Spinach Cheese Lasagna

Spinach Cheese Lasagna

The Secret Ingredient is a Superfood!

I love cheese lasagna and so do my kids. I love spinach and so–wait!–DON’T my kids. But my two picky eaters need more veggies! This recipe is so cheesy and saucy that the spinach is practically hidden. Guess what? My picky eaters loved it!

Cook lasagna noodles and set aside.
Mix ricotta cheese with egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and spinach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spread sauce on bottom of pan and then start layering noodles, cheese, spinach and spices.
Layer ricotta/spinach mixture.
Sprinkle mozzarella (and parmesan if using) on top of ricotta/spinach mixture. Sprinkle spices on top of that.
Keep layering until almost at top of baking dish, ending with mozzarella cheese and spices. Bake.

Spinach Cheese Lasagna

Ingredients:

–1 pound lasagna noodles

–1 pound chopped, cooked spinach, drained thoroughly to prevent lasagna from becoming too soupy. (I used frozen spinach but will try steaming and draining fresh spinach next time.)

–15 ounces ricotta cheese

–1 egg

–salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

–1 (28 ounce) jar tomato sauce

–1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

–1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, optional

–dried basil, oregano, and parsley to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9″ x 13″ metal or glass baking pan by spraying with non-stick spray or brushing with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles as per directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Place ricotta cheese in a large bowl and add egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix in chopped spinach.
  4. Spread a light layer of sauce on bottom of baking pan. Lay out noodles to cover bottom of dish. I overlapped 4 noodles but next time will do the math and will overlap 5 or 6 noodles in each layer. (# total noodles divided by # layers = how many noodles to overlap in each layer.)
  5. Layer like this:

    Overlap noodles.

    Spread light layer of sauce over noodles.

    Spread ricotta/spinach mixture over sauce.

    Sprinkle shredded mozzarella (and parmesan cheese) over ricotta/spinach mixture. Sprinkle, basil, oregano and parsley on top.

    Repeat until dish is almost full.

  6. Top layer should be noodles, sauce and shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle with spices to taste.
  7. Loosely cover with foil. Tip: spray side of foil touching cheese with non-stick spray.
  8. Bake approximately 40 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into and serving.

Yield: Approximately 10-12 servings.

Tip: Lasagna freezes well. I made two whole lasagnas: one for now and one to freeze.

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Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

I made this delicious dish a long time ago and wanted to make it again many times, but I couldn’t find the recipe. (I didn’t trust myself to make it from memory). When I finally organized cut-outs from newspapers, chicken-scratched napkins, and a ton of loose recipes, I found it.  Yay!  It takes some patience, but it’s worth it.

Happy cooking, hon.

Layer potatoes in a spiral.
Slowly cook potatoes until well browned.

  Ingredients:

2 pounds (about 3 medium) potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly

1 Tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

Freshly ground nutmeg

Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

Salt

Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pat potatoes dry if very starchy or moist. In a sauté pan large enough to fit potato slices in just two layers, spread 1 tablespoon oil with and sprinkle with nutmeg and pepper to taste. Starting in center, arrange potato slices in a closely overlapping, attractive spiral. When pan is filled, repeat to make second layer.
  2. Place pan over medium heat and cover. Slowly cook potatoes until well browned on underside, about 15 minutes, occasionally shaking pan gently to avoid sticking. Wipe inside of lid as needed to keep it dry.
  3. Press potatoes down with a flat spatula and remove from heat. Place a larger platter over pan and flip it upside down, transferring potatoes to the platter. Check pan to make sure it is clean and has enough oil to keep potatoes from sticking.
  4. Slide galette, raw side down, back into pan, and return to medium heat. Cover and cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a persillade by combining parsley and garlic in a small bowl. To serve, slide galette onto a serving platter, season to taste with salt, and garnish with persillade or thyme.

Yield: 4 servings.

Source: “A Culinary Journey in Gascony” by Kate Hill

 

 

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas
Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Winter puts me in the mood for hearty soups, and this one is practically a meal. Serve it as a soup or over quinoa, brown rice or polenta. Yum.

Happy cooking and stay warm, hon!

ITALIAN STEW with WINTER SQAUSH and CHICKPEAS

3 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

2 cups diced peeled butternut squash (I substituted yellow squash)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced bell peppers (optional)

5 cups chopped kale (see note)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook the onions and salt in the oil, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to caramelize, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, coriander, thyme, and black pepper and stir for a minute. Stir in the water, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in the basil and vinegar.

Note: About 1 pound of kale will yield 5 cups sorted (discard yellow or wilted leaves and large center stems), stemmed, and chopped kale.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings or about 8 cups

Coq au Vin Blanc (Chicken in White Wine)

Coq au Vin Blanc
Coq au Vin Blanc

IMG_8948

 

 

 

 

Whenever I receive a William-Sonoma catalog, I study the dishes displayed in the dishes! Coq au Vin is “typically cooked with red wine, traditionally a bottle of Burgundy.” Williams-Sonoma changed this French recipe by calling for a dry white wine. Here’s my take on it:

Ingredients:
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine
5 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, plus 2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg) whole chicken legs (I used chicken breasts.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. (500 g) small white button mushrooms (I didn’t add mushrooms.)
3/4 lb. (375 g) shallots, peeled and quartered
3 Tbs. unsalted butter (I used margarine.)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry sherry
1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) chicken broth
3/4 lb. (375 g) small baby carrots, peeled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. In a large saucepan over high heat, boil the wine until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make a bouquet garni: Using a piece of kitchen twine, tie together the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Set aside.

4. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Set the pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the chicken, turning once, until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

5. Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pan. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms and shallots to a bowl and set aside.

6. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Whisk in the reduced wine and the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken, mushroom mixture, carrots and bouquet garni. Cover, transfer to the oven and braise until the chicken is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

7. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Using a large spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the liquid. Set the pan over medium-high heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the pan. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4 to

Hearty Tomato Soup

Hearty Tomato Soup
Hearty Tomato Soup.
Gather ingredients.
Gather ingredients.
Puree in blender.
Puree in blender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearty Tomato Soup

I love a hearty, healthy soup and this delicious recipe is both. A food processor will make easy work of the chopping and grating, although you can certainly prep by hand. At first I used a hand-held blender but, when I didn’t get the right consistency, pureed it in a blender. This soup has body and texture, which is what makes it hearty.

Happy cooking, hon!

Ingredients:

1 small onion. finely chopped

1 small carrot, grated or chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with juice

1 teaspoons chicken soup powder (I used chicken-flavored, parve soup powder.)

1 bay leaf

4 leaves fresh basil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Dried Thyme and Oregano, Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot, saute onion, carrot, garlic and celery in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes with juice, soup powder, bay leaf, basil, thyme and oregano. Bring to a boil and simmer 30-45 minutes.
  3. Puree in blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

Yield:  8-10 servings

Source: Kosher Chic, www.kosherchiccookbook.com

 

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew w/Winter Squash and Chickpeas
Italian Stew w/Winter Squash and Chickpeas

IMG_8995

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Whether you are digging your way out of a blizzard like we are, or are just in the mood for warm soup, this recipe is delicious, hearty and healthy! Shout out to my niece and her hubby who served this at a family gathering. I took one spoonful and said, “Send me the recipe!”

If you have a food processor, it’ll make quick work of the chopping and dicing. One of my daughters and I made this together. We made some for now and some for later so I’m hoping it freezes well.

Happy cooking, hon!

Ingredients:

3 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup diced carrots

2 cups diced, peeled butternut squash

1/2 cup diced bell peppers (optional)

5 cups chopped kale (about 1 pound kale=5 cups sorted, stemmed, chopped kale)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil (I used about 1/2 Tbl dried basil)

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook onions and salt in oil, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to carmelize, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, coriander, thyme, and black pepper, and stir for a minute. Stir in water, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in kale, cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes until greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in basil and vinegar.

Prep Time:  1 hour, Serves:  4-6 cups, Yield:  8 cups

 

Red Wine Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Pearl Onions

Minestrone
Minestrone.

It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving and the winter holidays turn me into a cooking/rearranging/cleaning whirling dervish! I was looking for a new soup recipe when I came across this one in Hadassah Magazine. It accompanied an article about kosher food trucks, specifically The Cinnamon Snail which travels all over the Eastern seaboard. I like the The Cinnamon Snail’s tagline, “Food to Inspire Peace and Bliss.”

If you have a food processor, the chopping and dicing in this recipe will go quickly. The preparation is worth it because this minestrone is tasty.  Happy cooking, hon!

Red Wine Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Pearl Onions

Gather ingredients.
Gather ingredients.
Almost done.
Combine ingredients in a soup pot.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

16 small pearl onions, peeled

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups red wine

1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (juice included)

1 cup ditalini, elbow or small-shell pasta

1 cup drained, rinsed canned pinto beans

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon but I wanted to cut the spiciness. season to your spiciness-taste level)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (I used about a Tablespoon dried basil leaves)

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, chopped (I used about half the bunch)

Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add pearl onions and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and carrot and continue to sauté until vegetables soften slightly, 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, wine and tomatoes, bring to a boil, add pasta and boil until pasta is only partially cooked, 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, basil and Swiss chard and cook until pasta is al dente, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste.

Makes about 3 quarts.

Source: Street Vegan:  Recipes and Dispatches from the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck by Adam Sobel