Friday, April 17, 2009

Spinach Lasagna

This is a great make ahead meal. It freezes wonderfully and can be reheated when ever needed. I divide it into two 6 cup casserole dishes which is just enough for one dinner for our family and one to freeze.

Spinach Lasagna

5 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
9 Lasagna Noodles (dried noodles* or fresh uncooked noodles)
1 recipe Marinara Sauce

Spinach Filling
6 cups Spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 Egg
15 oz Ricotta Cheese
¾ cup Parmesan Cheese
¼ tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Bay leafs
Cook spinach in a large pan over med heat until most of the water is out. Mix together the spinach and the other filling ingredients. 
In a dish layer Sauce, noodles, filling, and cheese. Make 2 layers end with a layer of noodles, sauce, and top with the remaining cheese. 
To bake cover with foil and Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
Freezing and Reheating
Prepare as above in a glass dish but do not bake. Cover tightly and freeze. Cook 450° for 50 min.

*I do not precook my dried noodles. I prepare the lasagna as directed and then bake covered with foil for the entire cook time. I then leave the lasagna covered for 10 min after removing it from the oven.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo

Make this basic sauce and then add you favorite spices, herbs, or veggies. I have included three of my favorite variations.

Fettuccine Alfredo
1 ¼ cup Cream

4 tbs Butter

¾ cup Parmesan Cheese

½ teaspoon Nutmeg

1 ½ cup Fettuccine Pasta

Cook pasta in a large pan according to package directions.

Heat cream and butter in pan and bring to a light boil stir frequently. Add Parmesan and nutmeg to cream and stir until cheese is melted. Mix pasta and cream sauce.

Serve with a salad and Garlic Bread

Zucchini Fettuccine

Slice one zucchini into long thin slices, like fettuccine pasta.

Cook zucchini in a pan with 1/2 tablespoon little butter, add to the cream with pasta.

Lemon Peas Fettuccine

Boil 3/4 cup peas in a small amount of water for about 5 minutes, or add to pasta while cooking. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the cream sauce with the nutmeg.

Garlic Fettuccine
Saute 2 cloves crushed garlic in 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add cream to sauteed garlic and follow above directions.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Garlic Bread

1/2 loaf French Bread cut into thick slices
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Melt butter and mix in garlic powder. Let butter mixture sit until slightly hardened but still spreadable, can be placed in the fridge to quicken the process. Spread butter mixture on each slice of bread. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Cook bread at 350° for 15 min until top is lightly browned.

Pizza Salad

Pizza is always enjoyed by kids. With this pizza you know they are getting a good amount of veggies. I will chop the veggies very fine so they are so mixed in the cheese that the kids hardly know anything else is on it.

Pizza Salad
1 recipe Pizza Crust

1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 clove Garlic crushed
1 ½ tsp Ranch Mix

Suggested veggies for toppings. Use whatever veggies you enjoy on your salads.
1 cup fresh Spinach
2 cups Cheese
1 Carrot
¼ cup Broccoli
1 Bell Pepper
1/2 Tomato
1 celery stalk
1 Squash or Zucchini
1 Cucumber

Shape pizza crust to desired size and thickness. Sprinkle a little corn meal on the baking stone and then place the dough over the corn meal. Brush pizza crust with olive oil.

Make sauce by mixing the mayonnaise, garlic, and ranch mix.
Chop up veggies and grate the cheese.
Spread sauce on crust. Lay spinach leaves in a single layer over the sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the spinach then spread the rest of the veggies over the cheese.
Bake at 350° for 15-20 min.

Ranch Mix

Use this mix as a replacement in any recipe that calls for a dry ranch mix. For a quick dressing I just mix a small amount of milk with mayonnaise and sprinkle in mix tell desired taste and texture. The other day I used it as my seasoning one kale chips instead of salt or sprinkled on popcorn with butter. Or mix it in to sour cream, mayonnaise, hummus, or cream cheese for a quick veggie dip. I use it anytime I think a ranch flavor would be good.

Ranch Mix
4 teaspoon Parsley
2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black or Lemon Pepper
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Dill Weed

Mix together all ingredients and
store in an airtight spice container.

Salad Dressing
Mix ¼ cup milk with ½ tablespoon vinegar. Let sit for 10 min.
Or use 1/4 cup buttermilk instead of the milk and vinegar
Whisk ½ cup mayonnaise with milk or buttermilk until smooth.
Mix 2 tsp ranch mix with mayonnaise mixture.
Store in refrigerator in am airtight container for up to a week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rice and Bean Skillet

I love this because it is so easy to put together. Serve with homemade tortillas and freshly sliced avocado.

Rice and Bean Skillet

1 Pepper

3 gloves Garlic

1 small Onion

1 tablespoon Olive oil

2 cups diced tomatoes or one 14 oz can Diced Tomatoes

2 cups Black Beans

2 cups Water

1 cup Rice

1 tablespoon Cilantro

2 cups Cheese

Chop peppers, garlic and onion into small pieces. Sauté peppers and onion in olive oil over med high heat. Cook until onion is translucent add the garlic and saute for about 1 more min. Add diced tomatoes, black beans and water, bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Stir in rice, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 min, stir occasionally while simmering. When rice is done and most of the moisture is gone remove the pan from heat. Mix in the cilantro then top with the cheese. Place the cover back on the pan and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm.