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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lasagna with Turkey Ragu and Fresh Herbs

Pleasant evening Cool Pinks,

I've been submitting lots of recipes to blogs and websites lately, and I must say my friends have been given me great recipe ideas to come up with :)

As the fall season gets into full swing, hearty, savory meals are the way to go. So, at the request of my friend Ayanna, here's my version of lasagna with turkey ragu and fresh herbs :)

For this recipe, you'll need:

Whole grain lasagna noodles (gluten free noodles work great too)

8-12 large Roma tomatoes
4 golden tomatoes
Chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Olive oil
all-natural, hormone free ground turkey (of soy-based meat substitute)
Red wine
Portabello mushrooms
Yellow and purple onions
1 Poblano pepper  (trust me on this lol)
Heavy cream (or a non-dairy version like Tofutti)
White pepper
Black pepper
Garlic salt
Onion powder
sea salt
Chopped fresh herbs
Organic whole leaf spinach
Organic mozzarella
Shredded white cheddar
Shredded Monterey jack cheese

Now that I'm sure you see how delicious this is going to be based on the ingredient list, let's start preparing the meal, shall we?

-Boil the noodles with water, olive oil and a little white pepper
-While the noodles are boiling, marinate the ground turkey in a combination of olive oil, chopped herbs, red wine and seasonings. Put the meat aside so the flavors can set in.
-Set the oven to broil and brush the whole tomatoes (not the fire-roasted tomatoes) the Poblano peppers and the mushrooms with olive oil and a little sea salt. Put the veggies on a cookie sheet and broil them for about five minutes until the outside skin is charred. This gives them a roasted flavor that tastes great with turkey :)
-Take the veggies from the oven, peel off the deeply charred parts and roughly chop the veggies.
-Place a saucepan on medium heat and add olive oil. Add the marinated ground turkey and chopped fire-roasted tomatoes and stir to evenly cook the meat.
-Strain the noodles. They're ready by now.
-Add the chopped veggies to the ground turkey, except for one Roma tomato and one golden tomato. Puree these two tomatoes in a blender or food processor with the heavy cream or Tofutti to create a sauce. About 3 tablespoons of cream should do the trick.
-Do a little kitchen dance while the tomatoes are blending because you know this lasagna is about to be SO GOOD.
-Add the pureed tomatoes to the meat and veggies. Stir the mixture and give it a little taste. Add any of the seasonings above (including the red wine) to the sauce if you think it needs more flavor. If you want to make the sauce...saucier, add a small can of tomato paste to the ground turkey.
-Oil a large pan and add your first layer of noodles.
-Add a few spoonfuls of the ground meat and sauce on top of the noodles, followed by slices of mozzarella, shredded cheese and a layer of spinach. It looks so fancy and you're gonna be impressed and you're probably gonna put some of the sauce on a spinach leaf and taste it. It's OK. It happens.
-Keep adding layers. At the top, add one more thin layer of sauce and cheese, and top with fresh herbs
-Cook at 375F for 45 minutes. For the first 20 minutes, cover the lasagna with foil.
-Set the table and get ready to gain 2 pounds.

-And there you have it! This recipe is really tasty, pretty healthy, and it's sure to be a hit. I've made the vegetarian version for non-vegetarian family and friends, and it's just as good. Enjoy!

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