In our Cooking for Your Queen intro lesson we had the pleasure of learning a healthy alternative to an old favorite: lasagna. In our version, we substituted cheese for vegan cheese & meat for spinach/onion filling and butternut squash.
To access the replay, click here and we’ll email it directly to your inbox. See below for the recipe:
Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna
3 cups Butternut Squash (about 1 large squash)
1 cup ricotta cheese (I use a vegan one)
3 tbs. butter (I use coconut butter)
1/2 cup milk (almond or coconut)
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice
1 cup cooked spinach or chard (8 oz uncooked)
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup caramelized onions
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pepper, to taste
10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked
1 and 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
Fresh sage and or thyme
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Butternut Squash Filling:
For this filling, you will need to have pre-cooked your squash by cutting in half and roasting until soft. Using food processor, or by hand combine 2 cups of butternut squash puree w/herbs, salt and nutmeg. Add milk to make it creamy if needed. Mix very well, taste and add more salt, if needed.
Saute onions first until caramelized. Add spinach, Ricotta cheese, salt and pepper. Mix, taste, and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
Cooking lasagna noodles:
Bring a very large pot of water to boil, and cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Rinse in cold water, drain. Using knife, trim noodles to fit your baking dish (if necessary).
Prepare a baking dish – I used a casserole dish 11 inches x 8.5 inches x 3 inches deep. Grease the lasagna dish lightly with olive oil. Spread 1/3 of butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Top with cooked lasagna noodles without overlapping (I used 3 noodles).
Spread half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with parmesan then top with cooked noodles.
Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then Top with cooked noodles.
Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
Spread a generous amount of butternut squash filling (the remaining 1/3) over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and remaining ricotta cheese. Generously sprinkle the cheese. I like to sprinkle with Italian seasoning, paprika, or basil.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes. Let cool 10-15 min before serving.
Arugula Pear & Walnut Salad
3 cups Arugula
3 tbsp. Olive oil
1 whole Pear
handful of Walnuts
3 tbsp. Honey
3 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
pinch of Black peppercorns
½ tsp. Sea salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Parmesan cheese to taste
Sea Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw walnuts
1 Tbsp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
10 medjool dates, pitted (if dried out, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
1 1/4 cups dairy free dark chocolate (real chocolate bar, not chips), roughly chopped
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao nibs, crushed pecans/walnuts, and/or sea salt for topping
Place pecans and walnuts and sea salt in a food processor or high speed blender and process until it reaches the consistency of a meal. Remove and set aside in a dish.
Next, place pitted dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball.
Then add in the cocoa powder and 1/2 of the nut meal and pulse. Continue pulsing and adding the nut meal a little at a time until a loose dough is formed. You may not need to use all of the nuts, which is fine because you can use any leftovers for topping the truffles.
Once you have a dough that’s easy to form into balls, scoop out 1 Tablespoon amounts and roll/carefully form into balls. (If they aren’t quite forming, hold in your palm and let the heat of your hand warm them, then gently shape into a loose ball.) Set on parchment paper and place in freezer to chill – you should have about 14 truffles.
In the meantime melt chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave in 30-second increments. Be careful not to overheat. Once melted, stir in coconut oil to help the chocolate thin and ease the dipping process.
Remove truffles from freezer and, one at a time, dip them into the melted chocolate. Use a fork to remove them and tap away excess chocolate. Transfer back onto parchment paper and top with sea salt, crushed pecans, or cacao nibs.
Repeat until all truffles are dipped. Let set at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Transfer to freezer for longer term storage.
Enjoy! For more resources and monthly cooking lessons click here. Be sure to stay connected with Chef Ahki online at GoChefAhki.com and on Instagram @ChefAhki