I got her call last week.”Hey, let’s get together. I haven’t see you in awhile. I had an idea. Let’s cook dinner together. You pick the recipe. I’ll bring the ingredients.” Someone pinch me. Seriously?! Uh, YES to that idea! My friend’s only request was that we make something that involved sweet potatoes. Easy.
So, two of my girlfriends came over, and we made dinner together. We chatted, chopped, and chomped. And I love having people around who I can have taste-test food and give me a second (or third) opinion. There’s something therapeutic about cooking for me. And it was like double therapy with my girlfriends there. We haven’t had a chance to really visit lately, and there is always so much to catch up on. You can get so much more done in a shorter amount of time (with little reminders from me of the task at hand). We all chipped in—someone slicing, someone measuring, someone mixing. My second g-friend made dessert ahead of time and brought it for us to enjoy (devour).
I am so grateful for my friends. There was one point in the evening when my DH and I were in the dining room, and my two friends were in the kitchen. It may sound silly, but it just warmed my heart to see them comfortably working in my kitchen. We had just finished eating dinner, so we were fat and happy, and my friends were putting the finishing touches on our dessert, and my DH says “Can you guys come over like once or twice a week?” Yeah, they were making some pretty awesome things come together in that kitchen. I was so grateful for the offer of dinner and the help to make it. Not only did my friends bring the ingredients and help with the meal but they also helped with clean up. Seriously that is so major for me—“Share the load” (LOTR reference). I don’t mind cooking, and I don’t mind cleaning up, but it makes a big difference to someone with an energy quota (i.e. lupus fatigue) to have this bit of help. This evening was truly a gift.
So here’s the yummy recipe from www.HeWontKnowItsPaleo.com (check out the site–tons of great AIP recipes). There are enough steps in this recipe to do some team cooking. I really enjoyed the use of the Nutritional Yeast; it added a nutty (cheesy) flavor and provided a nice finish to the top of the lasagna. My only regret is not doubling the recipe. We ate it all. So share this post with some friends, divvy up the work to make it happen, and get together to do some cooking and eating.
- 1 pound white-fleshed sweet potato, peeled (If you can find one, a very large potato that weighs about one pound makes the noodles look very realistic!)
- 2 cups zucchini, julienne-cut or shredded (about 1 zucchini)
- 2 cups yellow squash, julienne-cut or shredded (about 1 squash)
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil, divided, plus more for greasing
- 1 lb ground turkey (although any ground meat will work)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, for cheesy flavor)
- Preheat oven to 375 and grease an 8x8" pan.
- Take your peeled white yams, and [then] slice lengthwise to 1/8" thickness (this is easiest with a mandolin slicer). If desired, trim long edges with a fluted pastry wheel. Make sure to get them thin so they soften up properly while baking. Set noodles aside.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add turkey and half a teaspoon of the salt and brown for 7-9 minutes, until cooked through. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, shred zucchini and squash in a food processor using the shredder attachment.
- Remove turkey from the pan and set aside. Add squash, zucchini, thyme, garlic and oregano to the hot pan. Season with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and sauté for 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
- In a small dish, stir together the remaining avocado oil and nutritional yeast.
- Layer 1/3 of the sweet potato noodles on the bottom of the pan. Brush noodles with 1/3 of the oil mixture. Top with half of the zucchini mixture, then half of the meat mixture. Repeat once, and end with the noodles. Brush top layer of noodles with the last third of the oil mixture. Season with salt to taste.
- Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover, raise oven temp to 450, and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.