Low Carb Veggie Lasagna
1 Large Zuccini (from T's co-worker, ~ 1.5 lbs)
2 Jars Classico Spinach & Cheese Sauce (or your favorite pre-made or homemade spagetti sauce)
1.5 lbs shredded mozzerella cheese
2 large boxes of portabello mushrooms, sliced medium thick
2 large eggs, whipped
Olive Oil spray
Spray 9x13 pyrex baking dish with olive oil, including sides and handles (it tends to bubble over).
Quarter zuccini, remove center pulp/seeds (note: if you get the cucumber size zuccini from the market pulp/seeds do not need to be removed), slice ~ 3/8" thick (I use a mandoline) leaving skin only at edges. Drop in a bowl of lightly salted water to soak - this will draw out some of the moisture. Alternatively, you can dry fry them or put them in the oven for a little while to do the same thing. Or leave them as is, but beware that you will have a puddle of watery juice in the bottom of the pan.
Once done prepping zuccini, pre-heat oven to ~325*F.
Put one layer of zuccini in bottom of pan as you would lasagna noodles. Cover with sauce and pour on the whipped eggs, spreading/mixing with the sauce (this will firm up the bottom of the lasagna a bit). Top with one box worth of mushroom slices and ~ 6 oz. of cheese. Repeat zuccini, sauce, mushroom, & cheese layer (no eggs this time). Pour remaining sauce on top and spread evenly, then top with remaining cheese.
Place on cookie sheet or foil liner in the oven and bake for approximately 1 hour, until vegetables are soft enough to cut with butter knife and cheese is a bubbly melty mess. Note: this "lasagna" is a bit on the watery side due to the fresh vegetables; use a slotted serving spatula and leave the excess liquid in the bottom of the pan.
See comment below for some updates!Three Bean Chili
1/2 pound each red kidney, black, and small white beans (I use dried, canned are OK too)
2 1lb cans diced tomatoes (or 2lbs fresh tomatoes seeded and diced)
2 lb ground beef (85/15 or 80/20)**
2-3 bell peppers
10-12 tomatillos cleaned and chopped in bite size pieces
1 (or more) chili peppers
2 tsp salt
Olive oil mist
Garlic, pesto, chives, basil, oregano, onion, etc as you desire - I usually use a handful of fresh basil, chives, and oregano, 2 cloves of garlic, and a tsp of pesto
**meat is optional, it can be left out. or it can be replaced with ground turkey, veggie meat, or mushrooms.
Clean bell pepper, garlic, fresh herbs, chili pepper, onions, etc and chop until very fine. Spray large skillet with olive oil, add fresh spices, pesto, and ground beef. Sautee over medium heat until meat is browned.
In the meantime, sort/rinse beans according to package directions (look for stones, sticks, etc & remove), then put them in a large soup/stock pot and bring to a boil for ~ 2 minutes. Leave them sit in the water until you're done sauteing the ground beef mixture, then drain and rinse thoroughly.
Rinse pot and return beans to pot. Drain grease from meat mix, add to beans. Add both cans of tomatoes, and enough water to cover everything. Sprinkle in salt (and pepper/hot pepper/etc if desired), stir thoroughly. Cover and cook over low heat at least 2 hours stirring at least every 15 minutes. About 15 minutes before serving throw in the tomatillos and mix well, continuing to simmer until they're a bit soft but not mushy; they add a lovely bitter note to the chili.