{Re-Taste It Thursday}: Butternut Squash & Kale Lasagna with Leslie (Sarna) Durso and You Too Might Turn Into A Dainty Vegetarian

#TBT - Re-Taste

Leslie (Sarna) Durso is a longtime vegetarian and food fanatic.  She started her lifestyle blog with the intention of sharing fabulous food that just happened to be vegetarian.  

Her food is the kind everyone will enjoy!  She also includes party planning ideas and tips as well as restaurant and product reviews.  

What is your best advice for M.O.Ms who want to plan a healthy family meal?
The best way to encourage your family to eat more fruits and vegetables is to grow them yourself.  There is nothing more exciting and satisfying than eating food that you have grown.  If that's not an option, I encourage everyone to go to the grocery store, find an item that you little about, bring it home, do some research and enjoy!  It's a great way to make dinner an interactive activity.
What is the key for someone to prep meals for the week?
Mise en place.  Mise en place is a french term that means "everything in place".  Basically, when you have time in the beginning of the week, prep and measure all of the ingredients in your meals for the week.  Then, put them all in baggies or containers and place them in the fridge.  This method saves time and energy when you start cooking since all of the washing, peeling, and chopping has been done.  Having a well stocked pantry also doesn't hurt.  Make sure you've got plenty of "go-to" options like quinoa, brown rice, pasta and risotto.  Having these on hand makes it super easy to saute up some veggies and toss!
Kitchen must-have or book ‘to cook by
www.thedaintyvegetarian.com  and my Grandmother's recipe box : )

Recipe for our M.O.Ms to Enjoy
This is a great recipe because it's packed full of interesting vegetables and can be made up do a day ahead of time.

Serves 8 
What you'll need:
1 1/4 lb. lasagna noodles, cooked only until very chewy (they will cook lots more in baking)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups of cream
1 lb. kale, chopped
1 lb. chard, I used a combo or red and green, chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 lb. ricotta cheese, I like using "part skim"
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus a handful for the top
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
7 oz. creme fraiche
What you'll do:
Roast the butternut squash.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees and toss your peeled and diced butternut squash in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil (enough to coat them), cinnamon and a big pinch of salt.  Spread over a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until fork tender. (this can vary a little depending on the size of your dice)  Again, they will cook more in the lasagna so don't cook till they become mush.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  
While the butternut squash is roasting, wash and chop all the kale and chard.  In a large wide pot on medium low or low.  Heat some olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot, and add in the diced onion, 3 cloves of garlic and a big pinch of salt.  Let them get happy for about a minute and then add the greens, toss, then pour the cream over them and toss again.  Continue to toss every couple minute until they all wilt, about 10 minutes.
While you are waiting for those, cook your lasagna noodles.  Also, in a medium mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese with the parmesan, parsley, nutmeg and the remaining 1 clove of chopped garlic.
Now for assembly:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Smear enough creme fraiche on the bottom of your 9x13 baking dish to cover.
Arrange the noodles on the bottom.
Next goes the greens mix.  Use a slotted spoon to drain some of the liquid.
Then the butternut squash and then the ricotta cheese.

Then start with the noodles again.  So noodle, creme fraiche, greens, squash, ricotta until the pan is full.  You want to end with the noodles on top.  Then slather with the remaining creme fraiche, ricotta and sprinkle a big handful of parmesan on top.
Bake for about 30 minutes.

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Twitter: @LeslieDurso
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Site:  www.lesliedurso.com   

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