It’s been a while since I‘ve shared any food related posts but you all have certainly been asking! You all know how much I love food. I feel like my world opened up once I started cooking. It’s almost like the moment I started really cooking, my tastebuds instantly changed. I believe it’s even inspired my mood, creativity and quite possibly my personality. For years I would watch the shows on the Food Network channel, but I wouldn’t attempt a single dish. I did, however, always imagine myself in the kitchen cooking up beautiful and deliciously prepared meals. But really it was the decision to remove processed sugars from my diet that lit my food fire because I knew I would have to prepare most of my own food. My goal was to be able to still eat all of my favorite meals without all the processed sugar and to hopefully discover new favorite dishes along the way. As soon as I had the opportunity, I got in the kitchen and it’s been one of my favorite places to be ever since.
I’m going to call my cooking style “cooking in the grey”. Why? A while back I came to the realization (mainly because of Iron Chef America) that there are barely any hard rules in the kitchen....it’s mainly about techniques AND tasting your food throughout the cooking process. I can be as random with fresh ingredients, even herbs and spices as I want. What makes the dish THE DISH is how I’ve prepared it. Ahhhhhhhhhhh...!!! (in my angelic voice). It’s the same in fashion and I would imagine any other industry. With that in mind I intentionally adapted a ”no rules” attitude in the kitchen and because of it my creativity has flourished and I’m getting a whole lot better at the techniques. Most importantly, I am having fun and eating way healthier than I did in my past. Now, if I could just get my daughter in the kitchen ..........well, let’s just say when she’s ready she can come right here and learn a little something. If no one else ever reads these food blog posts...they are here for HER! 😆
I said all that to say......when it comes to my version of ”cooking in the grey,” I’m probably not using measurements....I‘m doing what tastes good TO ME and the ingredients may or may not make sense. I’m definitely tasting my food throughout the entire cooking process and tweaking things as I go. These days I’m attempting to get my techniques on point so that no matter what ingredients I have, I can ALWAYS whip up something delicious!
If you’d like to take this NO RULES journey of “Cooking in the Grey” with me, and maybe get some meal ideas outside of the normal box, be sure to
Alright...lets get into this ROASTED VEGGIE LASAGNA. Of course I started with lots of tomatoes and then a bunch of other veggies I had in my fridge. Remember, you will need vegetables for the sauce and also filling for the layers. Chop it all up and put it on a pan, drizzle with oil and a little salt if you want and roast..... I generally set the oven at around 425° when I’m roasting vegetables. I took them out when it looked like this...the veggies soft and some a little charred.
Now, for this dish I did not make fresh pasta....to be honest, I wasn’t sure how I needed to adjust the cooking since this was going to be baked. And I might have been really hungry too so I just wanted to make the dish so I could eat and so I decided on packaged noodles...I’ll figure out the fresh noodle situation another time. For the sauce I used the tomatoes, onion and garlic (not the whole thing), and some of the zucchini and yellow squash that I roasted. I added dried Italian herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano), paprika, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. After a moment of cooking I blended the veggies and set it to simmer some more on the stove for all the flavors to come together while I worked on the cheeses. This is where I’d suggest tasting the sauce and adding more salt/pepper or seasonings if needed.
Next up, I pulled the cheese together that will go in between the layers of the sauce, veggies, and noodles. Ricotta cheese seasoned with Italian herbs, parmesan cheese, s/p, (I wish I would have added a little milk in the mixture to thin it a little) and an egg.
Time to layer up!! Here’s how it went down. Start with the sauce so your noodles aren’t slipping around. Layer it how you want. I didn‘t get a picture…but I think I ended with noodles, sauce and some cheese sprinkled on top.
I covered the pan with foil and baked it at around 350° until it looked like this. I was doing a ton of other things while I was cooking so I’m going to guess here and say it took around 45+ minutes.
And that’s it! Cut you a slice, dig in and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
I made a big pan to feed just two people thinking I would freeze half of it for later......No need! We devoured the entire pan in record time! My daughter and I both love leftovers so we may have eaten this meal for breakfast lunch AND dinner over a couple of days because it was just THAT GOOD! I paired this deliciousness with a simple Caesar salad and garlic knots. All I’m saying is.....do yourself a favor and make this roasted veggie lasagna and thank me later! For me, a big part of experiencing food is visual so I always make sure I plate up as if I‘m being served at my favorite restaurant (because I am...Nadia’s HOME kitchen) so that I can enjoy the FULL experience!
🗣 Mariyah.....Dinner’s ready!
This meal is brought to you by WATER!
If you make this ROASTED VEGGIE LASAGNA, let me know...I would love to hear how yours turned out! And if you‘re like me and like to take pictures of your food, don’t forget to share. Tag me on Instagram/Facebook #thegreybutton
I’m always looking to add something different to my meal rotation so if you have any suggestions…let me know! I’d love to try and recreate some of your favorite dishes! Don’t forget to leave a comment with your recommendations!