Today is the first gloomy day we have had in California in what seems like years (but it has probably been more like months). This of course means dressing like I live in Antarctica, and fully embodying gloomy weather activities. Part of these activities meant making a warm hearty dinner and looking through the horror section on Netflix in anticipation for tonight’s movie selection.
I cannot stand, I repeat, I cannot stand when people try to imitate classically delicious things and make them healthy. I am all about being healthy. Believe it or not, I have a very healthy diet. However, I think if you are eating healthy, eat healthy. Don’t eat tons of fake imitation things that resemble non-healthy things you crave. I think its just annoying. Like come on that does not taste good, quit trying to fake yourself into believing you enjoy all those cardboard tasting mimickers. I regret calling this fake lasagna, “lasagna,” however that’s pretty much what it is. I love a hearty tomato sauce with vegetables. It is so yummy, and dare I say, the taste always kind of reminds me of pizza, gasp! I just totally contradicted myself, but that is is the point I’m trying to make. This faux lasagna is the exception of that faker rule I stand by because it is genuinely tasty. I am not kidding myself into believing this is healthy, It has loads of cheese, however it is packed with vegetables. Make it, it’s a perfect weekday meal and way to get your kids to eat the loads of veggies packed inside!
You will need:
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil, do not fill all the way to the top!
1 small yellow onion
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
6 oz can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
10 basil leaves
1/2 cup white wine
2 bell peppers, orange and yellow
4 garlic cloves
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cups Trader Joes unexpected cheddar cheese (optional)
1/3 cup parmesan
In a large sauce pan add cherry tomatoes and olive oil.
Allow to cook for a while on medium heat until they begin to soften.
Slice your onion in large circles and add to the tomatoes and olive oil.
Continue to stir.
Once the tomato and onion have softened add diced tomatoes.
Add tomato paste.
Stir till combined.
Add chili flakes.
Add 4 basil leaves – I simply tore then in half.
Add white wine.
It will appear too liquidy at first, but stir together.
Put the flame on the lowest heat, add the lid, and let cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally. This is totally optional – you can use right away if you would like.
Cut off the top and bottoms of zucchini and cut int the strips.
Slice bell peppers.
Cook on low for about 5 minutes.
Lay in pyrex.
Top with shredded mozzarella, I used a log but next time I will use shredded.
Layer half of the bell peppers.
Layer with more zucchini.
Layer with remaining bell peppers.
Add 4 cloves of loosely chopped garlic.
Top with mozzarella, again use shredded.
Add Trader Joes’ “Unexpected Cheddar.”
Chiffonade 6 basil leaves and place on top.
Bake for 30 minutes at 325˚. Once it is done top with parmesan cheese. Let cool before serving!