Archive for May, 2012

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Primavera Lasagna

May 26, 2012

A couple of weekends ago  I ran a half marathon in Pittsburgh (eek!). In preparation, I made a primavera lasagna earlier in the week week and froze it. The idea was to be able to pop it in a cooler in the trunk and then leave it in the fridge at my friend’s house, while we went exploring the city. Then when we got back, we could simply throw it in the oven and add a quick salad for a nice pre-race dinner. This is recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart one and is full of veggies (with the ease of lots of frozen stuff) and an all “white” lasagna. Check it out!

You will need:

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 c milk
  • 16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 4 to 5 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 1 c mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh basil, roughly torn
  • 1 package (9 oz) no-boil lasagna noodles (12 to 16 noodles)
  • 2 c mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 c grated Romano

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add flour and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes (do not let flour mixture darken). Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add spinach, peas, and carrots to the milk mixture; season with salt and pepper. Set primavera sauce aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, teaspoon pepper and the oregano.
  5. In the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of vegetable sauce. Layer noodles, half the ricotta mixture, sprinkle with the mushrooms, and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Cover with half the remaining primavera sauce.
  6. Top with another layer of noodles and the remaining ricotta mixture. Sprinkle the basil on top and another 1/3 of the mozzarella. Add a final layer of noodles and cover with the remaining primavera sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella and the Romano cheese.
  7. Cover dish with lightly oiled aluminum foil and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, uncover, and bake until bubbling and browned, about 20 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
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Vegetable Meatloaf

May 20, 2012

This is a recipe from Self Magazine’s Drop 10 compilation of dishes that maximize your use of superfoods. It is full of veggies and very tasty, so much so that a coworker couldn’t wait until lunch to eat it — I hear it makes a good late breakfast too! Note, if you are feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to take the time chopping the veggies finely, you can rough chop and use a food processor to puree them smaller.

You will need:

  • 1/2 c onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 c mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 T green pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 T celery, finely chopped
  • 3/4 c canned pureed pumpkin (be sure not to get canned pumpkin pie mix! you could use pureed butternut squash too)
  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 c seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 4 T tomato sauce, divided

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Coat a medium skillet lightly with cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook onion until just tender, 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 minutes.
  4. Add carrot, pepper, and celery; cook 3 minutes more.
  5. Removed from heat; cool 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine beef with bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, oregano and 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce.
  7. Mix in the vegetable mixture; stir until well combined. (It works best if done with wet hands.)
  8. Form into a loaf; place in prepared pan. Spoon remaining two tablespoons of tomato sauce on top.
  9. Bake uncovered, until meat is no longer pink, 45 to 50 minutes.

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Clotted Cream

May 16, 2012

Per Wikipedia, “clotted cream (sometimes called clouted cream or Devonshire cream) is a thick cream made by indirectly heating full-cream cow’s milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms ‘clots’ or ‘clouts’.It forms an essential part of a cream tea.” This is a typical accompaniment to afternoon scones and tea in England and is really quite delicious. While the recipe that follows is not a true clotted cream, it is still a great addition to your afternoon tea and can be made quickly and painlessly at home.

You will need:

  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 c Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • Powdered sugar to taste (usually 1-3 T)

Then you will…

  1. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, just as if making a whipped cream.
  2. Whisk in the yogurt and powdered sugar until just combined.
  3. Store in refrigerator.
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Cherry Hazelnut Scones

May 13, 2012

These are a fun breakfast treat (or a snack!). I really like them served warm with jam and clotted cream, which are both nice additions to the drier texture of scones.

You will need:

  • 3 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 orange, zested
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground ginger, scant
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into pea size pieces
  • 1 c dried cherries
  • 1/2 c toasted chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 c cream

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, citrus zest, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
  3. Add in the butter and use your fingers to mix into the dry ingredients until a coarse meal forms.
  4. Mix in the cherries and hazelnuts.
  5. Mix in the heavy cream and combine it to form a dough.
  6. Form the dough into a 1-inch thick circles.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 17 to 18 minutes, just until lightly golden on top.
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Dill Greek Yogurt Dip

May 9, 2012

This is one of two dips I whipped up for an outdoor, spring-time party hosted by some friends. This one is very easy to mix together, but you will want to prep it a day in advance (or at least several hours) so the flavors can come together.

You will need:

  • 1 container (16-17 oz) Greek yogurt
  • 2 t dried parsley flakes
  • 1 T dry minced onion flakes
  • 1/2 t dry minced garlic
  • 1 t garlic salt
  • 1 t dried dill weed
  • 1/2 t paprika

Then you will…

  1. Remove the paper lining from the Greek yogurt.
  2. Stir all the seasonings into the yogurt.
  3. Mix well. Allow to set for at least 2 hours and ideally overnight.
  4. Serve as you wish! I like baby carrots and pita chips.
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Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip

May 4, 2012

This is the second dip that I brought along to my friends’ afternoon shindig. It’s full of roasted red peppers (which give it a fun color) and yummy feta (which make it taste awesome). My friends approved:

Again, it’s best to prep this one the night before so plan ahead! Also, this recipe is an adaptation from Cooks Illustrated.

You will need:

  • 1 lb (~4 c) feta cheese, rinsed and crumbled
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ t cayenne
  • ¼ t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jar (6-oz) roasted red peppers, rinsed and patted dry

Then you will…

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds.
  2. Refrigerate for at least two hours, until firm.
  3. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.

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