February 2, 2009

Chicken and vegetable lasagna

Tonight's dinner was something that I had the idea for a few days ago. I have started to crave more casserole and lasagna stuff. I have never made a lasagna so I was a bit nervous. We are really trying to use all of what we have in house and fridge and not have extra around. So most of my recipes can be done with what ever veggies you have. Or even better, these recipes are a great way to sneak a lot of fresh veggies into your life and into your kids! So the recipe I had in my head... Chicken and veggie sort of lasagna. I had intended to do a very chunky veggie thing but I decided that it was easier to get a ton of stuff into the kids if I chop most things in the mini chopper. This works well for me too as my hands are no good. Tonight I had onion, garlic, celery, carrot, potato, broccoli, bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, zucchini (this I kept in strips) , a box of tomatoes sauce and I used some oregano and Italian seasoning and I think some Pappy's.

In the back pan I started to boil water with chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, and oregano. I used this water to poach the chicken. I have heard that this is a very healthy way to cook fish so we are going to give it a try. Plus our chicken was already cut think so it worked well. After the chicken was done I cut it up and set it aside. I saved the stock to use with the veggies.

For the vegetable I sauteed a little garlic, onion and celery,- let them soften then added the carrots, bell pepper and potato. As I needed to I would use the chicken stock to add to the veggies as they cooked. after a while I added the broccoli and zucchini. After a few more turns with the spoon I added the box of tomato sauce.

For the cheese I had 2 types. A white that was shredded. It was Manchego. And a yellow cheddar that was cubed. I then made an easy bechamel sauce and added the Manchego.

I do not have any baking dishes here yet except for my baking one that is a heart or a train. So we had a heart lasagna. I layered the oiled dish with noodles (these ones did not need to be pre cooked which was great) white cheese sauce, chopped chicken, veggies sauce, then threw down a few cubes of cheddar. Second layer: white cheese sauce, chicken, veggies sauce, cubed cheddar- you get the idea. We only did 3 layers I think. Then on top we finished with the cheese sauce and veggies sauce on top.

I had my concerns about this dish. I mean, for 1 there were A LOT of veggies so I was not sure if it was going to be "too veggie" tasting. I mean I want to eat healthy but I want it to taste good. But after 20-30 minutes in the oven it was ready to eat. If I was serving this to my husband I would have served it with a small salad and bread- but it was just me and the kids so we just had the lazagna.

First of all- the kids loved it. They ate every bite on the plate. It did turn out great. I was really excited about it.

I saved a little of the veggies sauce to make a strata for the next morning. My friend Jordan told me about this and I have been playing with them since. In a baking dish you line with aging bread. (a great way to use up bread that is hard)Then some sauce (any number of variations could work for this) then some cheese, then some bread, sauce, cheese,& bread, sauce, cheese- topped with bread. Then you whisk a few eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour it on top of the top bread. Put it in the fringe and the next day you can put it in the oven for 30-40 minuets - It is a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. I will post pictures of it when I get them.

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