Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dinner Challenge 1

6:00 on a Wednesday night, and no plans for dinner. The boyfriend is gone at work all night, so I'm on my own. I was about to head out to pick up some Indian food when I peeked into the fridge and realized that there were a few ingredients inside that were about to go bad, and if I didn't use them tonight, they'd be goners. Here's what I had to work with:

Half a dozen zucchini, seven or eight crimini mushrooms, half a pound ground beef, a yellow onion, half a jar of marinara sauce, a bunch of basil, and some mozzarella cheese. (I also had basics like olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, butter, worcestershire, red wine)

Now, if I ate pasta this would be a piece of cake. I even have some dried pasta in my cupboards for no good reason. But since I don't eat pasta, I decided to get more creative.

Stuffed mushrooms, fun but those criminis were so small, it wouldn't have been filling enough. Ratatouille, maybe, but I didn't have a big enough variety of veggies. So I thought "what is my favorite comfort food?" Lasagna! ding ding ding! But instead of using lasagna noodles I will slice the zucchini into strips. I think I'll call it Kat's Zucchini Parmesan!

So here how the "recipe" goes for Kat's Zucchini Parmesan:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice zucchini into strips (as thick as you want, but I got about 3 slices per zuke)
  3. Fry them in some olive oil for a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Get them a little brown to bring out the flavor

  4. Set zukes aside on paper towel to dry off
  5. Chop the onion and caramelize in some butter
  6. Add some garlic, minced
  7. Once the mushrooms are browning, deglaze with some red wine, scraping off all the yummy brown bits
  8. Add ground beef, break up with spoon/spatula
  9. Meanwhile slice/chop mushrooms
  10. Add them too
  11. Squirt some worcestershire sauce over everything
  12. Now add that store-bought marinara to this mix, and VOILA, you have an awesome meaty marinara
  13. Now, just layer the zukes, sauce, cheese, repeat
  14. Pop in oven 20ish mins
  15. Grab your kitchen blow torch and scorch the cheese on top til bubbly (or, a less fun way to do it is to pop under the broiler a couple mins)
  16. Enjoy!

The Result: Success! I just saved myself some money, and didn't have to throw out those ingredients. Yummy, carb-free, and I feel much healthier than I would have after take-out. This was fun, I think I'll do the dinner challenge again soon :)

1 comment:

  1. Great idea Kat! I can't wait to try it out!