I'm back... I know it's been a while since my last blog post and it may seem like things have been quiet in the Zengarry kitchen, but this is not the case!!
I have been busy putting down roots to support the explosive growth of my business! On January 11th I was at the Ottawa Health and Wellness Expo in Orleans. We had such amazing feedback there, and we were excited to introduce our two new cheeses!
Zengarry's new Gruyere and Gruyere with Cumin nut cheeses can now be found in almost all of the wonderful neighbourhood health food stores carrying our products. In addition, I am excited to tell you Zengarry Nut Cheeses are now available at 10 stores across Ontario and Quebec. The newest vendors include Pantry Plus at in Orleans and The Health Nut Shop in Cornwall. You can find a full listing of locations carrying my products here.
As a result of this growth I have been exploring tools to speed things up so that I can keep up with the demand. One of the tools that has recently been added to the Zengarry kitchen is this bad boy.... a commercial Vitamix XL. I call him my HUMMER. He allows me to quadruple the amount of cashews that I can blend at one time. Believe me... the picture doesn't do him justice. He's a brute.
In addition to the HUMMER I have added another fridge and some serious commercial storage. Hopefully this will help me keep Zengarry cheeses in your fridge for years to come!
Ok, so now for the fun stuff.... here is an awesome recipe that I have made several times so far and I just cannot get enough of this creamy comforting dish. It's a fresh take on your traditional lasagna topped and it's topped with with hash browns!! With a tub of Zengarry Raw Brie nut cheese, it comes together pretty quickly. Make it the night before and just pop it in the oven when you get home from work. Don't let it intimidate you!
Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna
lasagna noodles cooked (whole wheat or gluten-free)
1 potato, zapped in the microwave for a minute, then peeled and grated and mixed with 1 tsp olive oil and some salt
FOR THE PUMPKIN BECHAMEL
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups nondairy milk like almond or soy
1½ cups pumpkin puree
A generous pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE CREAMED SPINACH
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 package of Zengarry Raw Brie Nut Cheese
8 ounces of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed in the microwave
Salt and pepper to taste.
MAKE PUMPKIN BECHAMEL
Mix the milk and flour in a bowl and whisk until well combine.
Preheat a sauce pan to medium heat. Add the nondairy milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Add the pumpkin puree and continue to whisk. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes. You want it to be about the consistency of pancake batter. If the sauce gets too thick, add some more nondairy milk.
Add salt and pepper to taste and the nutmeg. Stir well.
MAKE CREAMED SPINACH
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, chili pepper and garlic.
Sauté over medium heat until the onions turn translucent.
Add the Zengarry Brie and the thawed spinach and continue cooking about two minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add some water. Add salt and ground pepper and, if desired, a dash of nutmeg.
Turn off the heat.
ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA
Spread a spoonful of the pumpkin bechamel on the bottom of a 8 X 5-inch baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Arrange three or four cooked noodles on top of the sauce, then pour half of the pumpkin sauce on the noodles and spread evenly. Add another layer of noodles, then spread the spinach-Brie mixture out evenly. Add another layer of lasagna noodles on top of the spinach and spread the remaining pumpkin sauce over the noodles. Top with the grated potato.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 60 minutes, removing the foil for the last 15-20 minutes. For a bit more crunch on top turn the oven to broil and broil until the potatoes turn golden-brown and crunchy, about 5-10 minutes, being careful not to burn.
Enjoy my friends! Let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments below!
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