By Sandi Moynihan
With Thanksgiving a few days away, we’re kicking off our Combat Cooking series with this tasty lasagna roll-up recipe created by USO Camp Arifjan volunteer Army Sgt. Jamie Reed. Reed, who hails from Oregon but is stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., frequently volunteers her culinary skills at USO Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.
“I love cooking,” Reed said. “I love to try to do new recipes, try new things, experiment.
“For these moments while we’re back here and we’re helping bake [and cook], it almost feels like you’re at home [and not deployed]. Like it’s normal.”
In particular, Reed enjoys baking brownies, cookies and other sweet treats for center patrons, although she has recently started to cook more savory items, like these lasagna roll-ups.
“I think baking is easier out here just because all we have is the oven and then individual appliances, but we always make it work,” Reed said.
Because USO Camp Arifjan doesn’t have a full kitchen, Reed says she often has to get creative with cooking techniques while cooking at the center. A few of her tricks to include boiling water in the microwave and cooking items at low temperatures for long periods of time.
“You learn. You figure out what works and what doesn’t work,” Reed said.
No matter how the dishes from USO Camp Arifjan come together, Reed says there’s never any complaints from the patrons who eat them.
“Homemade goods are like one of the most highly coveted things when you’re deployed, because it reminds you of home.”
While this vegetarian recipe looks gourmet, rest assured, it is extremely easy and fast to whip together. From start to finish, the entire dish took Reed around 30 minutes to prepare and about 40 minutes to cook.
The USO Camp Arifjan staff was able to easily find all the ingredients at a grocery store in nearby Kuwait City for less than $20. Considering this recipe feeds 8-10 people, this is would be a great meatless Monday dinner option for a family on a budget.
With all that in mind, happy cooking!