Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin and Squash Lasagna

Here's a delicious recipe for comfort food lasagna made with seasonal veggies. Lasagnas always take some effort but the leftovers are worth it. And never mind that lasagnas are great for make ahead meals, perfect for entertaining! This one is truly elegant.


Pumpkin and Squash Lasagna.

Serves 6 - 8

You can buy can pumpkin and frozen squash. If you buy fresh, put some slits in the skin and microwave for 7 minutes on high. This will par cook the pumpkin and squash enough so it's manageable.


White Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

Veg Filling:

  • 2 cups diced butternut squash
  • 2 cups diced pumpkin
  • 1 cup diced broccoli
  • 1 500g tub of 1% cottage cheese
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste

Additional Ingredients:

  • 9 - 11 lasagna noodles, spinach would work nice for added colour
  • 1 cup small scallops
  • 2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella
  • Dried parsley to sprinkle on top


  1. Heat the oven to 350
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium high heat and melt the butter until bubbly
  3. Whisk in the flour and cook one minute, reduce the heat to medium
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk and heat until thick
  5. Stir in the Parmesan, thyme, parsley, dry mustard and salt. Set aside
  6. Place all of the vegetable filling ingredients in a food processor and blend (if you don't have food processor, finely chop or mash the veggies and mix with remaining ingredients). Set aside.
  7. Take a 8 X 11 (or whatever size pan you have!) pan and spoon is a nice bit of sauce. Place a layer of noodles on top of the sauce, then cover those noodles with another layer of sauce.
  8. Scoop on a layer of the veggie mix. Cover with another layer of noodles and then white sauce.
  9. Spread out a layer of scallops and cover them with mozzarella. Then another layer of noodles and sauce.
  10. Keep layering until you run out of ingredients. End with a layer of noodles, white sauce and mozzarella.
  11. Bake at 350 for 50- 55 minutes until golden.

After (this is all that's left...):

This will freeze nicely but I've run out of freezer space. We all knew it would happen one day. (I've been stocking up on meats and veg for the holiday season when things have been on sale!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas Baking 2010

I've started my Christmas baking... that's right, I've started. I have a few things going on and I might not have the time later so I figured I should take advantage of my time now. Most baked goods freeze well so it's a great thing to get ahead on before the season slaps you in the head and you're staring at Christmas Eve like a dazed reindeer stuck in the headlights.

I've done up a batch of Swedish Pepparkarkar and Skor Cookies. Whether or not they make it to Christmas is another story. I would like to point out that when making the Skor cookies it is best to use parchment paper. You'll run the risk of ruining your cookie sheets if you just grease them. The melted skor bits are like cement stuck to the pan, no matter how well you grease it. Parchment saves your pan, you can use just the one sheet for the entire batch and clean up is a snap!

Also I've also been stocking up on sales items now to defray the cost of the holidays as we get closer to the winter solstice. I've already got my turkey when one store had buy one get one free on turkeys recently. I've stocked up on chicken; whole, pieces, bone in and boneless. I've bought prime rib and steaks.... And there has been some nice sales on excellent quality frozen veggies (because by the end of December our local fresh veggies are starting to get scarce so frozen is the way to go). I've also stocked up on crackers. Hmmm, must watch out for sales on pop and juices....

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Best Ever Butternut Squash Soup.

I've enjoyed my fair share of pureed fall squash soups but this one rocked it out of the park. Simple and cheap too, some of my favorite qualities in a recipe. I only used half a medium squash so I diced up the rest of the roasted squash and tossed it in the freezer for use at a later date.

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Apple
Serves 5 - 6

  • 5 cups diced butternut squash
  • 5 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 1 tsp dried sage, thyme, savoury and oregano (or any combination of these)
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 3/4 cup apple juice or cider

  1. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and roast for 30 minutes at 350 or slit the skin of the squash with a knife and microwave for 5 - 7 minutes. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and dice into small pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan, over medium low heat cook bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel. Leave about 2 tbsp of the bacon grease in the pot.
  3. Increase the heat to medium high and saute the onions until soft
  4. Add the garlic, tomatoes and herbs. Cook until the tomatoes break down
  5. Add the broth and scrap any bits off the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the squash, bring to boil and then simmer until the squash is soft
  7. Use either a hand blender or regular blender to puree the soup.
  8. Serve with the bacon sprinkled on top.

This soup freezes really well and is perfect for those chilly fall or cold winter meals!