Monday, June 22, 2009

A meal fit for a father

Firstly, let me say how terribly difficult it is to cook and take pictures of the process at the same time. One has to consider dirty hands, burning oil etc. So that is my excuse for not taking as much pictures as I should have, this being the first time that I have tried to do it all by myself. Hats off to the other blog contributors who make it seem so easy.

Yesterday I decided to make lasagna for lunch, one veggie and one chicken. My father put some chicken thighs and wings to bake to compliment the lasagna.

I started off with the veggie first, giving the minced chicken a little more time to marinate in the seasonings. So it began with your usual suspects, I sautéed some onions, garlic, celery and thyme in olive oil with a tablespoon of butter. Add salt and black pepper for flavor, then in goes two bags of mixed vegetables. The mixed vegetables that I got had green peas, carrots, string beans and corn which are a nice blend of flavors. After the cooking the veggies for about 10 minutes, I added a tin of Hunt’s Tomato Paste along with some Italian Seasoning. Let that come to a simmer then turn off the pot.

In the meantime between time, I had my lasagna cooking in a pot of boiling water with a dash of oil to prevent them from sticking together.

I took out a deep casserole dish and used a teaspoon of olive oil to grease it. In goes a thin layer of veggies to the bottom of the dish, then I do a layer of lasagna. I add the veggie mixture to that layer then sprinkle it with grated rat cheese.

I repeated this step until the dish was filled. To top it off, I put a thin layer of tomato paste and sprinkled a decent helping of cheese. I then added some parmesan cheese and paprika to it for a bit of a twist.

Popped that into a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and there you have it. Veggie Lasagna!!!

Now for our chicken lasagna I had two packs of minced chicken marinating in seasoning. I found out later that two packs of chicken are not enough to fill a biggish lasagna properly, so I advise you to go with three packs. To season it I squeezed a lime, added some salt and black pepper, thyme, onion, garlic, sieve and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. I let that sit for about 30 minutes while I was preparing its veggie counterpart.

Dice 1 onion, 5 cloves of garlic, celery, thyme and 1 pimento. To a heated pot I added a bit of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter and sautéed my chopped veggies.

Then in goes our minced chicken.

I sprinkled a bit of cayenne pepper to the pot for a bit of zing. After the chicken has started to cook through, add the Hunt’s tomato paste and let it simmer for a couple minutes again to make sure all the flavors meld. At this point you can add tomatoes and sweet peppers if you like. I didn’t have any so I could not add even though I really wanted to.

To bring the lasagna together I followed the same steps as the veggie lasagna, the only difference being I sprinkled Italian Seasoning on top with the cheese instead of paprika.

I was contemplating making a fresh salad to go with this meal but realized soon after my contemplation began that I didn’t have any lettuce or tomatoes. Who wants to make a fresh salad without lettuce? - Certainly not me.

All in all, my father was content with the meal. He ate a sliver of chicken lasagna with a sliver of veggie lasagna and a baked chicken wing. Needless to say, he eats like a bird. Chinyere however, does not eat like a bird!


  1. i'm definitely going to try this! :)

  2. dat last pic is a winner!!!!!

    trust me, bloggin and cookin is no joke.
    but yuh did well though. as is the case with most things, yuh will keep gettin better.

    de dishes bess doh!! the veggies in the vegetable one sound like a nice mix.

    you should look for the no boil lasagna pasta. apart from being plain old easier, you waste a lot less and get a closer to perfect pie as you're not fumbling around with hot wiggly cooked pasta.

    like you, i don't use cheese sauce in my lasagna. but unlike you, i stopped using oil to prepare the filling when i'm doing a meat lasagna. the minced beef especially has so much fat in it already that most times, even without putting oil, i have to drain a lot of oil out. if you season the meat with all the stuff you will sautee it in anyway, you get similar results. but is just a preference thing.

    nice dishes.

  3. Haha yeah that last pic is trouble! Thanks man.

    Yeah I asked my pops to get the Oven Ready but he couldnt find any.

    Minced beef is much more oily than chicken. As a matter of fact, the minced chicken tends to give off more watery than oily moisture. But yeah that way you described there is very good for doing the beef, especially when you take into consideration the oil from the cheese.

  4. I'm going to try the veggie lasagna! Pics look great! Excellent job man!