Ninety-Second Video Vegan – The Beyond Meat Beyond Burger with Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I am reposting this from last month because I have a flashy new video for it!  Check it out!

If you follow my blog at all – you know I adore Beyond Meat products – especially their chicken strips.  I have posted many recipes using their products – loads of which can be accessed HERE.  The chicken strips are especially effective in Asian-inspired dishes – and COLD chicken salad-style dishes.  Here are a few pretty pics or recipes using Beyond Meat products0bb4ca3e94842e3a4ba6738a7698f551

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They have long had two styles of burger – a slider & a regular patty – seen above.  They are GREAT!  They would make any person ready to experience a meatless burger very happy.  But – the revolutionary thing about their newest burger is that it can create the same level of satisfaction but in those expecting a REAL BEEF burger!  Seriously!  They are sold at these Whole Foods stores and at certain Veggie Grills.  They were meant to be sold in the cold cases next to real ground beef but I had to ask to find them in Sherman Oaks – because they were in the freezer.   But they are truly an exciting development.  The color & texture when raw is exactly right.  Take a look!

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There it is grilling on my stove.   Actually – these photos represent my lunch yesterday & today – hence the variations in my assembly.  I cooked the one yesterday a tad longer (the one with no tomato).  I cut it short today because I set off my smoke detector.  The ONLY complaint I might whisper – if pressed – is that they kinda smell too much like real beef when cooking.  I have not had a real hamburger since the eighties & the smell of cooking ground beef has never invaded my home.  To my desensitized senses – it really seemed like a real burger cooking.  But – it wasn’t!  Otherwise – I could never have eaten it so red!   I have not tried to cook one through (beyond heating it through) in an effort to showcase the real beef visuals.  And – the aroma sells the realness in such a next level way.  At any rate – these guys are INSANE!  You could make meatballs or meatloaf of other ground beef recipes that call for a ground beef that is more pliable than the beefy crumbles.  If you are a vegan/vegetarian with a meat-eater at your table – maybe try sneaking them one of these – with the appropriate toppings – and see if they even notice that they are not eating meat.  These Beyond Burgers are a complete & total game-changer in the world of meat alternatives.  I cannot sing their praises with more enthusiasm.  Treat yourself!!!

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INGREDIENTS

Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Water, Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Gum Arabic, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Succinic Acid, Acetic Acid, Non-GMO Modified Food Starch, Cellulose From Bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Beet Juice Extract (for color), Ascorbic Acid (to maintain color), Annatto Extract (for color), Citrus Fruit Extract (to maintain quality), Vegetable Glycerin.
Contains: Tree Nuts (Coconut Oil).

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving Size 1 Patty, 4 oz (113g)
Servings Per Container: 2

Amount Per Serving
Calories 290
Calories from fat 190
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g
34%
Saturated Fat 5g
25%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 450mg
19%
Total Carbohydrate 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 0g
Protein 20g
32%
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
90%
Calcium
10%
Iron
25%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs

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FAQs

WHAT’S THE BEYOND BURGER™

The Beyond Burger™ is the world’s first plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and tastes like a fresh beef burger, and it’s coming to the refrigerated meat section of a store near you. It has all the juicy, meat deliciousness of a traditional burger, but comes with the upsides of a plant-based meal. The Beyond Burger™ packs 20 g of plant-based protein and has no GMOs, soy or gluten.

I WANT A BEYOND BURGER™! WHERE CAN I GET ONE?

For now, Whole Foods Boulder (Pearl Street Store). The Beyond Burger™ is in soft launch, with distribution planned for select Whole Foods stores. Our goal is expanded availability over the summer. Please sign up for our newsletter for updates on expansion plans.

HOW IS THE BEYOND BURGER DIFFERENT THAN THE BEAST?

The Beyond Burger™ is a ready-to-cook “raw” patty that looks, cooks, and tastes like a fresh beef burger, and it will be sold in the meat section of the store. The Beast is a precooked frozen patty shelved with other frozen items. Our goal in creating The Beyond Burger™ was to provide the full 360° mouth-watering, juicy, and delicious experience of beef but without so many of the health, environmental, and animal welfare downsides of traditional animal-based meat. On the other hand, we developed The Beast with nutrient density in mind, working with Brendan Brazier, a rockstar plant-based triathlete to develop it. The Beast has 23G of protein and a slew of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omegas to help support performance and recovery for especially active folks.

WHY IS IT IN THE MEAT SECTION?

Great question. Part of our Future of Protein vision is to reimagine the meat section as the Protein Section of the store. In this way, we can help people on their journey to eating more plant-based by allowing them to purchase plant-based foods in the section of the store where they are already purchasing other forms of protein. No pun intended, but we are meeting people where they are in their food journey and offering an easy switch!

WHY A BURGER FROM PLANTS THAT AIMS TO REPLICATE MEAT?

Our belief is that the best way to get people to eat less meat is by giving them what they love–in this case, a juicy delicious burger – without so many of the health, sustainability, and animal welfare downside of a traditional animal – based burger.

WHY DON’T YOU PUT THE BEYOND BURGER IN BOTH THE MEAT AND MEAT ALTERNATIVES SECTION OF THE STORE?

Dual-placement is a possibility but ultimately it’s up to the retailer. Our goal of placing The Beyond Burger™ in, at a minimum, the meat section of the store is our attempt to help attract carnivores to the category and help change that meat case to the protein case.”

WHAT KIND OF PROTEIN DO YOU USE?

The primary source of protein in The Beyond Burger™ comes from peas. It’s soy, gluten and GMO free.

HANG ON…IF THIS ISN’T BEEF, WHY ARE THE BURGERS RED?

Well, we used beets to do that! Amazing, right! We wanted to keep the whole experience of cooking burger as similar as possible for our flexitarian fans, so we’ve worked very hard to create a burger that changes color as you cook it just like animal protein.

WHY DOES THE BEYOND BURGER™ “BLEED”?

While we didn’t design The Beyond Burger™ to “bleed” per se, the beets we use to give the patty a red-meat appearance have led some in the media to remark that the burger “bleeds” beet blood.

HOW DO YOU REBUILD MEAT WITHOUT GENETICALLY MODIFYING ANYTHING?

This question gets back to the company’s basic thesis that meat’s core parts – amino acids, lipids, trace elements, carbs and minerals – don’t have exclusive residence in the animal kingdom. Our task is to eliminate the need for meat from animals and find the same or analogous materials in the plant kingdom. We are not inventing new materials but matching the plant equivalent and assembling it in the architecture of meat. And the way we do that assembly is similar to the simple process used to make pasta – we mix our plant-based ingredients, compress the mixture, and then shape it into final product (in our case, using a patty former).

HOW LONG HAD THE BEYOND BURGER BEEN IN DEVELOPMENT?

It’s really the culmination of 7+ years of work against our goal to understand meat, its composition, and associated sensory experience, better than anyone on the planet, and then rebuild that directly from plants.

Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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The other day, I made a boatload of Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils – seen just above.  By boatload – I mean I started with 5 cups of dry lentils.  That makes nearly twice as much of the finished product – so – I decided to try to reinvent them.    I used two cups of them in this recipe and I still have a ton left.  You can either make this lentil recipe (cut in half) or your own favorite lentil recipe.  I recommend these because the flavor profiles match but I am pretty sure most lentil recipes will do.

I baked mine for an hour but this loaf was only about an inch deep.  I recommend going shallow rather than deep because the deeper the loaf is – the trickier it will be to get it cooked through without drying it out.

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I also used this crazy glaze I spotted at Ralph’s.  If you cannot find this – either let the loaf be naked or mix up a glaze of your choice – or just top it with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Glazes are nice because they add moisture & another flavor component.    Here is a CURRY KETCHUP recipe (use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan) and here is a SRIRACHA KETCHUP recipe (again – use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan).    I posted Korean & traditional BBQ sauce recipes HERE.

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Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry & Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

Makes one meatloaf

INGREDIENTS

2 cups prepared lentils (your favorite recipe or less than half of this recipe Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils)

11 oz vegan beef crumbles (I always use Beyond Meat)

2 TBS red curry paste (or more – to taste)

5.6 oz coconut milk

1/4 cup oats (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry) – breadcrumbs work, too

1/4 cup flax meal (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry)

GARNISH – your favorite meatloaf glaze or BBQ sauce & cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all your ingredients together.  Get it to about the consistency of a wet burger.

I lined my pan with foil but parchment paper is better.  I sprayed it with cooking spray & poured the lentil mixture in & pressed it flat.

Top with the glaze of your choice.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until it is cooked through.  A testing stick should come out clean.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before transferring or cutting into it.

Top with more glaze, if you desire, & serve with fresh cilantro.

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Vegan Spicy Lemongrass & Ginger Beef with Purple Cabbage Fried Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I had a head of purple cabbage in my fridge that was the size of a basketball.   I decided to add half of it to some leftover rice to accomplish two things: not waste all the cabbage & to extend the quantity of rice with some guiltless & vibrant cabbage.  I am very happy with the result both in color & the crunch the cabbage adds to the texture.  I recommend it very highly.

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Purple Cabbage Fried Rice

INGREDIENTS

(I used a tad more cabbage than rice but the ratio is up to you.)

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups chopped purple cabbage

1/2 onion – diced

1 cup grated or slivered carrots

1-5 cloves garlic – chopped

2 or more TBS fresh minced ginger

1 TBS sesame (or other) oil

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a large wok or saute pan.  Add the onions, & cabbage & saute until they begin to soften.  Add the carrots, rice & ginger & stir to combine & warm through.  Add the garlic and saute another minute or two.  Serve.

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Vegan Spicy Lemongrass & Ginger Beef

Serves 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

3 stalks of lemongrass – cut into 3″ lengths & smashed with the handle of a knife (to bruise them & release the flavor.  The cooked lemongrass is inedible so pick around it in the finished dish.)

8+ ounces seitan (or other meat replacement like – Beyond Meat Chicken or Gardein beef or pork products)

3 dry red chilies (optional – they are quite spicy) – crumbled a bit

3 garlic cloves – chopped

2 or more cups of fresh green beans – trimmed

1 TBS sambal oelek or garlic chili paste (more for extra heat)

3 TBS vegan mushroom or oyster-favored sauce

2 TBS minced ginger

1 TBS ground anise or szechuan pepper

2 TBS dark soy sauce (it gives the seitan that dark & beefy color)

1 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 TBS shao xing rice wine

2 TBS brown sugar

Potential garnished: sliced red or green jalapeno peppers, basil or mint or cilantro leaves

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan & add the dry red chilies – if using.  Add the lemongrass & saute a minute or two.  Add the green beans & saute on high heat until they begin to sear a bit.

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Add the remaining ingredients.  Add about 1/4 cup water to aid in steaming the beans a bit & create some sauce.  Heat through – until the sauce thickens.  Serve with rice.

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3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I’m not gonna lie – I haven’t posted in a while because I have been living – almost exclusively – on my Easy Crispy Oven Baked French Fries – seen above.  They are crispy & yummy & nearly guiltless.  Still – I had to bring some vegan food to a BBQ this weekend so I made a fuckton of vegan chili – THIS chili – 3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker.  It makes enough to fill a 7-quart Crockpot – which can feed a LOT of people (ten or more).  I brought some to the BBQ & used some for work lunches & froze some.  The ingredients are actually pretty random & very forgiving so – feel free to reduce the overall recipe or to tweak the ingredients.

I used Beyond Meat Feisty crumbles,

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Tofurky Chick’n & Apple sausages (which my meat-eating friend kept plucking out of the recipe & eating – shocked at how good it was),

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and whatever brand of soyrizo (meatless chorizo) they had at my supermarket.  Trader Joe’s usually carries soyrizo.  You can use whatever combo sounds good to you.

My bean to bean to bean ratio is simply the result of what I had around.  Dividing the quantities more evenly might be nice but once it is chili – a bean is a bean is a bean.  No?

My peppers were both red & green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers & chipotle peppers.  You can mix this up or change it to suit your tolerance for heat.

I also topped mine with this new brand of vegan cheese I found.  It melts into the chili nicely & tastes great.

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3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a small community

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry white beans (soaked overnight or quick-soaked)

1 (15 oz) can of black beans – drained or not – doesn’t really matter

2 (15 oz) cans of pinto beans – drained or not – doesn’t really matter

2 (9 oz) bags of Beyond Meat beefless crumbles

2 Tofurky (or other brand) sausages – flavor of your choice – cut into bite-sized pieces

2 soyrizo sausages – squeezed out of their casings

1 (4 oz) can of green chilies

1 (10 oz) can Rotel (or other diced tomato)

1 red bell pepper (seeded & chopped)

1 green bell pepper (seeded & chopped)

1-4 chipotle peppers (I used 4) in adobo – chopped

1 small onion – chopped

3 Roma (or other small) tomatoes – chopped

1-3 jalapeno peppers (I used 3) – seeded (or not – if you like heat) and diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/2 cup cilantro – chopped

1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

2 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

3 cups (or more) vegetable stock

2 TBS fresh oregano (chopped) or 2 TBS dry oregano

1 TBS cumin

S&P

GARNISH OPTIONS – scallions, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, cilantro, onions, hot sauce, sliced avocado, cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

I seared the sausage just to give it grill marks.  Totally unnecessary.

Basically – put everything into the slow cooker & leave it on high for 4 or more hours.  If – it is looking too watery, take the lid off & cook on high until it gets to where you want it.  If it gets too thin – add some vegetable stock or water.  I like to let mine sit on low all day (after 4 hours of being on high), warm overnight & then high the next day to heat it for eating but this is totally not necessary.  Four hours on high & this shit should be good to go.  Season to taste & serve with the garnish of your choice!

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Shepherd’s Pie Pizza (Vegetarian – Vegan – or Not)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Hey!  Guess what!  I wrote a novel!  Maybe enter a drawing to win one of five copies??  Hmmmmm?

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bathing and the Single Girl by Christine Elise McCarthy

Bathing and the Single Girl

by Christine Elise McCarthy

Giveaway ends March 17, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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You can find out all about it – HERE!

Or – you can listen to me on LA Talk Radio last night on the Sheena Metal Show – HERE.  We talk about 50 Shades of Grey, Girls, my book & things like chocolate & the liability of possessing a vagina!

And – just because they are SO CUTE – I share the faces of my three dogs.

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OK – who doesn’t love Shepherd’s pie?  Vegetarians – you might say.  But with all the vegetarian & vegan meat choices out there these days, there is no reason we all cannot still enjoy traditional comfort foods like Shepherd’s pie!

I made a more typical version for the blog & that can be found HERE.

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But, if you follow this blog, you know that there are two things I never tire of: cauliflower & pizza. This pizza is just the natural extension of my pizza obsession.  I know that Shepherd’s pie is made with mashed potatoes but mashed potatoes just seemed far too dense to put atop pizza, so I used potatoes sliced very thin on a mandolin.  I used this vegan ground beef:

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You can use soyrizo or even real ground beef if you prefer.  I used real cheeses but you can sub them out with a vegan variety, if you choose.  I used peas & carrots but you could use corn or shredded Brussels sprouts or whateverthefuck you might use in your traditional Shepherd’s pie.

OH!  And I used my HOMEGROWN scallions!!!

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Check THAT out!  That is about one week’s worth of growth regrown from the ends I typically threw away.  See the romaine in the foreground?  Regrowing – just in WATER.  Learn how (and learn what other grocery items you can regrow) HERE.

With that – let me present:

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Shepherd’s Pie Pizza (Vegetarian – Vegan – or Not)

This makes enough topping for AT LEAST two pizzas

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I used THIS)

12 oz Ground beef (vegan or otherwise)

4 ounces mushrooms – sliced (maybe reserve a few slices to top the pizza as garnish)

1/2 onion – chopped

2 carrots – chopped

1/2 cup peas

Potato – sliced very thin (enough to cover your pizza in a single layer)

Cherry tomatoes – halved (optional)

Fresh Thyme – stems removed

Olive oil

Garlic – to taste (I used 4 cloves on one pizza) – sliced very thin

Scallions – chopped

Parsley – chopped

Cheese (or vegan alternative) – I used both sliced fresh mozzarella & some bullshit bagged grated cheese blend

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to a very completely reached 450.

Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the mushrooms & onion & carrots & saute until soft.  Add the ground beef (faux or real) & cook til heated through & then add the peas.

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Roll the dough out & place it on a greased cooking sheet.

Layer with sliced potato, sliced garlic & thyme.  Drizzle with olive oil.

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Top with your meat blend.  See my Memphis praying for me to drop something??

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Top with your cheese selection & maybe place a few slices of mushrooms on top.

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Last minute, I decided to add the tomatoes – primarily for color.  Then just bake your pizza until the cheese is melted & the crust is as you like it – probable 10-15 minutes depending on a few variable factors like oven temp & pizza density.

Top with parsley & scallions & maybe another drizzle of olive oil.

MMMM!!!!!

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Honey, Maple, Mustard & Sriracha Glazed Baked Ham

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I don’t eat meat.  I probably have not tasted ham in 25+ years.  But – my badass boyfriend lives almost exclusively on animal protein (something I want to work on) and, occasionally, I make a meat item for him.  During his most recent trip to LA, I hosted a small shindig.

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I served Vegan Hoppin’ John & vegan collard greens & corn bread.  Others contributed deviled eggs & an antipasto salad (among other things).  At the very last minute, as I shopped for a few forgotten groceries, I spotted hams at the store.  $20 for a ten pound ham seemed like such a cost effective way to feed a crowd that I stood there for a few minutes pondering my willingness to make it for Miles.  Then I saw the 50% off sticker.  $10 for a ten pound ham?  That cinched it for me.  I mean – at that price – it was a cheaper source of food for my dogs than their limited ingredient dog chow so – I could not possibly lose.

So I bought the gruesome thing & brought it home.

This isn’t really a recipe beyond the fact that I customized the glaze that came with the meat.  I cooked it as instructed with the exception of covering it in foil for the first part of the heating.  I neglected to do that.  This resulted in quite a charred exterior but, once this was glazed, the charred bits became a crust that I saw Miles seeking out as he stole bits of ham as he walked by it.  That sentence is clumsy but I have a terrible cold & my brain is foggy.  Please forgive me.  My point is – the burned bits were quite popular so do not be afraid to burn your ham a bit.  Oh!  And…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

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Honey, Maple, Mustard & Sriracha Glazed Baked Ham

INGREDIENTS

Ham (I used a cooked, spiral-cut ham)

The glaze packet that comes with it

1/2 cup honey

3 TBS grain mustard

1 TBS maple syrup

1 TBS sriracha

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DIRECTIONS

Over medium heat – whisk the glaze packet with the other ingredients & cook until the sugar dissolves.  Let cool.

Cover a baking sheet with a few layers of foil.  It makes cleaning so much easier.  Put the ham cut side DOWN on the foil-lined cooking sheet & either cover it with foil (or not – if you want a bit of char on the outside like mine) and cook it at 350 for 45-60 minutes.

Remove the ham from the oven & increase the temperature to 425.  Remove the foil covering if you used one.

Use about 1/4 of the glaze to coat the ham.  Cook it for 15 minutes & repeat the process – glazing every 15 minutes until the glaze is gone.

Let the ham cool for AT LEAST 30 minutes.  Then, simply serve it – cut side facing out (not down) – and watch your carnivorous friends lose their shit.

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Pasta Roses: Ham & Fontina and Zucchini, Mozzarella & Basil with a Spicy Pink Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Well now – here is an embarrassing blog post: I am posting two recipes here WITHOUT any photographs of the final results.  (Update!  I made these a second time in 24 hours & have result photos to share.  They will follow at the end of the original post.)  This happened because I had a dinner party yesterday & by the time these guys came out of the oven – I was more interested in serving them & eating them that I was in photographing them.  Let me assure you – there were no visual surprises when they came out of the oven so do not be afraid to try these.  They are easy & delicious!!!!  They are an interesting alternative to tradition lasagna.  My sauce was made with the produce I had handy – which included a leek & both a red & yellow pepper.  You need not use two colors of pepper nor a leek.  Onions alone would do as would just a single red bell pepper.  I am going to list quantities here but they are really approximates.  When making dishes like this that require layers of assembly, I always err on the side of making or buying more of each ingredient than the recipe calls for.  That way, you do not run out of sauce or cheese or whatever midway through putting it all together.  This made about a dozen of each of the two rose varieties.  And – as a brilliant coincidence – I served my guests pasta roses & after they left – my awesome stud of a boyfriend, Miles, presented me with these roses!  At like – 11pm.  It was a total surprise.  Isn’t he great?

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Pasta Roses: Ham & Fontina and Zucchini, Mozzarella & Basil with a Spicy Pink Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Approximately 1.5 lbs lasagna noodles (I cooked two boxes but threw a lot away)

For the sauce

1/2 onion – diced

1 bell pepper – diced

1 leek – diced

6 garlic cloves – minced

1-2 TBS olive oil

2 (29 oz) cans of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

2 TBS crushed red pepper

2 TBS fresh basil – chopped

1 cup heavy cream

S&P to taste

For the ham & fontina roses

Approximately 1/2 lb sliced ham

1/2 lb sliced fontina

For the zucchini, mozzarella & basil roses

1-2 large zucchini – sliced into rounds

12-16 oz fresh mozzarella – sliced

1 large bunch basil

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the lasagna noodles.  About 2-3 minutes before they are done – add the zucchini rounds to the water.  I cooked mine for 5 minutes – which was too long.  Then – rinse the noodles & zucchini under cold water.  Then set the zucchini aside & lay the noodles out to dry.

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For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a stock pot & saute the onion, bell pepper, leek (or additional onion) & crushed red pepper for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the garlic & basil & stir for another minute or so.  Add the canned tomato sauce & simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Stir in the heavy cream.  I used an immersion blender here & pureed the sauce into a smooth & creamy texture.  You can do this in a blender or skip this step & leave the sauce with the vegetable texture.  Set aside.

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To assemble the roses, layer a casserole pan with the sauce.  I needed two casserole pans to fit all my roses.  Roll the ham & fontina in some of your lasagna noodles.  No need to roll them tightly.  A nice loose roll is good.  Stand the roses up in the pan.

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I cut the ribbon edge off one side of the lasagna noodles on the ham rolls so I could identify which roses had meat in them & which did not.

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Roll up some zucchini, mozzarella & basil in the other lasagna noodles.

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I had a little extra zucchini & mozzarella left over so I just stuck in in where I could fit it – once my casserole dishes were filled to capacity with roses.

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I then slathered lots of sauce on top of both casseroles.  You might want to go lighter than I did & leave the edges of the lasagna noodles uncovered.  That way they will brown & curl a bit & create the rose effect you want.

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Bake for 20-30 minutes – or until the top of the noodles are golden.  Again – apologies for the lack of final result images!!!  Serve with additional sauce if you have more left over.

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UPDATE at 3:00pm!

I made these again so I could show you results.  This time – I used oven-ready lasagna noodles soaked in warm water until they were pliable.  I cut them in half to make smaller roses.

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I made the ham & fontina again and the zucchini, mozzarella & basil again.  I added some amazing garlic sauce that I bought at Super King to the veggie ones but I might not in the future.  It made them too wet & sort of limp in the end.

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Here is the assembly of the two versions.

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I’ve read that slicing an X into the tops of the roses will allow the lasagna noodle to curl outward as they cook – creating a better blooming effect for your roses.  I neglected to do this.  Just cut about a 1/2 inch down into the tops & you should get a good curl.

I baked them in about 1/4-1/2 inch of the spicy pink sauce at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I then took them from the oven & added a tad more sauce & some grated Parmesan to the roses.

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Ten minutes later – they looked like this.

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And they serve up looking like this!  Whew!  What a relief!  I felt like such a fraud!

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Pretty, right?  And yummy!