We moved and we are now writing to you from the Boston area. (Will have to rework the blog a bit.) It's been a big adjustment - for starters we now have a car! Moving to Boston during winter isn't ideal. One - it's a little grey and cold to get out and walk around to explore our new neighborhood. Two - local food is hard to come by making it extra difficult for us newbies to find all the locally sourced milk, eggs, veggies and meat we love. Apparently, we took all those wonderful greenmarkets of NYC for granted. Boston does have winter greenmarkets, but they are farther from home and have fewer vendors. Our next plan is to head out to some of the farms to try out their farm stores. Might as well take advantage of having a car, right?
We are working on not eating sugar, flour and grains for a few weeks. This has left us eating a lot of dinners of meat, winter squash and kale. It was time to mix it up a bit, so I headed down to the neighborhood grocery store to see what organic veggies I could scrounge up. I came up with zucchini and eggplant (out of season in Boston, but you do the best you can). I decided to make some lasagna using slices of zucchini and eggplant as the noodles.
In this recipe, I used a jar of organic spaghetti sauce. I have read about canned tomatoes leaching BPA out of the can lining, and I haven't been able to find tomatoes in jars. So, I have resorted to using jars of spaghetti sauce instead. Do you know where to find tomatoes in jars?
2 T olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 lb grass fed ground beef
28 oz spaghetti sauce
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 t dried parsley
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Oil two baking sheets and place the the slices of zucchini and eggplant on the sheets. Bake until softened - about 15-20 minutes. While those are in the oven, brown the ground beef, and mix in the spaghetti sauce. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, eggs and spices. Layer the ingredients into a casserole pan. I put a bit of sauce in the bottom of the pan, eggplant, sauce, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, zucchini, sauce, ricotta mixture and mozzarella. Bake for 45 minutes to warm it through.
*I like pre-baking the veggies because I think there is nothing worse than under cooked zucchini and eggplant. Years ago, I made this for a party but didn't pre-bake the veggies. I baked it for more than 2 hours and they were still not quite done.
This post is part of Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday, Jenny's Alphabe-Thursdays, Frugal Food Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Make Ahead Monday.