Things have gotten crazy as in, shit-has-hit-the-fan crazy. Yeah, cray cray. Ever since July hit, I’ve just been on the go-go-go! The past two weeks have kind of been insane. Actually, scratch that. The past MONTH since I’ve gotten back has been nuts. Goodbye relaxing, no responsibility days of my vacation — hello workaholic Stephanie!
Anyways, I’ve hardly had any time to cook. Well, wrong. I have been cooking but it’s stuff that you’ve already seen. Yes, I repeat dishes. Hey, a girl can’t be creative everyday! But no need to worry about that — I’m back with some awesome new material that will blow your mind.
Today? Zucchini, eggplant and spinach lasagna.
So, I’ve practically had zero days off since my return. I’ve been working 6 days a week at my full-time job and on my day off? More cupcake orders and deliveries. Not complaining at all though. Gotta make up for lost time! Pleased to say that the addition of actual cakes on my menu have proven to be popular — thanks to everyone who have purchased cakes in the last month to help me practice and experiment — you guys rock!
Besides that, I’ve also done my first MARKET! See? Didn’t even have time to post or advertise that on here. Well, it was the Hawkers Market and it was so much! Turned out to be a successful day (er, night) for me and a great learning tool. I was able to gather so much knowledge from the other vendors and customers who came in that night. Super awesome to be surrounded by an intimate group of like-minded individuals – what a wonderful experience! Yes, I will be present at next Hawkers Market on Saturday, August 10th at East Van Studios. You can purchase tickets here. You’ll want to come out because I’m thinking of selling something completely different (and in high demand!).
Okay – enough distractions. VEGETABLE LASAGNA. This was beyond good. Like, SO GOOD. Did not miss the meat at all here, folks. Zucchini + eggplant + spinach + pasta = yum? Honestly, I was originally inspired by the Greek dish, moussaka, which I absolutely love. Even though that dish has meat in it, I knew it would taste delicious even without it…and in pasta form. I was absolutely right.
And don’t be intimidated by lasagna! I know that making lasagna can be a daunting, time-consuming process but here’s a few tips that’ll help you complete this recipe from start to finish in under an hour:
– Roast your veggies the night before. I roasted my eggplant and zucchini the evening before (30 min including prep and cooking time) and all I did in the morning was assemble it. Awesome.
– Buy oven-ready lasagna sheets. This type of lasagna skips the whole process of boiling water, cooking it, and the stressful task of fishing it out of bubbling water and tearing the pasta pieces/burning yourself. No. These oven-ready lasagna sheets just require a more liquidy vs chunky sauce which they will soak up and help cook faster.
– Use jarred pasta sauce. I know that I am an advocate for everything homemade if possible, but this is an exception! Open the can and apply. Easy as pie.
Zucchini, eggplant and spinach lasagna
What you’ll need:
– 2 eggplants, sliced
– 4 zucchini, sliced
– Olive oil, as needed
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 box oven-ready dried lasagna sheets, uncooked
– 1 1/2 jars of pasta sauce (I used tomato basil and butternut squash)
– 2 pkgs frozen spinach, chopped or whole
– 1 pkg ricotta cheese
What you’ll need to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
2. Toss your eggplant and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper until well-coated. Place on a non-stick or aluminium-lined baking sheet and baking for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn down the heat to 375F.
3. In a large 11×13 deep baking dish, spoon a generous coating of your favourite pasta sauce. Place enough lasagna sheets on top of the sauce until the surface is covered. Next, place the eggplant. The next layer will be ricotta cheese, spinach then pasta sauce. Repeat the process and substitute the eggplant with zucchini and repeat until there are no more ingredients left.
4. Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the noodles are cooked.
5. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Makes 8-10 servings.