Tag Archives: ricotta cheese

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!


Asparagus, Potato, and Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese

2 Mar
Asparagus, Potato, and Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese

Asparagus, Potato, and Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese

My husband really does cook a lot in this household. The problem is, whenever he cooks, I’m usually off and about doing other things since I don’t have to cook that night, so don’t get the photos or the recipe or method he used. Last night however, I hovered around him, took a few photos, helped out a tad, and probably made him a little irritated with my cooking opinions. He’s made asparagus soup for us before, but this time he added some different ingredients that I felt made it worth a new post. He also cooked the turkey broth base from scratch! OK that was one thing I did help him with. I’m the queen of broth-makers, and had to make sure it was done right. (Although in reality it’s hard to mess it up at all, hmmm.) Nonetheless, this was a satisfying meal and the Ricotta cheese really gave the cream base a nice flavor that prevented it from tasting too floury. He made my Spinach Lasagna the other night, and had leftover Ricotta cheese he wanted to use. Also fresh early spring asparagus has started showing up in the stores and he had bought some of that. Then we had a leftover roasted chicken breast from the night before. He did some interwebz searches, and this is what he came up with. Thumbs up, hubby!

Asparagus, Potato, and Chicken Soup with Ricotta Cheese

1 pound asparagus, woody stems removed, tips cut off and reserved
4 to 6 cups chicken or turkey broth, homemade or low-sodium
1/2 cup diced onion
3 cups diced potatoes
1 cup low-fat Ricotta cheese
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 tablespoon real bacon bits, optional
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt to taste, optional
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
Shredded Parmesan for garnish, optional

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, add the broth and asparagus (minus tips) and onions and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, until asparagus is very soft. Meanwhile parboil the diced potatoes in another pot for about 10 minutes, drain, and set aside. Using tongs, remove half of the asparagus to a large blender or food processor and puree with about a cup of the broth and the 1 cup of Ricotta cheese. Pour mixture back into pot, then remove the rest of the asparagus and some of the liquid and blend again. Pour that back into the pot and add the reserved potatoes and asparagus tips, shredded chicken, bacon bits (optional), black pepper, and salt to taste.  In a small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together then slowly pour into the soup. Mix well and bring up to a low simmer again, and heat through about 10 or 15 minutes. Serve with warm French bread and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

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.

Easy Low-Cal Spinach Lasagna – A Hit with the Family!

13 Apr
Plated Spinach Lasagna

Voila! Plated Spinach Lasagna

So where have I been since Easter Sunday, you ask? (OK, maybe not…lol) Well I have been sipping supper through a straw the past several days after having my tongue biopsied for a “suspicious” white patch under my tongue. NOT something I would EVER put on my bucket list of things to do again, that I can tell you. Thankfully tongues are quick to heal, and after a couple of days of excruciating pain, (mitigated by one day of happy pills – blech, do not like taking those…) I am once again on the road to recovery. Still waiting on biopsy results, but I’m pretty sure they’ll come back OK, both the dentist and oral surgeon said they were not alarmed but thought with my recent bout of skin cancer it better get checked out.

Chopped Spinach and Mozzarella

Chopped Spinach and Mozzarella, ready for the rest of it...

I still need to eat fairly soft foods, so thought a spinach lasagna would do well for me if I ate teeny bites on one side of my mouth. The thing is, I had to work at the office today so I strategically planned this all out. I stopped by the store on the way home and bought a few items I would need to add to what I had in the fridge and pantry, then set to it straight away when I got home. One of my strategies was to try the no-boil noodle method, and I’m not talking buying the no-boil noodles, but using the dried regular ones straight out of the box.  It was a fantastic hit with the family, and my daughter had a friend over spending the night and she also approved! I was very happy with how this turned out, and it’s a low-cal version too! Great flavor, great texture, great all the way around.

Low-Cal Spinach Lasagna

1/2 pound lean burger
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, finely diced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Black pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb
1 1/2 jars of spaghetti sauce, (32 oz.) any kind, or homemade
2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup skim milk Ricotta cheese
2 eggs, whisked in a cup or bowl
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 0z. dried lasagna noodles
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Pizza blend cheese

Cooked Lasagna

Cooked Lasagna

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (I did 370 due to high altitude, I was worried about the noodles not cooking all the way.) In a large saucepan, brown the burger with the mushrooms, onion, garlic, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Drain off any fat and add the spaghetti sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, add the Mozzarella, chopped spinach, cottage and Ricotta cheeses, whisked egg, and garlic powder. Mix well. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan with half the noodles. Spread half the sauce over the noodles. Next spread all of the cheese spinach mixture over that. Place another layer of noodles on top of that then spread the rest of the meat sauce over. Pour the half cup of water over the lasagna and around the edges then swirl the pan around to make sure it gets spread evenly underneath. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven, remove the foil, and sprinkle the last two cheeses over top. Return to oven uncovered until the cheese melts, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then dig in!

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