Sunday, November 16, 2008

Turf Brunch

Today Turf had its first brunch! Turf Dinners and Brunches are times for Turf Volunteers to discuss upcoming projects, delegate tasks, explore fundraising ideas, and cook together. For our first brunch we made a vegetable lasagna that was packed with organic vegetables from Union Square’s Farmers Market. The lasagna took less than an hour to make and was delicious! This brunch was also important because it helped volunteer fine tune their cooking skills which they will apply to upcoming Turf cooking workshops for youth and families in the community. These workshops will give residents information on where they can buy farm fresh produce and involve residents in hands on cooking activities designed to encourage using more fruits and vegetables in meals at home. Below is lasagna recipe which can be substituted with fat free or soy cheeses.

Garden Full of Goodness Lasagna


2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
2 cups thinly sliced yellow squash
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese softened
3/4 cups small cottage cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
8 oven-ready, "no cook," lasagna noodles
12 slices provolone cheese, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella


Combine zucchini, squash, carrot, mushrooms, onion and peppers with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain well, and reserve. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, and eggs. Stir together.
Spread 1/3 of the sauce evenly over bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Place 4 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Do not overlap noodles. Spread 1/2 of cream cheese mixture over noodles. Cover cheese mixture with 1/2 the vegetable mixture, more sauce, and top evenly with 6 slices provolone cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with 4 noodles, rest of the cream cheese mixture, vegetables, sauce, and remaining cheeses. Place in oven for 35 minutes or until lasagna is hot and bubbling.

Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.

***This recipe is from the Food Network Channel


  1. I really enjoyed the vegetable lasagna that we made for Sunday brunch. I am really excited about this environmental stewardship and I believe in this movement. As for my responsibilities as a volunteer, I would love to chaperon the future interns and be of assistance in any way I can. I look forward to working with you all, and creating more cooking master pieces like the one that was made on Sunday.

  2. I felt inspired after our brunch on Sunday to stop by the market on the way home to by some fresh produce. The lasagna was very light and delicious! As a vegetarian, I enjoy being able to taste and appreciate each individual vegetable within a dish. I've had lasagna in the past that seemed very "heavy" and left me feeling full and tired. This, however, is a recipe that I am definitely going to use again!
    I am interested in assisting with leading cooking and nutrition workshops.