Thursday, January 26, 2012

Zucchini and Spinach Stuffed Lasagna Rolls

Made this tonight.  Nom.

For years my husband's favorite dinner has been a lasagna recipe that his mom has made since his childhood.  It has been the token birthday/anniversary/pat-on-the-back/i-love-you dinner for the 6 1/2 years we have been together.  We recently have been scaling back the fat content in our diet and I have been cooking all kinds of different things....and have realized that we are actually enjoying the healthy lean dinners way more than the fatty ones I had been making - and we walk away feeling better too, not to mention the scale crying a little more softly when we step on it.  On the first bite of this dish, he decided it could definitely replace his old favorite beef lasagna as a new healthier alternative.

Ok, let's get to it.  These amounts are approximated because I just threw it all into the bowl, but I honestly think you could change things around according to your taste or what you have in your fridge and it'd still end up great.

Zucchini and Spinach Stuffed Lasagna Rolls
serves 8

8 lasagna noodles
1 24 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce (my jar actually only had about 19 or so ounces left in it and was plenty)
1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach (thank you, food processor)
1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided in half
2/3 cup low or fat free mozzerella cheese, divided in half
1/2 of a finely chopped medium zucchini
1/2 cup of mixed chopped fresh red and green bell peppers
1 chopped green onion

Boil the lasagna noodles per the package's instructions.  While noodles boil, chop your veggies put in a medium sized bowl.  Reserving (for topping) half the mozzerella and parmesan cheese, and then enough for a tablespoon of sauce on top of each piece of lasagna (just eyeball it), add all other ingredients to the bowl.  It's so pretty!!!

Until you mix it together...then...not so much.  But we will make it pretty again.

Lay out a dried off (important for rolling bliss) lasagna noodle and spoon on some mixture over it.

Roll it up loosely, and place in a pam sprayed deep baking dish with the end of the roll facing down to keep it in place.

Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of the rolls, and top it off with remaining mozzerella and parmesan.

Bake covered with alluminum foil at 350 for a half hour.  Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. (If using fat-free cheese, remember it doesn't get bubbly and melty like regular cheese).

That's it!

The beginning of a new.......something.

The food-blogging hiatus has ended!!! I phased out of the blogging world for a bit...but I'm back!

I've still been cooking...

Chicken Stuffed Chili

Clone of a Cinnabon rolls (off

Chicken Spaghetti (a recipe I got from my sister)

Rosemary Veggies

Italian Pasta Salad

Nacho Libre Stuffed Peppers (to be eaten with stretchy pants)

Zucchini and Black Bean Enchiladas

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Spinach stuffed Chicken Rollatini (from SO good!)

Cranberry Walnut Swirl Bundt

Trying a new creation tonight...Spinach and Zucchini Lasagna Rolls.  I've been wanting to try a lasagna roll for some time but we aren't big ricotta cheese people over here, so I created my own recipe.  We will see if it passes the test to become blog-worthy :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


This cake. is. YUMMY!

The recipe is not my own.  And it is absolutely HORRIBLE for you.  Probably the wrong cake for me to make the week after I started back to the gym--but it was requested for something, so made it I did!

And it's a bundt! I look for any excuse possible to use the word bundt. 

You can find the recipe HERE-

Please note that because this cake has a high amount of sour cream in it (my husband has decided to call it "the sour cream cake"..which just sounds gross to me) , it's best refrigerated after it comes completely to room temp.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stuffed Green Peppers

I'm trying my hand at gardening this year. I've never had a stuffed pepper, so I thought I'd try my hand at that too. I was pleased with how it turned out! Pardon the presentation--these were plated up quickly! I'm sure you could reserve the pepper tops and make these into a pretty dish.

6 large green bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds out.
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 cup plain cooked brown rice. (I used leftovers in the fridge from stir-fry)
1/2 onion, diced
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
3 TBsp Parmesan cheese
2 TBsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
---please note if you have an Italian seasoning blend, just add 2-3 tsp of it instead of the above 4 ingredients. I had run out so I improvised.-----
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion salt

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 roma tomatoes, sliced "pretty"

Brown beef over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. While it browns, boil a large pan of salted water. Once it boils, add all the cleaned out peppers at once and submurge them. Let boil on a hard boil for about 6 minutes, then remove from water and set aside into a deep baking dish.

Once beef is browned, add in onions and let them cook for 2 minutes while stirring frequently. Add the rice, tomatoes, sauce, paste and seasonings along with a cup of water. Let it simmer, adding more water as necessary to reach your desired sauce thickness. Taste! My seasonings are approximations--you may decide it needs more something.

Stuff the peppers to the top with the meat/rice sauce. I had leftover sauce that I served on the side if anyone wanted more stuffing with their pepper. Cover deep dish and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Remove foil/cover and bake for another 10 minutes.  *PLEASE NOTE* My cooktimes were for stuffed peppers that had been refrigerated for a few hours before baking.  Your cook time may need to be adjusted if your sauce and peppers are already hot.*

Add cheddar cheese to the top of each pepper and bake until melted smooth. Ready to serve with a few slices of fresh cold tomatoes!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Seasoned Tomatoes

I'm short on fresh vegetables on the house so I tried to figure out what to do with a tomato so I could serve a vegetable for dinner.  This was delicious...and a nice change from all the greens we usually eat!

This is a great change for a vegetable to serve with a meal...or as a pretty appetizer to serve.

This recipe is per large slicing tomato...but you can adjust to more/less per your liking.

1 large slicing tomato, sliced into round pieces...make them pretty, and thin!
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
pinch of black pepper

1/4 cup of mozzerella or parmesan cheese...pick your fave :)

Mix together spices and olive oil and spread over tomato slices. Top with your favorite cheese.  Refrigerate for a half hour to two hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Chocolate Elvis" Smoothie

 In high school, a close friend of mine worked at a place called "Planet Smoothie."  Planet Smoothie happened to be across the street from where I worked.  On several occasions, she'd let me come back and make my own smoothie.  One "dessert" smoothie I always liked was called the "Chocolate Elvis."  In the store these smoothies could cost $3-5 dollars a piece, but they're really actually very inexpensive to make (since most of it is ice!)

The following is my rendition of Planet Smoothie's Chocolate Elvis. This makes approximately 4 cups of goodness!

1 tray of icecubes (about 12 cubes).  If you have an ice-maker in your fridge, crushed ice would be optimal for this.
1 scoop nonfat frozen vanilla yogurt.  On this occasion I made it, the store had no nonfat yogurt so I grabbed No sugar added slow churned ice cream.  It doesn't really affect the taste...just the calories!
2/3 cup of milk. (if you like yours thicker or thinner you can adjust this amount)
3 TBSP Hershey's Chocolate Syrup (again, more for more chocolatey taste)
2-3 TBSP Peanut Butter (more or less depending on taste, again)
1 banana

Throw it all in a blender with ice cubes on the bottom (so they'll crush up first) and blend until smooth, stirring as needed to make it blend!  So glad my friend broke the rules so I can make these at home 8 years later!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

My husband takes his lunch to work with him every day.  He usually takes leftovers or sandwiches.  Between the two, having a turkey sandwich every other day for weeks on end can be kind of boring.

I decided I'd try to let him branch out and spent the other morning making 24 breakfast burritos, half ham, half sausage.  He LOVES them!  Best yet, they are easy to freeze and grab as a quick to-go meal.

I had no idea how much this was going to make, so I will put the ingredients I used and you can portion them to how much you want to make.

*Note:  I am interested in trying hash browns in the mixture, but read bad things about trying to put them in burritos that you don't intend to eat immediately, or especially freeze. If anyone is brave enough to try it...let me know how it goes!


24 flour tortillas
1 pound hot Jimmy Dean sausage, ground
3/4 pound diced ham
1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese
18 Large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 bag of frozen sautee mix (green pepper, red pepper, onions)
3 Roma Tomatoes
1 bunch fresh cilantro
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Aluminum foil
Freezer-safe zip-bags
Permanent marker

Brown the sausage in with the frozen vegetables.  Drain well.  Scramble 18 large eggs with milk, adding salt and pepper as desired.  While they cook, dice up the tomatoes.  Once eggs are fully cooked, throw in and mix tomatoes into the eggs.

Set up your station!  Tear out 24 pieces of aluminum foil that are just large enough to wrap each burrito in. Tortillas, meats, eggs, cheese, cilantro.  Trick for soft tortillas:  Place on a plate with damp paper towels inbetween each 2-3 tortillas.  Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Only heat 8-9 at a time so they stay soft until you fold the burritos....don't want them to split!

The way I did mine was to do 12 sausage and 12 ham.  Place a large spoonful of each ingredient into center of tortilla, and then top with a few leaves of cilantro.  Wrap up tightly into a burrito on a piece of foil, wrap, mark what type of meat is in it with a marker....and place in a zip bag for easy freezing.

To Heat:

by oven:  keep burritos in alluminum and heat in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.
by microwave: Microwave on high for approximately 1 minute 15 seconds- 1 minute 30 seconds per burrito.

Serve with fresh salsa or taco sauce