Saturday, September 17, 2011


Yes, vegetarian, gluten free, easy on the waist line, 
and so delicious you'll want 
and thirds
and those trimmings
that need evening out..
Not that I did that.
I might have.
I did.
Don't judge me.
I'm just sayin.

Just for the sake of transparency,
I do not cook like this every night.
This is a Sunday afternoon "project" type of recipe.
The kind of recipe that you want to cook when 
you're not starving at that minute,
the kitchen is clean and sparkly like you want to actually
spend some time in it,
you don't mind a meal that takes a couple of extra steps.
It's not hard or laborious,
it's just a "COOKING COOKING" recipe.
(Yep! I just made up that term.)

Here are some things you need.

(Not photographed: yellow onion and parmesan. 
It's such a Nicole-ism that I would forget to take a picture
of the one ingredient that earns rank in the title,)
I will attempt to not commentate every little thing and
 just give you a clean
but be patient with me.
I'm not sure I can do it.

without commentary


1            Butternut Squash
2 - 3      8Balls (or any zucchini variety)
1            Yellow Onion
1 jar       Marinara Sauce (or favorite variety of Tomato Sauce)
1pkg      Mozzarella Cheese (8-10 oz)
               Sea Salt
               Chili Flakes (optional)
1 TBSP  Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
               Fresh Basil Leaf (optional, but yummmm)

* TuesdayMorningFriends-If you use non-fat Mozzarella, then a 2 cup serving is 7pts. Even less if you only top     the dish with cheese rather than layering it.

Preheat Oven to 375 and Heat up the Grill

Start Slicing Veggies: 
Butternut Squash (the Autumn part of the recipe),
8 Balls, Yellow Onion, (If my family would let me I'd stick Portobellos in there too).
*It is called "vegetable" parmesan, so use what you like-peppers, eggplant, fennel, get it.

Slicing Tip:
I slice all of my fruits and veggies from the bottom up, so I can get nice round slices.
I may need to do a posting on it because people
always comment on how I slice.
So weird.
Look for that.
Slice them up and massage about 1 1/2 TBSP of Coconut Oil
into the slices, then sprinkle with Sea Salt
and Pepper.

Now stick them on that hot grill and let em' go until you get the nice
grill lines on both sides.

And make sure both sides get seasoned.
While you're waiting on those (just a few minutes ea. side)
cut the cheese   BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!
(sorry, I know the joke is getting old).
Slice an 8 oz package of Mozzarella Cheese.

Have a platter and a piece of foil ready to keep the grilled veggies warm while
you finish the other batches.

Now, I must interrupt to say that this alone
is a mighty fine appetizer (have done it several times for bar-b-ques),
side dish, or ok, I can't think of a third thing, 
this is where you will be tempted to eat
half of them 
before they end up in the Parmesan.
It's your choice.
Stop here and go for it-
or continue to the other half of the recipe.

Now you get out your baking pan. 
I like my trusty friend the round stoney thing
that's all seasoned
and weird looking.

Pour in a little bit of your Marinara Sauce.

Spread it all around.
(Hey!! There's an action shot of me multi-tasking! That won't happen much! That's me spreading out the sauce while taking the picture. Probably why it's a lame picture.
The "without commentating thing is totally not working.
You probably noticed.)

If you've made Lasagna before, you're probably done with the tutorial.
You layer it up just like you would Lasagna:
Sauce, Veggie Layer, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and repeat 3 or 4 times.
Tonight I had 4 layers because I cut up so many veggies.
Here's some pics anyway:

I like to put the Butternut Squash on the bottom.
Then layer on the Mozzarella and Parmesan.
I'd put way more cheese on if I wasn't doing the 
In fact, for the TuesdayMorningFriends I usually make this
omitting the cheese until the top layer.
It makes it much more program friendly
and quite honestly
tastes pretty awesome too!

Next more sauce and then the Onions come in.
Fresh Basil too because I had some.

Onions are not very photogenic.
The pics are getting a bit
You get it.
Cheese, then Zucchini and so on and so on.
The last layer is Mozarella, Parmesan, and Panko Crumbs
(which in my opinion the crumbs need a little Sea Salt).
Drizzle some (about 2 TBSP) Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the Crumbs.
Here's the close up before
this yummy goodness popped into that
375 degree oven.

Leave that in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Oh Yay!!!
It's done!

Wait about 10 minutes.
I'm not sure why.
Setting or Something.
We always wait 10 and it's still a big delicious mess
when we cut it and plate it.

Oh yeeeaaaaaahhhhh!

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