Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fresh Harvest Lasagna ..... #RGLasagna

With the Super Bowl nearly upon us, isn't it time we start thinking about what to feed a crowd? My friends at Red Gold Tomatoes are having a Lasagna Party with the perfect recipes to help out! They have even made it easy for you to create your own version of gourmet lasagna, by providing a fool-proof basic recipe....follow the basics and then add your own ingredients for your very own custom lasagna!

The basic Red Gold "All-In-One" Lasagna is so simple to make that even a novice cook will have no problem putting it together. It starts with regular lasagna noodles...nothing fancy...and you don't have to boil them to get it started. Then, a combination of  Red Gold® Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, Red Gold® Crushed Tomatoes, and some Italian seasoning makes the delicious sauce (the sauce cooks up, full of flavor, right in the oven). Add your own favorite ingredients (sausage? chicken? pepperoni?) to make it your own, or choose one of Red Gold's gourmet recipe ideas. 

Since my daughter is a vegetarian, it was a no-brainer for me to choose Red Gold's Fresh Harvest Lasagna for my trial run. Oh my gosh---so easy and so good! Let's see how it's done---

Fresh Harvest Lasagna (recipe courtesy of Red Gold Tomatoes)

2  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1  large zucchini, chopped
1  medium yellow summer squash,
1 (small, yellow) onion, chopped
1/2  red bell pepper, chopped
1  cup fresh chopped broccoli florets
1  large carrot, minced
1  (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms, chopped
3   garlic cloves, minced
1/2  cup water
1  (28 ounce) can Red Gold® Crushed Tomatoes, or 2 (15 ounce) cans
2  (14.5 ounce) cans Red Gold® Diced Tomatoes With Basil, Garlic & Oregano
1   teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt to taste
1 (16 ounce) box lasagna noodles, traditional, uncooked
1 (15 ounce) carton low fat ricotta cheese
3  cups shredded Italian blend cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add zucchini, squash, onion, bell pepper, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms; saute until vegetables are crisp tender.  Add garlic and cook for another minute, remove from heat.

In large mixing bowl combine water, RED GOLD® CRUSHED TOMATOES, RED GOLD® DICED TOMATOES with BASIL, GARLIC & OREGANO, Italian seasoning and salt.

Cover the bottom of a 9x13x2 inch baking pan with 1 1/2 cups of sauce mixture.  Arrange 1/3 of noodles on top of sauce, slightly overlapped.  Top with 1/2 of ricotta cheese, 1/2 vegetable mixture, 1 cup of Italian blend cheese and 1 cup of sauce.  Repeat layers and top with last 1/3 of noodles and the remaining sauce.

Sprinkle with remaining Italian blend cheese and Parmesan cheeses.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 to 1½ hours; until noodles are cooked. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

I followed Red Gold's recipe exactly...well almost....I did use frozen broccoli instead of fresh....but really this version didn't need much improvising. I will pass along a couple of tips, though: 

(1) You can use a regular 9X13 pan...just make sure the sides are at least 2 inches deep. If you do use a regular pan (as opposed to a larger "lasagna" pan), make sure to place a baking sheet underneath to catch any drips.

(2) Use non-stick foil to wrap around the lasagna before placing it in the oven (non-stick side down!), or spray regular foil with cooking spray, so the cheese doesn't stick.

Oh my gosh...this is so easy to make and so tasty!

Don't forget to visit Red Gold's RG Lasagna Party Sweepstakes  page on Facebook for a chance to win one of 1000 aprons or a Lasagna kit (which includes a Le Creuset lasagna pan) worth $250! The sweepstakes will run until February 5th, 2014.

Disclaimer: I was provided with the recipe and a starter kit of canned tomatoes. All opinions remain my own.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cheesy Pepperoni Blossoms

Apologies for being absent for a few weeks....let's just blame it on the cold and move on, shall we? Actually, I did  receive some stunning news that has had me walking on air lately---Better Recipes picked my Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread as the 2013 Best Recipe Ever! Woot Woot! You all must know by now that I'm a recipe contest freak (as evidenced by all of my brags to the right ----->) and Better Recipes has been especially good to me. If you aren't familiar with the site, you should check them out...this year they've got a monthly recipe contest, with different themes each month!

Several years ago, I entered and won an appetizer recipe on (Mixing Bowl has since become a part of Better Recipes). The recipe, Cheesy Pepperoni Blossoms, was a spur of the moment invention. At the time, I thought it was too simple to be a contender. Now, not only do I see pictures of various pinwheels all over Pinterest, it was a Loaded Potato Pinwheel that won $1 Million at the Pillsbury Bake-Off! Why not? They are simple and oh-so-tasty...

So, what better time is there to dust off this recipe? Game Day is upon us--let me present to you my Cheesy Pepperoni Blossoms.....

Cheesy Pepperoni Blossoms 

1 roll (11 oz) thin crust pizza dough
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt/pepper to taste
36 slices of pepperoni 
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.; line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Unroll pizza dough onto baking sheet. Spread olive oil evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper. Top with pepperoni and shredded cheese.

I don't worry too much about getting the slices perfectly even...they all bake up nice and pretty...

Beginning with the long side, roll the pizza dough up, jelly roll style. Pinch the seam closed and slice into 18 slices. Place the slices cut side down back on the baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Don't they look like little blossoms?

What's your favorite Game Day recipe?