Summer has never been my favorite time of year (except for summer of 2008—yeah that was fun!). Because I have crazy sensitive skin, summertime has become synonymous with sunburn. If that’s not bad enough…I’m allergic to sunscreen.
This year–in particular–has been especially difficult because of the high temperatures and terrible humidity. Not to mention the drought. Okay…I mentioned it. We need rain!
In my opinion, the only thing good about summer (as an adult) is the vegetables. I love being able to just step outside my home and come back inside–into the air conditioning–with a basket full of peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and herbs.
I am especially proud of my shallots. I am an amazing shallot grower, apparently.
In fact, I’m so proud of my shallots, I tear up. Literally. They make me cry! I’m not sure what the reason is, but these tiny, purple-hued beauties make me bawl worse than a baby!
Their crying power is way stronger than that of any onion. But, they taste incredible; so the crying is worth it. I guess.
When I woke up today, I planned on going to the gym. But those plans quickly changed. The weather report said it was 71degrees outside, and I knew I better take advantage of that! I decided to clean up my gardens and plant a few more cone flowers, mums and burning bushes.
When I finished, I came back inside with all this:
and had Lasagna on my mind.
You see, I love lasagna. A lot. In fact, I can’t be trusted around it.
Knowing this, I decided to make mini lasagnas instead of a giant pan full. They’d be perfectly portioned and I wouldn’t have to worry about eating more than my share.
Instead of noodles, I used wonton wrappers. This isn’t anything new, and I’ve seen tons of stuff made with the little dough squares–from raviolis to tacos…to pie crusts! How versatile!
I figured I’d use the wonton wrappers instead of traditional pasta for three reasons.
- There is no need to pre-cook the wonton wrappers, so I won’t burn my fingers. I always burn my fingers on lasagna noodles!
- The wrappers fit perfectly into a muffin pan.
- Wonton wrappers are relatively low calorie. They ring in at 20 calories/each.
I also decided to use ground turkey meat. I cooked the meat with finely diced green bell peppers, basil, oregano, lots of garlic, and a bunch of finely diced mushrooms.
Because I’ve been scaling back the amount of meat I cook with, adding the mushrooms allowed me to use less turkey and also stretched the meat into multiple meals–instead of just the one. In fact, I have made these lasagnas twice this week, and still have over half a pound of the cooked meat left over (frozen, for some other time).
I turned the tomatoes, garlic and basil into a simple–and flavorful–sauce (no real recipe, sorry! I just tossed stuff together, blended it up and then let it cook for about 10 min. to reduce).
And made a mixture of basil, cottage cheese (3/4 c.) and Parmesan cheese (1/4 c.). [Enough for 6 mini lasagnas]
I then layered everything together in a muffin pan which I sprayed with a little olive oil. I started with a wonton wrapper, added a little sauce, cottage cheese mixture, meat, more sauce…and repeat. I then topped the mini lasagnas with a little shredded cheese and some dried herbs.
The lasagnas were popped into a 375 degree F oven, and were baked for about 20 minutes–or until they started to get a little browned.
I let them cool in the pan for a good 10 minutes before I popped them out–simply using a fork.
Each mini lasagna was a little over 150 calories, so I had two. And I’ve got to tell you…I enjoyed every single one of those delicious calories!
I plan on making another batch this weekend, but instead of baking them, I’m going to freeze them. If all works out, I think they’d be a great way to preserve my garden’s bounty! 🙂
This looks totally delicious! And I feel your pain– I also have sensitive skin and get sunburned in the summer just walking between my car and my building on campus. I’ve switched to using Japanese sunscreens instead of American ones because they’re way less greasy. (I wonder if they also have very different ingredients and maybe you wouldn’t be allergic to them…?)
mini lasagna — GENIUS!
So creative – love your work!