Day 21 – working with my new Vita-Mix

The morning didn’t go as I had hoped. My teenage daughter often goes off to school without breakfast. As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In order to be able to learn and process information, she needs to have vital nutrients and protein in her body. But she’s also a teenager – do I need to say more?

With my shiny new Vita-Mix I made her a smoothie, trying to find a middle point between her need for sweets and my need for her to get some nourishment before school. She had purchased a package of Proteins + Smoothie mix (orange cream flavour), so I thought I could use a scoop of that with ¾ cup of almond milk, ¼ cup of kefir (to get some healthy bacteria into her body) and her daily vitamins (which she rarely takes). Major fight! But she did drink half of it. Small steps.

I’m going to experiment with 1 cup frozen fruit mix, an orange, a banana, 2 carrots and a large handful of spinach. With some water to (1 cup) – and I’ll try adding some of my homemade kefir (1/2 cup) in too. I’ll let you know how it tastes! Delicious – much better than Emily’s smoothie. Tomorrow I’ll add some good flax seed oil (omega-3 essential fatty acid EFA). I would add it today, but I don’t have any right now. My friend and colleague, Sherri Doak, suggests that I add some New Zealand Whey Protein powder, so I’ll pick up some of that too.

Okay, for supper I’m trying something really different. And since it’s a lasagne, I’m going to make it in two pans so that I can freeze one of them for a day when life is crazy.

Lasagna with Roasted Asparagus, Turkey and Cheese Sauce – this recipe from the Holistic Cooking Academy

Accompany any pasta dish with a side salad of mixed baby greens. I’ll be using left-over kale salad from last night.

I’ve chosen to use fresh noodles tonight, you can use them without soaking, but I find that they are a little dry so I usually soak them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. This dish has lots of steps so maybe it would be best to save for the weekend or an evening when there isn’t a lot going on.

Creamy Chives Sauce (makes about 4 ½ cups)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk (I’ll use almond milk)
½ cup coconut milk
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
1/2 cup chives, chopped
2 tsp. kelp salt
Dash cayenne pepper

9 lasagna noodles
4 cups asparagus, trimmed and roasted
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp freshly ground coriander
36 oz ground turkey, browned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, combine melted butter and flour and stir together. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly and then add the coconut milk. Whisk constantly until it thickens (at the boil). Stir in ricotta cheese, lemon rind and chives. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the asparagus into 2 inch pieces and toss with oil, salt and coriander. Place in a pyrex dish and roast for 6 minutes until hot and tender. Remove from heat and reduce oven heat to 350°F.

Brown the turkey and garlic with just a touch of oil. Oil a 9 x 13 x 2 inch dish and form the first layer with three lasagne noodles. Top with 1/3 of Creamy Chives Sauce and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and ½ of the turkey and asparagus. Layer once again, then on the top layer end with noodles and the remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F or until bubbling.

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