January Recipe – Zucchini Lasagna

January Recipe – Zucchini Lasagna

Lasagna is a wonderful comfort food in the winter.  It is hot, it is tasty, and you can prepare it ahead of time and pop it into the oven when you get home from work.  The trouble arises when you have gluten and dairy issues.  Then lasagna seems to be a distant dream that you will never taste again.  Hold that thought, Dr. Currey lives in a gluten and dairy free household, and guess what she had for dinner last night: 

Zucchini Lasagna Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized zucchini squash sliced into about 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 lb non-GMO organic firm tofu
  • 1 lb ground sausage (we use Italian turkey sausage)
  • 4 cups tomato sauce/spaghetti sauce
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp dried italian herbs
  • 1/2 onion – chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • Optional – 1 package goat cheese (our family can handle occasional goat milk)

Directions:

  1. Saute onions and garlic, add in sausage and brown.
  2. Stir tomato sauce in with onion/sausage mixture and set aside
  3. In a large bowel crumble the tofu and mix in the 2 eggs and the Italian herbs.  Using your hands is easiest.  Set aside.
  4. In a large ungreased 13 x 9 oven safe pan, layer your ingredients starting with a thin layer of your meat mixture.  Follow this with a layer of zucchini slices and spinach – then 1/2 the tofu mixture – 1/2 of the remaining meat mixture – zucchini and spinach again.  Repeat ending with the zucchini slices.
  5. Optional – top with crumbled goat cheese.
  6. If you are eating this tonight, cover the pan with foil and pop into a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes.  After the 60 minutes remove the foil and broil until cheese is brown (about 2-3 minutes).
  7. If you are making this ahead, cover with foil and pop into the refrigerator.  On the day you want to cook it, let it come to room temperature before baking, or just add another 15 minutes to the bake time.

This recipe can be adjusted for most dietary needs and can easily accommodate more vegetables.  Please leave your variations in the comments section below and let us know how you enjoyed the recipe. (or didn’t)

image credits:Courgettes by adactio, cc by 2.0 attribution 

Cold and Flu Prevention

sick baby

Prevention really is the best medicine, and a good offense is the best defense.  Below are some tips collected by Dr. Zieman that may help you boost your immunity this cold and flu season.  Remember, that these tips do not replace the advice of a doctor, and do schedule a visit if you are feeling under the weather or are looking for more personalized prevention tips.

Vitamins and Supplements

  • Vitamin C: 500-1000 mg/day
  • Vitamin D: 2000-5000 IU/day
    • Protective in both autoimmune disease and preventing infections
    • Ear and digestive infections in children have been associated with Vitamin D deficiency
    • Statistically, most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D especially in the northern latitudes (i.e. Oregon)
  • Calcium/Magnesium: 500-1200 mg/day either from food sources or combined with supplementation
  • Probiotics: beneficial bacteria that grow in your digestive tract, your mucous membranes, and on your skin.  They have repeatedly been shown to support and modulate immune function.
  • Adequate Zinc:
    • Deficiency suppresses the immune system
    • Found in foods such as oysters, grass-fed meats, nuts, and seeds.

Botanical Medicines

  • Garlic: reduces severity, duration, and incidence of colds and flu
  • Echinacea: increases white blood cells

Hygiene

  • Adequate sleep
  • Adequate water
  • Adequate fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Adequate Protein: amino acids are required to make your immune cells and antibodies along with cytokines
  • Minimal sugar: it suppress the immune system
  • Exercise: moderate exercise improves immune function
  • Fun!: it boosts white blood cells (your disease fighting cells) significantly

 

poor sick baby, mazaletel licensed by cc by 2.0