Article provided by: Dea @ I Nourish Gently
I have to admit when I saw this recipe, my heart started pounding.
I won’t believe it if you say you’re looking at the image right now and NOT salivating… A LOT!
I’ve always said I’m all about simplicity, but once in a while recipes like this one deserve the time and effort needed to put them together.
I am a huge fan of roasted veggies, and when they intermingle beautifully with lasagna sheets and creamy, cheesy sauces in a richly delightful recipe like this one, my excitement just goes over the top!
I won’t go into further detail as to how AMAZING this tastes, because you just have to try it yourself (and come back to tell everyone else in the comments below).
The recipe is courtesy of forward.com, excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones. (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 8-12
4 red or yellow bell peppers (about ¾ pound)
4 large zucchini (1½ pounds), sliced on a diagonal about ¼-inch thick
1 large Italian eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 large onion (about ½ pound), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the grill pan
6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped from the stems and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herb Ricotta (recipe follows)
2 cups Basil Pesto (recipe follows)
Puttanesca Sauce (recipe follows)
1 pound lasagna noodles, cooked in boiling salted water just until al dente, then drained, and rinsed (I use gluten-free)
10 ounces soy mozzarella, preferably Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet, shredded (4 cups)
1. Put each pepper directly on a gas burner over high heat and char, turning periodically with tongs, until the skin is wrinkled and blistered on all sides, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can roast the peppers using a broiler, turning them occasionally. Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let them steam for about 10 minutes to loosen the skins.
2. Pull out the cores of the peppers and remove the seeds. Pull off and discard the blackened skin. Dip your fingers in water as you work to keep the charred bits from sticking. Cut the roasted peppers into ½-inch-wide strips and put in a large mixing bowl, along with any juices that have collected. Add the sliced zucchini, eggplant, and onion, tossing to combine.
3. Combine the oil, basil, thyme, garlic, and shallot in a small bowl or measuring cup, season with salt and pepper, and whisk to blend. Pour the marinade over the vegetables, tossing to coat evenly. Set aside for 10 minutes so the vegetables can soak up the flavour.
4. Preheat an outdoor grill and coat with oil, or coat a grill pan with oil and put over medium-high heat. Alternatively, preheat the broiler.
5. Arrange the peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and onion on the grill or grill pan (if using a grill pan, you will have to do this in batches) and grill, turning the vegetables once, until they are tender and lightly browned and have released most of their moisture, about five minutes per side. Or, if using the broiler, arrange the vegetables in a single layer on two nonstick baking sheets and broil in two batches. Set the vegetables aside.
6. Mix together the herb ricotta and 1 cup of the basil pesto in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Once you have the sauce ready, the vegetables grilled, and the filling made, you can start assembling the lasagna. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
8. Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, to just cover the bottom. Slightly overlap six lasagna noodles crosswise so they completely cover the bottom of the dish, with no gaps. Top the noodles with one-third of the ricotta-pesto mixture, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 1 cup of the soy mozzarella over the ricotta. Shingle one-third of the roasted peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and onion in an even layer on top. Repeat the process, layering sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta-pesto, soy mozzarella, and vegetables two more times. Finally, top with the remaining six lasagna noodles and sauce.
9. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until bubbly. Remove the foil and top the lasagna with the remaining 1 cup soy mozzarella. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into eight squares.
To serve: Divide the remaining 1 cup pesto among 8-12 plates, spreading it out with the back of a spoon. Set a lasagna square on top.

Herbed Ricotta

Makes about 4 cups
We add fresh herbs to the almond ricotta to bring a little something extra to the pasta filling.
4 cups Kite Hill almond ricotta
6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Mash together the almond ricotta, basil, parsley, garlic, and shallot in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. The ricotta can be prepared in advance, covered, and refrigerated for up to five days before using it as a pasta filling; leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Basil Pesto

Makes 1 cup
Pesto, among the best-known sauces to come out of Italy, is simple to make, requires no cooking, and has only a few ingredients. Yet it adds the most delicious pop of colour and flavour to pastas, soups, and roasted vegetables.
2 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes (see Note)
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
4 garlic cloves, smashed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine the basil, parsley, nutritional yeast flakes, nuts, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a food processor and pulse until a paste forms, pushing down the basil and parsley as needed. With the motor running, pour in the oil in a steady stream, making sure it directly hits the blade (this is the best way to distribute the oil and emulsify it evenly and quickly). Transfer to a container. If you’re not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to keep it from oxidizing.
Note on Nutritional Yeast Flakes: Nutritional yeast may not sound like the most appetizing ingredient, but it has a cheesy, nutty, savoury quality that gives any dish extra oomph. Just a tablespoon or two adds a creamy, salty richness to dips, soups, and sauces. Look for nutritional yeast flakes in the supplement section of the market or health food store. Be sure to select flakes instead of granules, which will deliver a bit of texture to whatever you add them to.

Puttanesca Sauce

Makes 8 cups
Puttanesca is a robust old-school Italian red sauce made from pantry staples — olives, capers, and red pepper flakes.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups Scoty’s Marinara Sauce (recipe follows) or store-bought sauce
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup capers, drained
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put a medium pot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the shallots are translucent, two to three minutes.
2. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes to evaporate some of the alcohol. Stir in the tomato paste and marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the olives, capers and basil, and season with salt and black pepper. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.

Scoty’s Marinara Sauce

Makes 6 cups
Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, finely grated (about ½ cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch of baking soda
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter stick
1. Working in batches, put the tomatoes, along with their juice, in a food processor or blender and puree just until semi-smooth; you want a little bit of chunky texture.
2. Put a medium pot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, and carrot, season with salt, black pepper and the red pepper flakes, and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the pureed tomatoes, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes. Season the sauce with more salt and black pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda, making sure it dissolves, and add the basil and butter substitute.

Once cooled, the sauce can be refrigerated covered for up to three days or frozen for up to two months.

(Via National Geographic) First it was the hawklet adopted by bald eagles. Then it was the lioness nursing the leopard cub. And now in the latest example of interspecies care, there’s video of a cardinal feeding goldfish.
Originally posted on YouTube in 2010, the footage shows the red bird hopping alongside a goldfish pond, then dropping what appears to be seeds into their waiting mouths.
According to the caption with the video, the cardinal would come back to the pond as many as six times a day to feed the fish. (Explore National Geographic's backyard bird identifier.)
Why would a bird feed an entirely different species? Princeton biologist Christina Riehl has a few ideas.
“My best guess is that the appearance of the goldfish’s open mouth at the surface of the water is just similar enough in size and shape to the open mouth of a baby bird that it triggers the instinct in the adult bird to provide food to it,” says Riehl.
Nestlings tend to have vibrantly colored mouths, often bright red and yellow. This acts like a bull’s-eye for the parents—a visual cue that says “Feed me here!”
“It’s an amazing demonstration of how simple stimuli can trigger very hardwired behaviors, even in situations that seem obviously wrong to us,” she says.

HAPPY FOR THE HANDOUTS

While the confused cardinal may make for an amusing video, “a cardinal feeding goldfish is certainly wasting its time, biologically speaking,” says Riehl. “Especially if the cardinal is feeding goldfish instead of feeding its own young.”
But from the fish's perspective, it's probably happy to accept a free meal, says Kevin Roche, a biologist at the Czech Academy of Sciences.
Roche says that carp—the fish family to which goldfish belong—are intelligent, and can remember areas where food is abundant or regularly provided. (Read about a three-pound goldfish caught in Detroit.)
While they may look dopey gulping at the surface of the water, it has a purpose: To suck down insects and other prey as well as acquire more oxygen.
The cardinal-feeding-goldfish video is not the first record of this kind of behavior.
Robert Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, says that the LIFE Nature Library books from the 1960s ran a black-and-white photograph of a cardinal feeding a goldfish.
As in the 2010 video, “the explanation, as best I can recall, was that it represented redirected parental feeding behavior, perhaps on the part of a bird that recently had lost its own brood,” says Mulvihill.

DUCK, DUCK, GOLDFISH

Interestingly, there are also clips online that seem to show black swans and a baby duckling “feeding” goldfish. But is it the same behavior? (See a picture of a see-through goldfish.)


WHY IS THIS SWAN FEEDING KOI?
Riehl isn’t so sure. She says that newborn cardinal chicks are altricial, which means they're naked, blind, and reliant on their parents for everything.
But most waterfowl young are precocial, which means they're fluffy, open-eyed, and capable of leaving the nest soon after hatching.
So, in theory, waterfowl shouldn’t react to a begging mouth the same way the cardinal does.
J. Dale James, director of conservation science and planning for Ducks Unlimited, seems to agree.
“Both the swans and the duckling look to me to be in a captive type of environment,” says James.
“As such, they are probably eating pellet type foods and it’s not unusual that they dip those in water while eating.”

Just how dangerous is alcohol for your brain?

We are constantly reminded of the dangers of illegal drugs, hearing stories about lengthy prison terms for people caught with even a few grams of cannabis, but alcohol is the drug which the government think it is OK for you to consume.
In actual fact, alcohol does way more damage than marijuana ever could – it is practically impossible to overdose of marijuana yet every week someone dies due to alcohol poisoning.
A 2017 study published in The BMJ has shown just how closely brain problems and drinking alcohol are linked.
The study followed 550 men and women for 30 years, measuring their brain structure and function to determine how alcohol use affects the mind over time.
What they found is that the more people drank, the more atrophy occurred in the brain’s hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure in your brain that plays a role in storing memories.
The highest risk was for people who drank 17 standard drinks or more of alcohol per week. But even people who drank moderately saw an elevated risk for cognitive changes.”

Related:

Alcohol not only had a negative effect on your body, it is one of the worst things you can do to harm your mental health.
Many cases of depression are closely linked with alcohol consumption, as people to drink as a way of escaping, which then leads them into a downward spiral.
One of the benefits people document when they quit drinking is just how clear headed they feel , something they didn’t realize they were missing out on before.
The negative effect drinking even in moderation, alcohol has on the hippocampus is shown to cause problems such a slurred speech, memory problems and even blackouts.
As this study has shown, there are many detrimental long term effects to drinking alcohol, but society seem to have accepted them as drinking alcohol is drug that we are allowed to indulge in.

Nestle CEO makes shocking claim about our human right to water.

Nestle are not known for their human rights ethics, they are infamous for their dealings with palm oil and deforestation and they have been caught out in chocking acts of greed over natural water supplies.
They have been criticized for drying out natural water sources to bottle and sell for profit, while the natural landscape is left to wither and dry up.
Footage has been unearthed of former Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, who makes the disgusting claim that water is ‘not a human right’, in a display which just about sums up the ethos of the company.
Judging by previous scandals, Nestle think that even if you live right next to a natural water source, you should be made to pay for bottle water for the very same source, just because they laid a claim on it.

Related:

In the video he says:
“The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution,”
Nestle did argue that Brabeck-Letmathe meant that he did not agree with people who abuse the natural water supplies and use more than they deserve.
“This human right is the five litres of water we need for our daily hydration and the 25 litres we need for minimum hygiene.
This amount of water is the primary responsibility of every government to make available to every citizen of this world, but this amount of water accounts for 1.5% of the total water which is for all human usage.”
So he thinks that everyone should have right to water unless they abuse it, the words pot and kettle spring to mind.
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