July 29, 2014

Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

by Shannon

I don’t know what has happened to me but I think I’ve turned into a little girl again getting all giddy every time Frozen comes on television. The past couple of weekends, I’ve been getting ready to cook some food and scroll through the tv stations for background noise only to find Frozen on one of the cable channels. When I see it’s on, I can’t help but turn it on. And yes, I sing at the top of my lungs. Frozen has become one of those movies I turn on whenever it’s on. I’m even pretty darn close to downloading it. I mean, I have a niece who turns six on Friday so I should at least download it so I have it available for her to watch when she visits, right? It only seems like the right thing to do. Anyway, one dish I made while belting out Let It Go was this Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna.

Hot turkey sausage, fresh spinach, shallots and garlic are the basis of this lasagna which is layered with no-boil lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, and a béchamel white sauce. Topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, this tomato-less lasagna is creamy, a little spicy, and a lot flavorful. It makes six servings so this is a great meal for a family or easy to portion control for lunches or dinner leftovers. Maybe you won’t feel like making lasagna during the summer but after watching Frozen for the umpteenth time, I felt like having a warm meal. Do you want to build a snowman?

If you like this, check out Turkey Lasagna.

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Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, milk, stock, oil and bay leaf in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper. Spread 1 cup milk mixture in bottom of an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons water and spinach to pan; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Drain spinach, pressing until barely moist. Increase heat to medium-high. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan. Add shallots and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in remaining milk mixture, spinach, and cooked sausage. Remove pan from heat.

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Arrange 2 noodles over milk mixture in baking dish; top with 1/2 cup ricotta and one-third spinach mixture. Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes. Remove foil.

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Preheat broiler to high. Broil 4 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

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Let stand 10 minutes.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

July 24, 2014

Pesto Tartlets

by Shannon

I told myself that as of this last birthday, I was going to start eating better and really focusing on healthier eating.  The reality is, when I eat healthier, I actually feel better (duh…who knew?!).  But I know this healthier lifestyle will take some time and let’s face it, when you have a food blog, it’s not really that easy sometimes. Well, I made these Pesto Tartlets last weekend and because they are made with puff pastry, they may not be the healthiest things in the world but they are not really the worst for you either.

Puff pastry is topped with bright grape tomatoes and baked before being topped with fresh burrata (or mozzarella) and an arugula pesto.  The pesto is made with arugula, parmesan, garlic, olive oil and vinegar and has different kick than regular basil pesto.  I used about half of the olive oil called for and my pesto was plenty flavorful with a perfect consistency so use your judgement with how much oil you use. The crust is buttery, the grapes are juicy, the pesto is vibrant and the cheese is creamy which makes this tartlet a little slice of heaven.  This pesto also tastes great with pasta or chicken so save any leftovers. Looks like I’m eating fruit the rest of this week.

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In food processor, puree arugula, Parmesan, olive oil, vinegar and garlic; season.

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Put puff pastry on parchment- lined baking sheet; pierce with fork. Top with tomatoes; season. Bake at 425 degrees until crisp, 15 minutes.

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Top with burrata and pesto.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Fresh mozzarella cheese

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

July 22, 2014

Chipotle-Mango Guac

by Shannon

Today is my birthday. (Sound the alarms, ring the bells, cue the horns!)

Instead of making myself a cake or cookies like my sweet tooth usually urges me to, I’m making guacamole. Okay, I know it’s not even close to a birthday cake but when it’s your birthday, you can have whatever you want. Having a birthday on a Tuesday is pretty ho-hum so you have to make do and find the little joys.  Like a blue sky, an engaging book, driving with the windows down, a good night’s sleep, central air conditioning, and a satisfying snack like this Chipotle-Mango Guac.

Avocados are mashed with lime juice before being mixed with fresh mango, spicy chipotle in adobo, and cilantro. The combination of the sweet mango with the smokiness of the chipotle work so well with the creamy avocado. This is one guacamole that I could easily sit and eat entirely at one sitting if I’m not careful. This is such a simple and amazing snack that can be made in no time. And the good thing about guacamole? It’s thick enough to hold a lit candle for a birthday wish if necessary.

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In bowl, mash avocados with lime juice. Stir in mango, onion, chipotle and cilantro; season.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

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