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Veggies

Grab and Go Veggie Lasagne Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 5 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 8 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 boxes of lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups of blanched, well drained veggies (we suggest spinach, mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers)

Method

Blanch the lasagna noodles in salted, oiled water and then drain and toss lightly in a small bowl with olive oil. Mix the ricotta, eggs and spices in another bowl. Assemble the lasagna: Lightly oil the bottom and sides of roasting pan. Ladle a thin layer of tomato sauce, followed by the first layer of lasagna noodles, then spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture. Then add one cup of vegetables and a light casting of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat three times and end with a topping of marinara and mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before you slice and serve. Bon appetite!

How I Got Our Kids to Eat Veggies and A FREE GIVE AWAY!!

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I have a really great way to get kids to eat almost all veggies, including Brussels sprouts! I found a product over ten years ago called Sale Alle Erbe delle Marlunghe at Dean and Deluca, a gourmet food and kitchen wares store, while on a wine tasting adventure in Napa. It’s a savory herb salt that makes EVERYTHING taste better. I only bought one jar and imagine my dismay when it was all gone. We put it on so many dishes from meat and potatoes to pasta and veggies to salads….you get it. But the best part was what happened when I put it on roasted veggies. The kids ate them like candy!! The salt is so amazing that I even mail it to our daughter in Boston when she runs out. And she runs out a lot! She could order it online from a store in Sacramento, but she would rather have me mail it to her. Imagine that!!

The reason it’s so good is the dried herbs and salt aren’t just mixed together. The herbs and garlic are put into the salt while they are fresh and then the salt dehydrates them, extracting all the aromatic oils and flavors into the salt.

I brought eight jars (I couldn’t get ten) over to Kauai last week when I snuck in a quick trip to check out the new Juice Bar @ Living Foods. It is heavenly and you should not miss it on your next adventure to Poipu! I even got Jeff out of the market for a bit to spend fun time cruising on the North Shore and camping at Polihale. All in only 5 days. I love that your camping essentials are a bathing suit, towel and sunscreen and you are set. Although 4-wheel drive, an air mattress, blanket, food, and beverages don’t hurt either! Oh, and don’t forget the camping permit.

Now for the best part of my blog post…the give away at Living Foods. Shop in the market and cafe and be one of the first eight customers to spend $50 in one visit, mention the give away and we’ll give you a jar of salt for free!

My autumn recipe suggestion to use with the salt is to cut up Kauai’s sweet and crunchy carrots, local sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and eggplant and toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and some pepper and roast at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Turn on convection if your oven has it for even better roasting. Then, add some broccoli florets, onion, and red bell pepper that have been cut into bite size pieces and lightly coat in olive oil and continue to roast until all the veggies are cooked and slightly charred. At this point, taste and add more salt if needed. This is definitely my go to side dish for many fall and winter evenings. Put a fried egg on top after taking out of the oven and it’ a meal!

The Juice Bar @ Living Foods

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In case you haven’t heard, we opened a juice bar at Living Foods Gourmet Market and Cafe! Jeff and Howard asked me to write something about it so I took that to mean they wanted my opinion. Every day that I get to give my solicited opinion is like Christmas.

What do I think of juicing? Well the first thing that comes to mind is how excited I am because this means when our girls are on island, they will have easy access to all the fruit and veggie goodness they need. We have 5 girls between our 2 families, not including us moms, and it will be so awesome for them to have no excuses for getting their 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies daily.

The latest info from the National Institutes of Health is that on any given day, 45% of the US population is having no servings of fruit or fruit juice and 22% have no servings of vegetables. Really? That’s depressing to me. It’s because of these statistics that we need more access to juice bars.

There is no magic formula coming out of juice bars, but they typically feature fresh, nutritious, vitamin-and-mineral and anti-oxidant loaded beverages. These vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants are needed by our bodies and we aren’t getting enough of them.

I can only postulate as to why I think the American public isn’t getting enough fruits and veggies and my opinion is:

  • Most produce requires preparation and when so many families have both parents working, there just isn’t enough time or energy to prepare the produce.
  • If not eaten within a certain time frame, it goes bad and gets thrown out. Fresh produce can be expensive, especially if it’s organic, and this is a risk a lot of families don’t want to take.
  • Kids don’t generally like the bitterness of many veggies so parents aren’t wasting their time serving them.
  • Fruit as a snack isn’t nearly as appealing as cookies and candy.
  • It’s just so much easier and frequently less expensive to grab fast food or prepare packaged food.

So, because of the above mentioned thoughts, my opinion is that we need more juice bars! Veggies are combined with sweet fruit juice, which cuts some of the bitterness (just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down…) and juiced fruits and veggies deliver a lot of the nutrients that we are missing in the average American diet due to decrease consumption of fresh produce. These are nutrients that studies have shown are involved in decreasing our risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and even mental health disorders. The mental health connection is due to the prebiotic nature of many fruits and vegetables, but I’m saving that for another post!!

One last bit of info – certain important nutrients in vegetables are more available to our body if the vegetable has been cooked, other nutrients are more nutritious if eaten raw so the take home is this – don’t let juicing fully replace your consumption of fruits and vegetables but use it in addition.

See you at the Juice Bar @ Living Foods!

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