While we’re stuck at home, many of us are cooking more than ever before. Even with takeout still available, the disinfection process for ordered items is sometimes not worth the hassle. But at the same time, coming up with new ideas for all the meals you’re having to create is challenging as well. We think today’s recipes can help. And be sure to stay tuned for more to come! If you aren’t vegetarian, try something new and get more plants into your diet. It surely can’t hurt.—Editors
Steve Chavez’s Easy-Peasy Vegetable Lasagna
Steve likes to refer to himself as “the least of the editors” on our team. He’s far from that. In addition to being a marathoner, a motorcycle enthusiast, and an all-around nice guy, he can cook!
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
10 raw Roma tomatoes, diced
4 large sweet peppers, diced
2 cups raw spinach, chopped
1 tbsp. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz. ricotta cheese
8 oz. light cottage cheese
½ cup parsley, chopped fine
1 to 2 boxes uncooked lasagna noodles
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese for the topping
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large pan, sauté all vegetables and seasonings until tender and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with some of the pasta sauce.
Add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles, a layer of the cheeses, and a layer of the vegetables.
Repeat until you have four to five “levels.”
Finish with a final layer of uncooked noodles and sauce and a good sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Bake for 45-60 minutes. The moisture from the vegetables and sauce will cook the noodles.
Remove from oven and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. This recipe serves 12. Ideal for several servings of leftovers for people who keep complaining that they’re hungry!
Merle Poirier and Ellen Musselman’s Favorite Homemade Pizza
Merle Poirier is quite simply our everything on the AR staff. She’s a fun “Grammie” for grandson Connor, and brings creativity to everything she does. Her daughter Ellen is Connor’s mom, and is a talented designer just like her mother.
For the dough:
1.25 oz. package of active dry yeast (or 2.5 tsp.)
1 tsp. white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 ½ cups bread flour (may use all-purpose flour)
2 tbsp. olive oil (may use any vegetable oil)
1 tsp. salt
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (drained and liquid discarded)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar (optional)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (or ½ tsp. dry)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. ground black pepper (optional)
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Toppings: Anything you like!
Preheat oven to 450o.
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let stand until creamy (10 minutes).
While yeast is sitting, mix the flour, salt, and oil in a bowl.
Add the yeast mixture to the bowl when ready. Mix well.
Put a little flour on a clean countertop or large bread board. Knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky. Shouldn’t take long. Use the palms of your hands, flipping dough and folding it over in the process.
Let the dough rest for five minutes.
Roll the dough into the desired shape. Or use your hands to push it to shape—circle or rectangle. You can do this right on a pan, or you can lift the dough and place it on a flat baking pan.
You can immediately build your pizza, or you can put it in the oven for three to four minutes to bake the crust a little first. Doing this makes sure the crust doesn’t get soggy.
This recipe will roll out for a fairly good-size circle pizza or a full rectangular one depending on how thick you like your crust. OR you can cut the dough ball in half before you roll it out and freeze it for a later time to use for another pizza or cinnamon rolls or twists.
Wilona Karimabadi’s Easiest Bagels You’ll Ever Make
Wilona has been gluten-free for five years. Sometimes she really misses regular breads and bagels. A lot. While this recipe is not gluten-free, it can be made so by swapping the flour for a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour. It works beautifully. And no, this isn’t going to be a New York City bagel, but it’ll do. Trust it.
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
¾ tsp. salt
egg (for egg wash)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil and grease lightly.
In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients and then add the yogurt.
Fold it together until it becomes a craggy dough.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it becomes a more stable dough. Just a minute or two should do it.
Divide the dough into four balls.
With your hands roll the balls into a tube shape, but not thin.
Connect the ends of the “tube” to make a circle and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Lightly coat with an egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds or whatever you’d like on it.
Bake for 25 minutes, cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!
*If you want to make these cinnamon-raisin flavored, simply incorporate about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ cup of raisins into the dough mixture before shaping. You can get very creative with flavors and toppings. This makes four bagels, so double or triple the recipe if you need to.