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Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

3 Apr
Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

About everyone and their brother has made this and posted it on Pinterest, BUT not everyone has made it with Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce! Paul whipped up another big batch of his sauce the other night, and I took the liberty of crafting these cute lasagna roll ups before the sauce got all bagged up for the freezer. Recipe here.

I do have a complaint of about 90% of the recipes I looked at. Most of them said to use 2 tablespoons of filling for each noodle. No-way, no-how would 2 tablespoons cover a lasagna noodle. I used at least 1/4 cup for each noodle before rolling them up. Just don’t roll them until you’ve exhausted all the filling, then you can rob Peter to pay Paul if the last couple of noodles are shy of filling.

Spinach Cheese Mixture Spread on Lasagna Noodles

Spinach Cheese Mixture Spread on Lasagna Noodles

Cooking a lasagna this way isn’t necessarily a time-saver, but you do end up with an easy way to package and store leftovers for the freezer. My husband said “This is really good!” so I gathered he liked this version of lasagna. So did my daughter, but she wasn’t very hungry and only ate one. More for the freezer!

NOTE: This can be made vegetarian by subbing in a marinara sauce for the meaty spaghetti sauce.

p.s. I’m traveling out of town this weekend to meet up with about 15 wild and crazy friends, so there will be no weekend post.

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

12 uncooked lasagna noodles
3 cups Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce, or other prepared sauce
1 15-ounce container Ricotta cheese
2/3 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2 teaspoons minced garlic
10-ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, beaten
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella, for topping
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, for topping

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups Ready to Bake

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups Ready to Bake

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the noodles to al dente according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, combine the Ricotta, garlic, spinach, egg, pepper, salt or Mrs. Dash, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl.

When the noodles are done, drain the noodles, let cool a bit, pat dry with paper towels, then lay them on parchment or wax paper in a single layer.

Spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking pan. Spread 1/4 cup or so of the cheese and spinach mixture onto each lasagna noodle. Roll the noodles and place seam-side-down into the pan.

Pour 2 cups of spaghetti sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top each roll with 1 tablespoon of Mozzarella and 1 teaspoon of Parmesan, then cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, uncover and turn on the broiler. Broil for about 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green side salad and garlic bread. You can freeze the remaining roll ups in Ziploc bags for a quick and easy future meal!

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

21 Mar
Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

If you have some yummy spaghetti sauce on hand and want to make something different than plain ol’ spaghetti, this is a winning recipe! It’s not overly difficult to make (aside from stuffing those pesky shells) and makes a really nice meal that has all your veggies in it!

I pretty much used my recipe for my Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups, but just changed some of the cheese amounts. I feel pretty proud of this recipe, as all the online versions I found for it made anywhere from 24 to 30 shells — way more than I wanted! I went with my gut feeling, and figured 16 shells would do the trick with the amount of stuffing I use for my roll-ups. I was SPOT ON! Woo hoo! I served this with green salad and baked garlic bread. We ate half one night, then finished the other half the next, but you can freeze the leftovers if you want.

Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

16 uncooked Jumbo shell pasta
3 cups Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce, or other prepared sauce
1 15-ounce container Ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella (I used a block of low-fat and shredded it with a grater)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2 teaspoons minced garlic
10-ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, beaten
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Additional shredded Mozzarella, for topping

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the noodles to al dente according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, combine the Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, spinach, egg, pepper, salt or Mrs. Dash, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Stuffed Pasta Ingredients Ready to Mix

Stuffed Pasta Ingredients Ready to Mix

When the noodles are done, drain the noodles, let cool a bit, then lay them on parchment or wax paper in a single layer.

Cooked Pasta Shells

Cooked Pasta Shells

Spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish. Stuff 1/4 cup or so of the cheese and spinach mixture into each pasta shell and place into the dish.

Stuffed Shells Wanting Sauce and Cheese

Stuffed Shells Wanting Sauce and Cheese

Pour 2 cups of spaghetti sauce over the stuffed shells. Grate additional mozzarella cheese over the top of the shells, then cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and turn on the broiler. Broil for about 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Stuffed Shells Ready to Cook

Stuffed Shells Ready to Cook

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green side salad and garlic bread. You can freeze the remaining shells in Ziploc bags for a quick and easy future meal. My family loved this so much we ate the rest of it up the next day!

p.s. (Please let me indulge you with photos of my daughter’s rose she got at her dance team’s end-of-year potluck celebration! That was a long journey to get through dance season with the football and basketball schedules!)

Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese2

Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

5 Nov
Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll with Hasselback Potatoes

As I was preparing this, my husband asked what I was making and when I told him, he called his buddy up and told him he was going to forgo watching Monday Night Football with him because “my wife is cooking this incredibly great-looking meal!” Now how nice is that? Of course, that did make me a little nervous as I pretty much made this up and winged it. You see, I made spinach lasagna the other night (recipe here) and I had the remainder of the ricotta cheese tub left over. That stuff is expensive, and the prior time I made lasagna it went bad in the fridge so I wanted to come up with something that used ricotta. But I also didn’t want it to be an Italian dish since we just had the lasagna.  I searched for spinach ricotta inspired meals, and found an old recipe that stuffed it into meatloaf but called for BBQ sauce both in it and on top. For some reason that grossed me out but it did give me the inspiration to stuff my mom’s meatloaf instead. I also wanted this dish to be as little on the spicy side, so added Cajun seasoning to the meatloaf, and added crushed red pepper to the spinach. Lastly, I took the opportunity to make Hasselback potatoes for the first time since I had a bunch of room leftover on the baking sheet. The verdict? Another keeper recipe to put into rotation, yeah!!!

Spinach Ricotta Meatloaf Roll

1 meatloaf recipe, uncooked (I used this one: Mom’s Meatloaf)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup low-fat Ricotta cheese
1 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ketchup
Black pepper

Meatloaf Before Rolling

Meatloaf Before Rolling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread and form the uncooked meatloaf into about a 9 x 13 rectangle on a piece of wax paper or foil on a large baking sheet. I had to use foil because when I went to us the wax paper, there was only a three-inch piece left of it. DOH! Set aside and in a bowl mix the three cheeses. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the meatloaf and set aside again. In a large heated skillet,add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chopped spinach in batches until it starts to wilt and you have room for more. Once all the spinach is in the pan, add the red pepper flakes and stir to combine everything. Pour the spinach mixture into a colander and squeeze as much moisture out of the spinach as you can. I put my hand into a sandwich bag and just pressed down on it real good. Now spread the spinach mixture evenly over the cheese. This next part I had to have my husband help with since two hands are needed and I’m still in a finger splint for several more weeks. Slowly lift the wax paper or foil from the short edge and start rolling the meatloaf like a jelly-roll. When we got just near the end, we turned the meatloaf 180 degrees on the pan so it would fit better.  Spread the ketchup over the top of the roll and grind lots of black pepper over the top. Next prepare the potatoes (recipe below) and add them to the baking sheet. Bake for one hour, then remove and let sit for 10 minutes to firm up the meatloaf. The meatloaf kind of cracked open while cooking so next time I plan on making the initial base size a littler smaller so that the outer layer is thicker.

Hasselback Potatoes

There are so many versions of this recipe out there so this is mine that I cobbled together. The dish is named after the Hasselbacken restaurant in Sweden from whence it was conceived and served. I have no clue how close to the original version mine is.  But they were sure tasty— and pretty!

3 to 4 Russet potatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or substitute
1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 to 3 teaspoons Italian style breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

I pretty much eyeballed all those amounts for the number and size of the potatoes. The measurements don’t have to be exact for this. First, wash and scrub the potatoes. Go find yourself two chopsticks and place them lengthwise on both sides of a potato. Slice the potato thinly down to the chopstick, which will prevent the potato from being cut all the way through. In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and microwave for one minute. Stir to mix well. Baste the butter mixture on top of the potatoes, spreading the slices out and making sure to push the butter in between each slice. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet with the meatloaf and cook as directed above. Since we live at high altitude the potatoes were not quite done when the meatloaf was, so I put them in another pan to cook longer and bumped up the heat while the meatloaf rested. Next time I think I’ll microwave the potatoes for a few minutes to give them a head start.

The Leftovers Dilemma…

7 Aug
Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

This is actually a new post! I started this post about a year ago and shelved it. Since I’m on a somewhat “hiatus” from blogging while packing up to move onto a new house, I thought I’d update this one and finally post it. And here it goes, written a year ago:

Start: “So we are having leftovers from the freezer. Hubby says, “Stop cooking so much, we have too many leftovers!” And I replied, “Now how am I supposed to have a foodie blog without cooking?” Well, the problem is, I grew up in a household of eight, and I don’t know any better. I can’t help it! Food, food, food, and then more food.

We have three in the household. I try to cook for four because that’s just how it works out with standard halving of recipes, but I usually end up cooking for six or eight because, well, I can’t help it. Add more of this, add more of that. Ooooh, I have some of this, just throw that in too. Then you just end up with a lot. For the freezer. We just have to remember to get it OUT of the freezer and actually eat it before it’s that unknown ice-crystal-laden frozen glob of something that may or may not be the leftover spinach lasagna rollups, or is that the chicken enchiladas we made with the red sauce instead of the green sauce last time?” End.

Well that is as far as I got with that post. But I can at least present you with a photo above of  what “said glob” looked like before it went into the freezer…

We are having a garage sale this weekend, so things are moving along pretty quickly with getting moved. We have an arrangement with the owner of the house we are buying to move our stuff into his garage beginning Sept. 1, but we won’t be able to close the loan on the house until mid-October (long story on that one) and we have to be out of our rental by Sept. 12. But my parents have a one-bedroom condo here with a Murphy bed too that they stay in during the summer to escape the Texas heat. They leave on Sept. 20. SOOOO, in order not to be too cramped for those 8 days, my husband and I will be taking a week’s vacation to our river property during that time frame. Our daughter will stay at the condo with our parents since she’ll be in school by that time. Busy times ahead, for sure! I hope you all stick around my blog until we get through this!

OH! Here is a link to the spinach lasagna Roll Ups, in case you missed that post in the past: Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups


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