End of summer -> lots of zucchini. Stash that squash in lasagna, make lots, and freeze it for later. Sounds like a good idea, but flat-sliced zucchini “noodles” are more mush than noodle, watery and straight up gross.
- Roast the squash
- Use no-boil noodles
- Make medium batches in foil pans and freeze
No boil lasagna noodles are less of a pain and less bulky than regular noodles. You don’t need to parboil them, they can just go straight into the sauce/cheese dry.
I ain’t got no pictures of said lasagna, since I wrote this blog after making it. But I do have lots of zucchini and its brethren (crookneck and white scallop squash). It is overrunning my house. So action must be taken. I will take pictures during the next cook an post them if I remember. But I will outline the method and recipe here.
Zucchini Lasagna with Real Noodles
- Olive Oil (Light, not extra virgin, or other high smoke point oil)
- 6-8 medium zucchini, cut into ~1/2″ cubes (or 4-5 of the big homegrown suckers)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 28-oz can tomato sauce
- 14-oz can tomato sauce
- can tomato paste
- ~1-1/2 lbs ground beef (I grind pot-roast on course grind, single pass)
- Tub-O-cottage cheese (FU Ricotta wallpaste)
- Box no-boil lasagna
- 2 tablespoons water
- Nutmeg (whole, not that weak pre-ground stuff)
- Red pepper flake
- Garlic powder to taste ~1-2 tsp
- Something green like basil or oregano to taste ~2 tsp
- A pile of (1 cup?) freshly grated Parmesan (not the cheap power shit, the real deal, or Romano or Asiago)
- Mozzarella block grated (part skim is fine, but the block and grate, no pre-grated talc covered dry ass cheese)
- 2x foil pans, the deep square ones like 5″x7″x3.5″ deep or so
For the squash
- Toss squash in a large bowl with oil
- Season with salt and pepper
- Roast in oven @375 till just done. Maybe 20 min, but I never really time it. Just don’t stir it. Leave it in place on the pan so it can develop some color on the bottom. If you go stirrin it up, even once, it will just steam itself into zucchini mush.
- Pull when done and let cool while working on other stuff (i.e. sauce)
For the sauce
- Heat sauce pot to pretty hot, and brown ground beef. Again, don’t go stirring much. Let it basically cook without moving it about till near the end. You’ve done it right if the beef has browned. If it is all just pale grey you are stirring it too much / overcrowding the pan / heat is too low or some combination.
- Stir together tomato sauces and paste in a pot and heat to simmer or just to hot. Usually you’ll need to heat everything to get the past to mix with the sauce. Also, it is hard to taste if your seasonings are correct when everything is room temp.
- Add some garlic powder, onion powder, basil/oregano, salt and pepper to taste
For the cheese
- Toss mozzarella with garlic powder, herbs and nutmeg
In each foil pan, going from bottom to top, layer
- Sauce (thin)
- Single bed of noodles, snap them to fit but try to use as many full sized noodles a possible
- Cottage cheese
- Repeat the layers (noodles, cheese, squash, sauce, cheese)
- Add another layer of noodles
- End with a layer of sauce topped with cheeses
- Cover foil pans with aluminum foil
- Either bake at 365 or 40 min or freeze for later
- After 40 min bake, uncover and bake for another 10 min or until top is browned and everything is bubbly and cooked through
Philly Boy Jay knows his greens. I changed it a bit, but it is basically the same. Sauted the hocks to get them crispy and used the ham hock broth for the cooking liquid. You can check out his video here
- Ham Hocks (get the expensive ones from whole foods or Alfalfa’s if you can, they are pretty expensive for hocks but they are worth it)
- Bunch of collards
- Peppers (anything will work)
- Can of Tomatoes (optional, I rarely use it)
For the ham and water
- Cover ham hocks with water till they look like Crockadiles on the nile.
- Pressure cook them hocks for 45min, natural release (or simmer for ~2-4hours)
- Save the water!
- Pull out the ham and let cool a bit.
For the Collards
- Strip the stems from the leaves, hold leaves in your other hand in an “ok” sign, and pull quick. The stem should com right out. Or cut the stems out if your kung-fu is weak.
- Wash the collards in a big bowl.
- Lay collards one atop another and roll up cigar-style.
- Chiffonade, i.e. cut em.
For the stew
- Strip meat from bones and chop up, save bones.
- Chop the peppers, onion and garlic.
- Pan fry the chopped-up ham in the pressure cooker till a bit crispy.
- Saute the peppers, onion and garlic in the pressure cooker a bit.
- The whole thing should have a bit of fat in it by now, if not add some 🙂
- Add collards by handfuls and let it wilt a bit.
- Salt and pepper.
- Keep adding collards until they all fit
- Add water till it looks like it is a bit soggy but not swimming
- Pressure cook 20 min, quick release.
- Philly Boy Jay – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jfUrYYzCuI
- Nom Nom Paleo – http://nomnompaleo.com/post/46341757504/paleo-eats-32513
- This Lady – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz8ebdd7HtA
Check out the nRF24L01+ on Arduino
After searching for a reliable RF transceiver that will work with Arduino and is not the XBee I think that I have finally found something that works well. The nRF24L01+ is a popular RF transceiver produced by Nordic. There is a breakout board available at SparkFun which gives access to the pins and provides all of the ancillary support circuitry to get the chip working. I won’t go into the details of the chip here, because they are pretty available elsewhere, but I will give an outline of how you can get one of these chips working with your Arduino. This will allow you to send digitized data from one micro controller to another wirelessly, and provides significant opportunity for tailoring the hardware and software to your particular application.
The XBees are also great transcievers, but they are pricy and have too much horsepower for sending simple data wirelessly from one point to another. Plus, the nRF24L01+’s allow for some code reduction and streamlining, hacking and a better understanding of what is going on under the hood of the RF chip. However, if you are a fan of the XBee, that is great too.
Getting the chips working
Connect the pins
||5V rail (may depend on breakout board model
Get the code
You can get the nRF24L01 library files from my github account
. The examples included implement an Arduino controlled master/slave radio pair in which when the master radio sends a “1” to the slave, the slave replies with a number starting with 1 and incrementing with each reply. It is very basic and does not use much of the more advanced features of the nRF24L01, but it is enough to get started and is compact and simple enough to easily expand upon. My goal was to make something which is most easily accessable and to document it well enough for anyone needing more advanced feature implementation to expand it. This code should be easy enough to get a simple reading from an analog signal, which is mostly what I think people are interested in for these radios.
Load the nRF24L01 library into your Arduino library folder as per usual. The examples should then show up in your sketchbook after you restart the Arduino IDE.
Get Serial working
For the examples to work you will need to get a serial com working on your computer. I’m going to use putty here because I’m working in windows for this project ( I find embedded hardware easier to develop in windows). Putty is a free communications platform for windows, it is officially termed an open-source terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application. But that seems like a bit of a mess of an explination. More to the point, it will allow you to use your USB to connect to the Arduino and send and receive text data much the same way as the terminal window in the Arduino IDE works. But this way you won’t need the Arduino IDE and Putty does a whole lot more and you should get it anyway if you are in the Windows world.
At any rate, once you get Putty working, you’ll need to set it up to talk to your Arduino.
Putty setup for Arduino
This is pretty simple, just take a look at the window screenshot. Here the Serial line is set to COM3, this will probably be different on your system. You’ll need to figure out which COM port your Arduino is connected to. The Arduino IDE will tell you in Tools -> Serial Port, and there are other ways. You will need to already have both Arduino’s, the master and slave, already programmed and powered on. Also, the master Arduino will need to be connected to the computer that is running Putty. The Slave Arduino can be powered any way you see fit.
A great way to make squash. Has a lot of umami, and tastes a bit like takeout orange sesame chicken.Goes well with Saag Gosht
. If possible, juice the orange including the rind, but you will need to have a mechanical juicer
capable of doing it. Otherwise juice the orange and use a microplane to zest the rind.
Roasted Citrus Butternut Squash
Roast squash with tomatoes and an orange sauce.
- 1 Butternut squash, cubed to ~1/2"
- 1 Tbsp Ghee (or Butter)
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Pint grape or cherry tomatoes whole
- 1 Orange
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1.5 Tbsp Apple Vinegar
- Set oven to 400F.
- Melt Ghee in microwave
- Toss diced squash in ghee, onion powder, garlic powder
- Roast squash until about half done ~15min, add tomatoes
- Juice the orange, including rind if possible
- Add orange juice, butter, soy sauce and vinegar to a saucepan and reduce slightly
- Pull squash from oven when it is nicely browned on the edges
- Add squash to sauce, toss and season to taste.
- If you have a mechanical juicer, juice the whole orange including the rind. It will make the dish have a much more assertive orange taste.
Steve Lammers PhD https://stevelammers.com/