Spinach Lasagna Rolls

We are continuing on our Meatless Monday adventure.  I hope you have taken a little time to investigate the advantages of Meatless Monday.  (Check out my Tomato Pie recipe for more information about Meatless Monday).  This week we created Spinach Lasagna Rolls.  This is a perfect meal for family dinners or sharing with others.  Use your favorite spaghetti sauce to give this meal the perfect kick. Our Meatless Monday was completed with steamed broccoli and a mixed salad.  Go Meatless once a week!- Amanda

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

9 lasagna noodles, cooked

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained

15 oz fat free ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

salt and fresh pepper

28 oz spaghetti sauce (use your favorite)

1 cup shredded skim mozzarella cheese

Combine spinach, ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Dry the lasagna noodles.  Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.  Makes nine rolls.

Pour remaining sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top evenly with mozzarella cheese. Cover baking dish with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Sauce should be bubbly and cheese melted.

Our First Meatless Monday: Tomato Pie

Yesterday was Earth Day.  William and I read an article about Meatless Monday.  The article was very convincing and my six-year-old declared our family needed to take the challenge.  So, here it is Monday evening and I’m proud to say that we met the challenge.  I know you may have a few questions.  There is a ton of great information you can find about Meatless Monday but I answered the top two questions:
Why Meatless?: Going meatless once a week can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
Why Monday?: For most Americans the week begins on Monday. On Monday we move from the freedom of the weekend back to the structure of work or school. We set our intentions for the next six days. We plan ahead and evaluate progress. Studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health.  Monday is the call to action built in to every calendar each week. And if this Monday passes you by, next week is another chance to go meatless!
Our first Meatless Monday dinner was fun.  I whipped up Tomato Pie, sautéed asparagus, and a fresh mixed green salad.  I’m thinking going meatless once a week is an easy challenge. Will you give Meatless Monday a try?–Amanda

Tomato Pie

3 ripe tomatoes, sliced

1 (9-inch) unbaked refrigerated piecrust



Italian seasoning

dried basil

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 C mayo (I used light Hellmann’s)

1 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated

3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly (garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and turn down to 325 for baking.  Drain sliced tomatoes on paper towels for 15 minutes.  Roll piecrust out on baking pie plate.  Pinch crust to sides and work out all air bubbles.  Poke a few small holes into crust and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove crust and let cool.

Cover bottom of pie crust with the tomato slices.  Cover tomatoes with chopped green onions.  Sprinkle liberally with seasonings, salt, and pepper.  In a small container, stir mayo and cheese.  Spread mixture over layers.  Use Roma tomatoes as top layer, slightly overlap tomatoes to create complete layer.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and bubbly.  Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of basil.

If you want meat, this meal can accompany any chicken or beef dish.  Another idea, add 6 strips of cook, crumbled bacon.

You can always add different types of cheeses or different types of veggies.  If you decided to use red onions or bell peppers, sauté them first.

The Giant Cookie Cake

I love to celebrate!  It is usually not too hard to find a reason for a celebration.  In our house, we celebrate “half” birthdays.  This week we celebrated William’s half birthday.  I wanted to make something new and tasty.  He recently discovered The Great American Cookie Company and told us about the amazing cookie cakes this place creates.  I’m a bit competitive and did not want my son to think this cookie company had anything over his mommy!  Well folks, let’s just say I impressed the whole house with my own Giant Cookie Cake. (No hard feelings cookie company!)  The boys approved this dessert and continued to support it for breakfast!  It is super easy and delicious!  Happy Half Birthday, sweet boy!- Love, Mommy

The Giant Cookie Cake

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

With a mixer in a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently add chocolate chips.  (you can get crazy with it and add M&Ms, nuts, or white chocolate chips too).
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Press the cookie into a circle or desired shape.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes until the cookie is lightly golden brown. Let the cookie cool completely on the baking pan. Once the cookie is cool, use icing to add decor.

Salmon and Rosemary

We all know how nutritious salmon is for your body.  It is full of brain food and a healthy option.  Don’t be nervous about cooking fish at home.  As I have confessed before, I was intimidated by fish.  The secret is finding a great fish market and using fresh ingredients.  This particular dish, Salmon and Rosemary, is a favorite in our house.  William loves this meal and has no trouble cleaning his plate.  I have adapted this recipe from The South Beach Diet.  We all know that only means good things!  Serve it up with sautéed zucchini and a green salad.  Enjoy some tasty brain food!- Amanda

Salmon and Rosemary

1 pound salmon (I use Wild Alaskan)

1 T olive oil

2 t fresh lemon juice

1/4 t kosher salt

1/8 black pepper, freshly ground

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 t fresh rosemary, chopped (cut from my herb garden)

Cut the salmon into 4 equal-size portions.  Coat oven dish with olive oil.  Place salmon pieces in oven dish.  Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary in a bowl.  Brush the mixture onto the fish.

Bake salmon at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  If your salmon pieces are thick, make sure they are fully cooked.

Lesley’s Deviled Eggs

This past week I spent time with my family.  We all love to gather around the table for yummy meals and then debrief in the kitchen.  My sister, Lesley, has taken over the responsibility of making deviled eggs.  This trade was taught by my mom and Lesley has mastered her skill.  In the south we know that deviled eggs are not just for Easter.  They are the perfect addition to any brunch, party, or special occasion.  I’m excited to share Lesley’s recipe as only she could write it!

Lesley’s Deviled Eggs

1 dozen eggs, boiled
3 T yellow mustard
1/2 cup mayo

Peel egg shells from all eggs. Cut eggs long ways and empty yolk into a small bowl.  In a food processor blend yolks, mustard, and mayo until creamy.  You may alter the taste by adding more mustard or mayo.

After you are done blending, you want to get all that yummy goodness into the center of your egg.

A couple of options: first one, my favorite, is using the accent decorator from pampered chef. Put the yummy goodness that you have blended into the decorator and it will squirt it mess free into your egg.

The second option is putting the yummy goodness into a ziploc bag, and cutting one corner off at the bottom and then squirting it into the egg.

Both will limit the time and mess of your creation.

After finishing the eggs, it’s a great idea to sprinkle with paprika for some color and a little taste.

Chicken and Spinach Shells

I was in a pasta mood.  I needed a meal that would cure my craving and be healthy.  This dish controls the amount of pasta you use and adds fabulous ingredients that don’t leave you with guilt.  It’s simple and healthy.  I whipped up these chicken and spinach shells without much thought.  It has a tasty hit and has been requested in the future.     Enjoy!- AF

Chicken and Spinach Shells

12 jumbo pasta shells

1 1/2 cup pasta sauce

2 large egg whites, gently beaten

1 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced

1 cup frozen spinach (chopped) thawed (drain all excess water)

2 t garlic powder

1 T oregano

1 T chopped basil

1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook shells in boiling water according to the directions on box.
Rinse with cold water and set aside for later use.
Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Pasta shell filling: Stir together egg whites, ricotta, chicken, spinach, garlic powder, basil, and oregano. Stir in 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
Fill each shell with mixture and place filled shells in the baking dish on top of the sauce. Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.