Vegetarian Lasagna Roll Ups

Cooking together keeps you together.

Not only is this true for us because we love food, but also it brings us together [real time to just relax], allows us to learn from each other [you bake that in what? you clean up the dishes as you go?!] and create together!  So much goodness can come from a meal together.

This time around, I led more in the kitchen, which seems to happen when I find the reciepe and really want to impress D! We tried a failry simple and typical pasta dish with a twist – - roll ups! They were delicious and kept very easily! D even recommended storing these suckers in the freezer for homeade lean-cuisines! He’s always thinking.

Pictures to get your mouth watering // Recipe below!

BoilingMushroomsSpinachIngredientsLasagna PrepLasagna RollsLasagna Nom

Ingredients: just enough for 10 noodles

  • 1 lb. lasagna noodles
  • 15 oz. ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (substituted with a 5-cheese blend)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 lg. egg
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach
  • 2½ cups marinara and/or alfredo sauce
  • to taste salt and pepper
  • as needed non-stick spray
  • 3 portabella mushrooms (because they make everything better)

Directions:

1. Get a large pot of water boiling with a dash or two of salt. When it comes to a full boil, add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente (soft but not soggy… about 12-15 minutes). When they are finished cooking, drain in a colander.

2. While the noodles are boiling, prepare the filling. Thaw the package of frozen spinach in the microwave and then squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Combine the spinach in a bowl with the cheeses, egg, freshly grated pepper and about ¼ tsp of salt. Mix until well combined. Don’t forget the salt in this mixture! [Rookie mistake.]

3.  When the noodles and filling are ready to go, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a glass casserole dish by spraying with non-stick spray.

4. On a clean surface, lay out a few noodles at a time. Place a few tablespoons of filling on each noodle and spread to cover from edge to edge. The filling does not need to be thick because once the noodle is rolled up, it will be compounded. Make sure to spread it all the way to the edges of the noodles.

5. Roll the noodles up and place in the prepared casserole dish. Repeat until all of your filling is gone (there may be some noodles left over, these are “back ups” in case any of the others rip during assembly). Pour the marinara sauce over the rolled noodles making sure to cover all surfaces. The sauce will keep the noodles hydrated and soft while baking.

6. Cover the dish in foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot or divide into individual portions and refrigerate.

Knowledge Nugget // Happiness

You can’t find your happiness in another person. Thanks, captain obvious.

Whether you are someone in a new relationship, one who has had a lack of previous relationships or a plethora of failed relationships, this common sense statement is a good reminder.

D recently read an article [[ I Didn’t Love My Wife When I Married Her ]] and this idea was brought back to my attention. Someone else can make you very happy, feel complete, and want to spend every moment with them, but happiness is much more than the “emotional fire” Elad Nehorai talks about in the article. Basically, “…love isn’t an emotion. That fire I felt, it was simply that: emotional fire. From the excitement of dating a woman I felt like I could marry. But it wasn’t love. No, love isn’t an emotion or even a noun. It’s a verb. Better defined as giving. As putting someone else’s needs above your own.” Being happy and in love makes you crazy for a time, the best kind of crazy! It’s that crazy that makes you realize you’ve found your match. It’s a reminder to daily love the one who loved us first & put your happiness in Him! He loves us beyond all measure or mistake or accomplishment or relationship. When we serve our loved ones and those around us, it is a reflection of that love we have recieved. Everything falls into place when we “do” love.

One thing you may not know about me… I love Relevant Magazine. I get weekly emails from the publication, and it is the ONE email I always keep after my daily dumping of emails I’ve regretably signed up for. [[ Side note: yes, I should unsubscribe, but for some reason it seems easier to just continually delete. What if I do miss something? I mean, I did originally sign up for it at one point!? Honestly, I'm just overwhelmed and do my best to keep it as organized as I can without having to compeltely start fresh. ]] Back to my point… they posted an article about 20 things to know before you’re 30. In a search to continaully love one another and keep ourselves healthy, happy and on the right path, these reminders were much welcomed.

Here ends your dose of article love.

E

Spaghetti Squash

… is BOSS! I was beyond entertained and fascinated with this vegetable’s innards. While still new to the cooking world and this being my first experience with the yellow mammoth, I was hopeful this process would go smoothly after reading a few how-to’s. Fingers crosssed because D and I had to eat whatever was created as a result of our foodie adventure!

Well, not only was it a piece of cake to bake , but I had so much fun ripping this thing apart! It’s amazing how many small strands make up the entirety of this large veggie. So large we only ate one side! I had leftovers (that were only baked in the oven and shredded) ready to cook up when I wanted! It lasted in the fridge for a few days inside a container.

While this may look like spaghetti and call itself spaghetti, don’t let it fool you. It defniitely has a different texture: more coarse. I’m a full-blooded-pasta-all-the-time-if-I-could kinda girl, so I was worried that would be a deal breaker; although, it’s just the right mixture… soft and squishy with a slight crispy bite. I’m very happy to be branching out, enjoying new foods and making edible things (go emma!), where convenience usually came first.

Get to cooking – - step-by-step pictures & full recipe below!

Prep SqaushPoke holes all over the squash to relesae any tension while baking & allow steam to exit.Open Squash

Once it has baked for one hour, cut it in half with a serrated knife.

Gut SquashScoop out the seeds inside and discard.

Fork SquashTake a fork and scratch the edges to make spaghettis!

Saute Squash

Sauté your portion in butter/olive oil, spices, cheese, and anything else your heart desires!

Eat Squash

Say a little prayer and dig in.

Squash

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti Squash

Mushrooms

Spices of choice

Olive Oil/Butter

Directions: (for the not so visual learners…)

1. Look for a mature spaghetti squash with a light yellow skin & purchase!

2. Poke holes all over the squash to relieve pressure.

3. Bake for an hour @ 350 degrees and do something productive on top of the productiveness you are already achieving, cooking. (I took this time to clean out my mess of a closet after my recent move!)

4. Cut the squash in half length-wise. If the skin is still tough, bake it a little bit longer.

5. Scoop out all the seeds and junk in the middle area of each side.

6. Take a fork and scrape down the edges of the squash to create spaghetti.

7. Saute what you want in a saucepan with butter or olive oil, spices, & parmesean cheese! I added mushrooms to the mix & included oregano & basil.

8. Pour yourself a glass of wine and dive in!

photo credit :: E – iPhone 4S