I hid my vegetables for the first time.
You know what I mean? Remember those books that came out that were filled with recipes on how to hide vegetables from our kids. I bought one…I have absolutely no idea why. But I made a few recipes from them. You see, I cheated though. When I made the recipes, I completely spilled the beans to my kids.
“See these brownies kids? There are BLUEBERRIES in here!” They were super excited.
They didn’t care if I stuffed blueberries in there. They were getting BROWNIES! They love brownies AND blueberries. This was a win-win situation for them. My kids are typically huge fruit fans and even really love their vegetables most of the time so I really never had the need to hide healthy food from them, nor did I want to.
Sometimes though, things change.
I came across this recipe.
This really delicious recipe. A recipe that might possibly be worth going against everything I believe in about hiding healthy food.
This recipe was for butternut squash lasagna and seriously…I could not stop thinking about it.
Yeah, I know. What is wrong with me?
My whole day was like:
“Mom? Can you help me with my homework?”
“Sure.” Butternut squash lasagna.
“Mom? Can my we watch a show?”
“Sure.” Butternut squash lasagna.
It was in every thought.
Get the picture? See now you know. If I seem distracted to you at some point, it is probably some delicious recipe stuck in my head.
Don’t take it personally.
I knew though that my kids would not get that excited about a lasagna made with butternut squash. You see, butternut squash is one of those veggies that they do kinda have to be talked into eating. It is not like they won’t eat it. It is just a lot of work to get them there.
Also, it didn’t help that when they think about lasagna, they think about tomato sauce and ricotta cheese.
Not so much butternut squash.
So I did what any loving, caring mother would do.
I hid the squash.
I never told them that it was in there.
And you know what the funniest part of this whole thing was?
They loved it!
Yep, two servings and plates licked clean.
I can vouch for it too.
It was amazing!
Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna
1 pkg whole wheat lasagna noodles
3 cups fresh or frozen butternut squash, cubed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tblsp olive oil
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 lb. ground chicken breast
1 tblsp butter
1 tblsp flour
2 cups lowfat milk
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
8 oz fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1/2 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
2 tblsp melted butter
Cook lasagna noodles 1 minute less than recommended cooking time, and set aside to cool. In a large skillet, heat 1 tblsp of olive oil. Add squash, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and nutmeg and stir to coat. Add 1/3 cup stock and cover skillet. Cook squash for 8 – 10 minutes or until completely fork tender. Transfer to a bowl and mash with a fork.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the other tblsp of oil in the skillet and add ground chicken, onion and 1/2 tsp of salt, cooking until browned and chicken is fully cooked through about 6 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Heat butter in skillet and once melted, whisk in flour until a thick paste forms. Whisk in milk. Keep whisking until smooth and fold in mascarpone cheese. Stir until smooth and add parmesan. Whisk in mashed in butternut squash. Turn heat off. This mixture will be really thick so add stock until it is a bit thinner. You don’t want it to be watered down, per say, but more of a sauce consistency. Stir in chicken mixture and coat with sauce. Rip apart lasagna noodles and add to skillet, saving four noodles whole. Top the lasagna with the whole noodles, covering the top. Combine the bread crumbs and the melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the lasagna and top with mozzarella cheese. Garnish the top with sage leaves. Place the entire skillet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler, and broil top of lasagna for 3-5 minutes or until the mozzarella is browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.