Faux Lasagna

Don't worry there isn't any tofu and yes, there is still cheese.

This is something that my mom made and ever since I've been itching to make it - however this is not something the man of the house would be very interested in. So with him being gone on a ski trip it was the perfect opportunity. 

Welcome to [Italian turkey] sausage & sweet potato zucchini lasagna from Pinch of Yum

It takes a little bit of work, but the hardest part is the 15 minutes after it's done baking and you have to wait to let it cool. PURE TORTURE. I just had this for leftovers and y'all...you just need to have it. Who knew something that resembles baby food (this sweet potato puree) could be so damn amazing...but I'll still hold off on the baby part please. 

Here's a quick play by play - sweat out the zucchini, layer the zucchini, sweet potato puree, ground Italian turkey sausage, zucchini, puree, sausage, zucchini, puree & cheese! 

  1. INGREDIENTS
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 lb. ground turkey Italian sausage
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup non fat milk
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut the zucchini into thin strips lengthwise. I did this with a normal vegetable peeler & resorted to a knife once it started to become too difficult.
  2. Lay down the zucchini on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let them rest & "sweat it out"
  3. In a skillet, brown the ground turkey with 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  4. Wash the sweet potatoes, poke/stab/pierce whatever you want with a fork and wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 7 minutes. (BTW this is my go to way to cook sweet potatoes in a pinch!) If you prefer you can bake them too. 
  5. Chop up the sweet potatoes and place in a blender with the milk, chicken broth, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt - puree until smooth & delicious. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  7.  Now its time to layer! Start with the sweated zucchini noodles, then the sauce, sausage - repeat as many times as you'd like and end with a zucchini layer, sauce & some cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 15-20 minutes. ** I promise let it cool - it makes the whole process so much easier

Eat your soul out because it's healthy and you can!

2 Pizzas. 1 Calzone

The decision whether it's going to be a pizza night or not is pretty simple. One of us usually brings it up, the other responds with this look of longing desire for cheesy goodness, and its been decided. One thin crust and one thick crust has become the go to - but the toppings are the real brain stopper.

After perusing the grocery store and making numerous trips there and back to decide prosciutto or sausage...so we went with both.  After the shredding of the mozza, cooking of the sausage and taste testing the prosciutto, we were ready to start topping! 

left/middle: mozza ball slices, goat cheese, prosciutto. right: shredded mozzarella & Italian turkey sausage

Does anybody else think that oven minutes are even worse than microwave minutes? Of course, we paced around the kitchen trying to keep ourselves busy while our pizza cooked.
[500 degrees - Thick 'za went in first, covered in foil, for 8 minutes. Then foil came off & thin 'za went in on the stone for another 8-10 minutes]

These two pizzas were the best to pair together. The 1st one was crispy & salty and the 2nd one was dough, greasy, and extra cheesy. Every time I would take a bite of one, I would think it would be my favorite until I went to take bite of the other - needless to say, it was a tie and they were both demolished. 

....then Sunday came around. It was a long day with pizza on the brain and leftover dough in the fridge. One simple solution...calzone. There was no decision making on what would be inside this turnover pizza - we went with an everything leftover - goat cheese, mozzarella, prosciutto, and turkey sausage. 

Combining the two pizzas in one made one great love child of a calzone. The salty, greasy, cheesiness of the ingredients completely complemented each other, but my favorite part of this calzone was the dough. Have y'all ever been to Macaroni Grill? If you have you'll know what I'm talking about when I said rosemary bread. Thats exactly was this dough tasted like, the extra egg wash (plus butter and garlic), gave the crust a dense crispiness plus the rosemary seasoning brought a punch of flavor. 

All I can say is these two pizza nights were definitely worth my three pound pizza baby.