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I have a quite good excuse for making such a late review post of the September Foodie Penpal exchange and it sums up a number of reasons: first, I got the package the first or second of October, secondly, I wanted to make a dish from one of the ingredient Christien was so nice to send and third, I was simply too lazy to edit and upload all of the pictures yesterday. Guess the last one does not count as a ‘good’ excuse though. The first week is the hardest, at least that is what people tell you. And I have to admit, the stress of starting classes got to me. Probably it was also the mixture of partying, drinking, connecting social AND attending various new classes. Now I do not only feel like there are so many interesting new people you want to get to know, but there are also heaps of basics I have to catch up on.

Enough with the complaints. In the end, it was my choice and I love it so far – so the stress is more of a luxury problem.

Christien send me a batch of various goodies from the Netherlands. I already had a few cups of white peony tea, the fig cookie and half of the licorice and though I liked everything – the licorice was the best so far. The almond-fruit bar will be great as a snack to bring to university and pick me up between classes and I am putting the choc-o-lait coffee stick aside for an especially exhausting day, to enjoy with my kitty and a good read. Regarding to the letter, there should also have been a pepper and cashew paté which Christien seemed to have forgotten, but no worries – that’s something you get a lot here in Germany, so I am not dashed 😉 .

And now to the fun cooking part of my parcel: I loved that Christien added the make-yourself-Arrabiata-sauce package and explained to me the how to do in the letter… which I sadly skipped the first time reading and already started the cooking, before I read it again. I ended up using it as a spice (as you will see in the recipe below), but actually I just had to use the olive oil (which came with her parcel) and water and the sauce would have been done. So if you are making the recipes – just use spices instead of a whole sauce base.

Eat Your Veggies Lasagna

ingredients for a small 1 dish sized casserole

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein, or minced soy)
  • 1 cup sieved tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 heads button mushrooms
  • 1 medium sized zucchini
  • arrabiata spices
  • favorite cheese for topping ( I used goat cheese)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dice the onion and garlic finely. Heat the olive oil in a pot. Deglaze with one cup of water and add the quinoa and TVP, add the sieved tomatoes when it starts to boil. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. While simmering dice the button mushrooms finely and  cut the zucchini in 1/2 inch thick broad slices. As soon as the quinoa is done, take the pot from the stove, add the mushrooms and spices to your taste.

Start with a first layer of zucchini, smear it with the sauce (don’t use to much, or it will not be enough – you can double the ingredients if you like more sauce). Continue layering zucchini and sauce, until you finish with the last layer of sauce. Top this off with your cheese and transfer into the oven.

Let it bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.

Dig in!

I actually just managed to eat half of a serving in one sitting. There are so many veggies that it fills you up easily. But I loved to have the other half for dinner.

Do you take part in the foodie penpal action? And what is your to go lasagna recipe?