Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Restarting the blog and cleaning out the freezer!

So, yeah, life happens and the first thing to go is the blog, of course. That and writing a dissertation for 10-12 hours a day makes writing in the down time exceptionally hard, but that's been over for more than a year, so I have no excuse not to start up again!

I've started to focus on cleaning out my freezers. They've now been reorganized and inventoried, and I've noticed two things:
1) I have WAY too much tomatillo sauce. As good as it is, there is no way I'm going to eat all that anytime soon, so there will be NO tomatillos in the garden this year!
2) I apparently buy frozen Brussels sprouts and spinach every time I go to the store. This is getting a bit silly.

So, tonight was getting rid of an (unlabeled, of course) Rubbermaid container of some-kind-of-pureed-winter-squash. Winter squashes go well with butter, bacon, onions, and sage. I had lasagna noodles in the pantry, bacon fat on the counter (in my bacon fat mug- doesn't everyone have one of those?!), half an onion in the fridge, and sage in the garden. And before you say it, yeah, I know, I was totally lazy and Sandra Lee'd it up with the "pre-grated cheese", but that's what I get for picking up cheese at Target. That was the only thing I needed to complete...

Some-kind-of-squash Lasagna
Serves 4-6; one 11"X7" pyrex dish

1.5 cups of some kind of roasted squash puree (butternut, acorn, pumpkin, etc)
12 lasagna noodles
2 Tbsp bacon fat (sub butter or oil if you need)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
8 oz grated Italian blend cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil water in a large pan. Add salt until the water tastes like sea water, then add the lasagna noodles and cook as indicated on whatever package you have. You could probably use the no-cook noodles but I would add extra water to the squash or make extra bechamel sauce. While the water boils/noodles cook, melt the bacon fat and butter together, then add the onions and saute until they start to brown. Add the chopped sage and saute until it turns bright green. Whisk in the flour to make a roux; cook for a couple minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Whisk in the milk, turn down the heat, and stir regularly until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the squash is unseasoned, you'll want to make the bechamel almost too salty to make the final lasagna palatable. Drain the pasta (I gave it a little rinse in cold water just so I could touch the noodles). Put a thin layer of bechamel on the bottom of your pan, cover with 4 noodles. Spread with half the squash, a fourth of the grated cheese, and a third of the bechamel. Repeat with noodles, squash, cheese, bechamel, noodles, bechamel, and the last half the cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cheese on top is browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes so it doesn't fall apart on you.

I had a salad with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it on the side.

Approximate nutrition information for 6 servings:  One serving has approximately 500 calories, 56g carbs, 22g fat, 26g protein.  (From's recipe calculator)

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