Home > Uncategorized > Secret Squash in My Sneaky Lasagna

Secret Squash in My Sneaky Lasagna

Perhaps you, like me, struggle to feed your family healthy meals.  Perhaps your family wants cheeseburgers and tacos and pizza and you’re so tired and worn down by grocery day that you just smile and nod and throw up your hands in despair.  Or maybe it’s just me.

In any case, last night we sat down to make our weekly menu.  This is a traumatic weekly event that we endure.  It’s hard to plan meals.  You have to think of something everyone will eat.  You have to be able to cook them quickly after work.  You have to have reasonably healthy meals.  You have to have some variety so everyone doesn’t groan at dinnertime.  My first request this week was to “lighten it up.”  My people love heavy, rich foods and we’ve fallen out of many of our good meal habits.  My daughter immediately suggested lasagna.  What world does she live in?  What in the name of God is she eating that makes lasagna seem “light”?  Sadly, it took Hubs approximately .2 seconds to get on the lasagna bandwagon.  The power of suggestion immediately ensured that I was outnumbered.  We’re having lasagna, which could possibly be the most calorie-laden meal I serve.  God bless my sweet boy, who complied with my request for healthy meals.  He’s the only one in the house who takes my meal planning seriously and that is why he’s my favorite.  (Not really, of course.  Neither of them are my favorite yet.  The first one to take over the laundry duties will earn that title.)

So, with the help of the entire family we settled on the following menu for the week.  If you’re wondering why there aren’t seven days of meals, then you’re not counting leftover night and takeout night.  Obviously.

Pork Stir Fry.  This is pure optimism.  This meal has appeared on our menu for weeks.  The pork chops are in the freezer, most of the veggies are canned, and I have thrown out rotten shredded cabbage twice.  Something is blocking us from ever cooking this.  Maybe there’s trichinosis in the pork and karma is finally looking out for me.  Anyway, I suspect that we’ll never actually eat pork stir fry again.

Taco Salad.  My son at his very, very best.  He knew I would shoot down tacos in a hot second, so he said, “a really big salad.”  Now, I realize that his ratio of lettuce to tortilla chips will be something like 2:15, but he’s trying.  Also, I can work all day, go get groceries, and still get this meal on the table before 8pm, so it’s a winner.

Pan-seared Lemon Pepper Chicken, Jasmine Rice and Steamed Broccoli.  I’m being specific here because that’s how the boy told it to me.  He really does do a good job and I know that he’d make good choices for himself if I could only make all the Chef Boyardee vanish from the earth for all time.

Shredded Beef Sandwiches, French Fries and Quickles.  Perhaps you’re not familiar with quickles, so I will explain.  They’re cucumbers dressed in vinegar.  Quick Pickles, get it?  Hardy har.  We serve two varieties.  For the purist, it’s just apple cider vinegar with salt and pepper.  For those of us who don’t care for vinegar shots, I make creamy quickles.  My mom made these when I was growing up (well, she probably still does, but she doesn’t give me any…thanks, Mom.) and it’s basically mayo and vinegar with various seasonings with sliced cukes.  The quickles came into this recipe when I suggested raw veggies instead of fries.  Cutie immediately said, “What kind of vegetables?  Raw?! Okay.  I’ll eat it if you replace the carrots with cucumbers.  And replace the cauliflower with…cucumbers.”  So.  We’re having cucumbers.

Lasagna.  So, you know I got trapped into this, but I’ve got their number.  I am making a new lasagna recipe, and I’m not telling anyone.  I’m going to make it while I’m home alone on Monday.  I’m making Jamie Oliver’s eight-veggie tomato sauce instead of using our beloved Ragu.  I’m also going to see if I can hunt up some whole wheat lasagna noodles, although I do not believe my local Food Lion has such things.  I’ll get the low-fat ricotta, although I do refuse to skimp on the mozzarella.  Also, I’m going to “forget” to buy bread.  (I will catch twenty kinds of hell for that, but I’ve got a thick skin.)  Every little bit helps, I guess.  Now, no one tell my family that their lasagna is going to have zucchini and squash in it.  I read a review that said you can taste each and every vegetable in it.  This is not good news, but we’ll hope that I can overcome it by adding enough garlic to take out the entire cast of Twilight.

OMG, you’re cracking me up, memecenter.com

So, there’s my tricky dinner plan.  These people try and try to beat me down, but I am far too sneaky and determined to let it happen.  I mean, if it were just me, I’d be content to have grilled chicken and steamed veggies (and cookies, I mean, never mind.) most nights.  You know, you can season grilled chicken in approximately eight hundred ninety-three unique and delicious ways.  And it’s much better for my muffin-top issue than what we normally eat.  However, I married a man who dislikes chicken.  And then I birthed two contrary children who are determined to dislike anything that I like.  So I have to be creative and sneaky and rely on culinary geniuses like Jamie Oliver to squeeze some extra veggies in there.  And garlic.  Lots and lots of garlic.

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  1. August 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    That is the great thing about being a vegetarian–at least for me–because I now have other options than meats to add to lasagna now:))

    http://jonwatersauthor.com/

    • August 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      I also love spinach in lasagna…but I get vetoed. The heartache of cooking for other people. 😦 Thanks for reading!

  1. August 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm

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