There is something about the cold crisp autumn weather that just requires long cooking sessions in a warm cozy kitchen. It beckons you to pull out those comfort food recipes and make something delicious and heartwarming in order to fill the entire house with warmth. Those slow baked, home cooked meals are the ones that take you back home. Back to the happy moments when you were younger and your mother, grandmother, father, grandfather, sister or brother cooked for hours and hours. Prepared delicious meals that always tasted knocked you off your feet.
Early one Sunday morning, you take a walk to your local grocery store, maybe even a farmer’s market. The organic atmosphere of the friendly environment instantly makes you feel better. Sure you haven’t been eating the healthiest lately, but its all about to change tonight for dinner. You are determined to make something that is filled with vegetables. Something that wont fill you to the top with guilt. Everyone is strolling around checking out the stalls. Looking at the fresh produce, feeling for the “best” picks, perhaps even trying a few ripe juicy fruits. Amongst all of the environmentally friendly people, the recycle-loving, free-spirited people; there with the non-chemical, natural produce all around, you get the sudden urge to make a comfort dish that is not only healthy but satisfying. With a goal in mind you travel through the different vendors and pick the produce that is best for you and the lasagna you plan to make.
Zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, mushrooms, and fresh herbs. The ideas come cascading like a waterfall. A noodle free lasagna that would please any hungry appetite out there. Gluten-free but only by default, its the perfect dish to make in order to get on the healthy track. You arrive home, turn on the oven, and allow the grilling vegetables to fill your house with the aroma of summer; although you know that your right smack down in the middle of autumn. As the marinara sauce simmers, and you start to assemble the lasagna, you start to get excited and happy. While the lasagna bakes, you can’t decide which is more terrible, the 40 minutes you have to wait, and then the 20 minutes of cooling or the fact that you have to share with others. Satisfied you pull out the lasagna from the oven and allow it to rest before cutting. The solution to the problem; you serve yourself a big piece, and everyone else a smaller but modest piece. Enjoying every last bite, you vow that this will be added to your cooking repertoire. Content and more than happy, you sleep well at night because you know you’ve just had a healthy and satisfying meal; no guilt required.