Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who says lasagna has to be beefy with tomato sauce? Try this white, creamy, healthy new take.

This was a totally different twist on lasagna and one that we enjoyed thoroughly. All the traditional red sauce was replaced by a white, creamy one; chicken was subbed for beef, and the whole process was health-ified by the addition of spinach. It was wonderful. Thank you, Chickasaw Nation, for this unusual recipe which made a huge 13-by-9-inch casserole full (12 servings, according to the recipe) and has lasted us for numerous days.

I have had the recipe in my wish folder throughout the spring and summer, but lasagna always seems to represent a huge amount of work for me, so I ended up bypassing it again and again. Once I hunkered down and decided to prepare it, however, the process seemed to go fairly quickly. I tried to clean up as I cooked; this eliminated the huge amount of dirty dishes that always takes the joy out of the assemblage. Quite a few pots and utensils are involved in this multi-step dish, but sponging them out and shifting them to the dishwasher after each level of prep made things tidier all along

A combination of mozzarella and parmesan forms the base of the white sauce; the chicken and spinach are stirred into low-fat cottage cheese and more mozzarella and parmesan. We used whole grain lasagna noodles to add to the health-conscious aspect of the recipe. A great dish—I was just sorry I kept bypassing it and earlier didn’t take advantage of this yummy concoction.

White Chicken Lasagna

cooking spray
9 whole-grain lasagna noodles
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded, divided
1 teaspoon basil, dried
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
16 ounces frozen spinach, chopped, thawed, and drained (or 16 ounces fresh spinach, washed and cooked in microwave for 4 minutes on high)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles as directed but omit salt and fat. In a large saucepan saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Mix in cornstarch, broth, and milk. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, and black pepper. Stir and then remove from heat. In a separate bowl combine cottage cheese, chicken, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Mix well. Spray with cooking spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce mixture in the bottom of the dish. Place three of the noodles on top; then top with 1/3 of the chicken/spinach mixture. Repeat two more times. At the end top the lasagna with the remaining 3/4 cup of sauce and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

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