Monday, September 13, 2010

Garden Party at the Costellos

Retro outdoor table we picked up at Now and Again

The other night we invited some new friends over for a little outdoor dinner.  We love entertaining guests, I love cooking, and late summertime in Salt Lake City provides the perfect weather for an outdoor meal.  On the menu was spinach salad, polenta lasagna (and a side of chicken for the omnivores), chocolate pudding, and some lovely red wine to enjoy. Here are some pictures from the evening and a recipe below.

Spinach salad with cranberries, hazelnuts, feta, and local raspberry vinaigrette

the Chef

Garlic and basil I used from the garden

Mushroom, kale, and polenta lasagna (recipe below)

Chocolate pudding with hemp milk, strawberries, and toasted hazelnuts 

MKP Lasagna (modified from recipe at
1 18-ounce package prepared polenta cut into 18 slices
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 large portabella mushroom, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups, chopped)
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 bunch kale (about 8 ounces after trimming), chopped into bite-sized pieces and center rib removed (may substitute spinach or other greens)
1 tablespoon fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce 
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
vegan parmesan (nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt)

"Cheese" sauce:
1/2 cup tempeh

1/2 cup unsweetened rice milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. potato starch

Preheat oven to 250° F.  Place the cheese sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth.  Set aside.  Sauté the onions and portabellas in a non-stick skillet until the mushrooms begin to exude their juices.  Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.  Add the kale, basil, and 1/4 cup water.  Sauté until the kale is wilted and tender and the water has evaporated.  Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from the heat.  Cut the polenta into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Line the bottom of the baking dish with half of the slices.  Spread 3/4 cup of the marinara sauce over the polenta, and then spread the kale mixture over the sauce.  Sprinkle the chopped olives over the kale and top with the remaining polenta.  Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the top and sprinkle with vegan parmesan.  Bake for 60 minutes and enjoy!


  1. I just copied and printed these recipes!

    And I see that pretty Bergstrom crest... even from here.:)

  2. Yes! I use the bottles for flower vases, after the lovely drink is gone. ;-)

  3. This lasagna is amazing! Cooked with love I'm sure!


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