing, runny, and jam-packed with full fat cheesy richness. I’ve been wanting to try again. To make a more savory version. To make it with meat, but make it good enough to delicious without it. I wanted to make my own noodles, but I got overly intimidated by wanting the rest to be incredible. Next time, I won’t let intimidation get the best of me because now I know, I’ve got a killer thing going here that is pretty dang amazing.

This recipe is adapted from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/04/vegetable-lasagna/. I used no-boil, store-bought noodles, and any and all vegetables in the refrigerator, which makes it nice, because it you can truly use the veggies you like best,or use up whatever is a little wilted to make an awesome sauce. I also wanted all the vegetables to cook down and be somewhat indistinguishable (more saucy,) so I chopped things smaller than you may want. It’s all about preference, really. The biggest change to the version here, is that I replaced ricotta with greek yogurt. I heard somewhere that this was a thing. Why? Lower fat, fewer calories/cholesterol, who knows. For me, it was about dairy. I LOVE cheese, but restaurant-prepared lasagna is always too rich, too cheesy and makes me sick. Lactose isn’t my friend, so being able to eat and enjoy this lasagna was the most satisfying part. Fare warning, this recipe requires a lot of chopping. We chose to prep ingredients in the morning and build stacks of saucy deliciousness come dinnertime.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey, cooked (optional)

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

3 Tbs. olive oil

2 cups onions, diced

2-3 large cloves garlic, minced

16 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped

2 yellow squash, quartered and diced

1 zucchini, quartered and diced

1 (little) eggplant, chopped

5 kale leaves, de-stemed and chopped

2 tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

3 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped

2 eggs

16 oz (or more) greek yogurt- we like Fage

1 ball fresh mozzarella, shredded

3/4 cup parmesan, shredded, divided

1 24 ounce can organic crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 boxes no bake noodles (next time I’d use boiled, or make my own from scratch, because of texture)

1 Tbs italian herbs, dried

salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste

 Build 

So, much like http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/04/vegetable-lasagna/, I chopped all of my vegetables and herbs into colorful piles, to add into the pot at their respective times. I also sautéed and drained the ground turkey and had it ready too. Additionally, mix greek yogurt, 1/2 cup  parmesan, two eggs, a pinch of pepper and a bit more than a pinch of salt in a bowl, and set aside. I chose to cook everything in a big stock pot, just to have less dishes to clean up. The beauty of a great sauce is that you can just let it keep simmering as you add ingredients, because the flavors just keep getting better.

Add olive oil to stockpot and turn your stovetop on medium-high

Once hot, add chopped onions and garlic- watch that these don’t burn and stir frequently for a couple of minutes

Add squash, zucchini, and kale

Sprinkle with teas. pepper, chili flakes (optional), and italian herbs

Stir, and let cook down for two minutes, or so

Add eggplant

Add teas salt- tenderizes and pulls out the bitterness eggplant sometimes has, but also gets absorbed by the soft veggies

Continue to stir occasionally, and let veggies soften and cook down

Add mushrooms

Add fresh, diced tomotoes

Add fresh flat leaf parsley and basil

Add chicken or vegetable stock

Stir

Turn down your stockpot and let the mixture simmer- these can cook down for five minutes, or twenty, depending on how incorporated you like them. Personally, the longer and softer, the better.

Add cooked ground turkey, if using

Lasagana

I let this mixture simmer on low for about ten to fifteen minutes. Again, the more the ingredients have time to cook together, the more vibrant your flavors.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper

Add can of Organic Crushed Tomatoes

Stir and TASTE! add more spices if you think it needs it- I almost always add something because if it needs it now, it needs it, period.

Let simmer and thicken for fifteen minutes- or so

lasagna

Next, grab a 9×13 casserole dish and set your oven to 350 degrees.

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Place about 1 1/2 cups of sauce in bottom of casserole dish- this keeps the noodles from sticking to the bottom

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Once you’ve put the first little layer of sauce down, place your noodles. I broke some in half to cover the gaps

Take one fourth of your yogurt, parmesan cheese, egg mixture and spread across the first layer of noodles. Be sure to seal the corners

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Add a layer of mozzarella and of sauce, remember  you’re repeating this two, or three more times (depending on how many layers you want) so be mindful of how you divide your ingredients

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Layer until you are out of ingredients. I did four layers this time, but it’s common to do only three.

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Top last layer with the last of the sauce and bit extra parmesan cheese

Because my casserole dish was SO full of deliciousness, I places a rimmed cookie sheet underneath it just in case it bubbled over. It didn’t, but better safe than cleaning the oven

Bake at 350 degrees, covered in foil, for 25 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

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Enjoy!