Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spinach Lasagna

This is a super easy recipe because its made with the no-boil lasagna noodles and raw spinach.  I was lucky enough to have a quart of my homemade tomato sauce from last summer in the freezer, but a jar of good commercial spaghetti sauce would also be fine. 
1 lb bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 quart homemade tomato sauce or 1 32 oz jar pasta sauce
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups)
4 cups coarsey chopped fresh spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 ounces uncooked lasagna noodles
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In large skillet or stock pot, brown and crumble sausage and onion; drain if necessary.  I used Italian sausage from Jordandal Farms which is very lean and there is no need to drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Simmer 10 minutes (to heat through), stirring occasionally.
In medium bowl, combine mozzarella cheese, spinach, ricotta cheese, eggs and garlic powder; stir until well blended.
In 13-by-9-inch baking dish, put in about 1/2 cup of the sauce, then layer 1/2 of the uncooked lasagna noodles, 1/2 of the meat sauce mixture, all of the spinach mixture, remaining half of noodles and meat sauce. Pour the 1/3 cup of water over lasagna. Cover snugly with foil.
Bake covered at 350 F for 45 minutes.
Remove foil from lasagna; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake, uncovered, an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly and noodles are tender.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from food.com

Sunday, March 20, 2011

All-American Potato Salad

Some people feel that potato salad is seasonal and only to be served during the warm weather months.  I, however, love potato salad any time of the year.  I'm a fan of all kinds of potato salad.  I just tried this one yesterday to take to my daughter's for supper to go with Italian beef sandwiches.  It is very good and I would make it again.

I made 1/2 of the original recipe which still easily served 6 people with leftovers.  I have posted the 1/2 recipe amounts.

2 1/4 pounds red-skinned potatoes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse-grained Dijon mustard
3 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cups finely chopped green onions
1 small yellow onion finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives

Cut potatoes into 3/4-inch cubes and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Add hot potatoes and gently toss until most of dressing is absorbed.
Stir mayonnaise, pickle juice and mustard in another large bowl to blend. Add all remaining ingredients except for the eggs.  Add to reserved potato mixture after the potatoes are cooled; toss to coat. Add the eggs last so they don't get too broken up.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

Adapted from cooking.com

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fruit Salad wth Honey-Yogurt Sauce

I was asked to bring a fruit salad to a friend's when we went for supper one evening.  I found this recipe and thought it was delicious.  Obviously its very adaptable to the fruit you like or have available. 

1 cup vanilla low fat yogurt (I used our favorite Sugar River Dairy)*
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind (adds a lot to the sauce)
3 cups cubed fresh pineapple (I guess the pineapple chunks canned in juice would work OK as well)
1 1/2 cups apples, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup orange sections
1 cup kiwi, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup strawberries, halved
1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 medium banana, sliced
1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds

Combine yogurt, honey and lime.

Combine pineapple, apples, oranges, kiwi, strawberries and coconut in a large bowl.  Just before serving, stir in banana.  Top with yogurt sauce and sprinkle with almonds. 

Some choopped mint would also be a nice addition, but I was making this in the winter and didn't have any mint available.

* Sugar River Dairy brand is a local brand produced in Wisconsin and only available locally.  According to the owners they don't want to get any larger in order to cover a wider area of distribution.

Celriac Risotto & Pesto

I noticed that I have a number of different risottos posted.  For Arthur and me its definitely one of the comfort foods.  This version is good to make with your fall storage celery root, that ugly but tasty vegetable. 

1 good sized celery root which when cut up measures around 2 cups. 
1 1/2 cup leeks, well-cleaned and sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth, more if needed
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
Pesto
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Peel celery root and cut into slices to make about 2 cups.  Melt butter and stir in celery root and leeks.  Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, but not brown, stirring often.  Mix in rice; stir for 1 minute.  Add broth, starting with 3 cups and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until rice is tender but still al dente.  Stir and add more broth if needed.  Add wine if using.  Mix in 3/4 cup of cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in pre-made pesto to taste.  I used about 1/2 cup.  Serve with additional cheese sprinkled on top.

You can also make a pesto with the celeriac tops and 1/4 cup olive oil if your celeriac happens to come with its green top (looks like celery).  Most celeriac have had the tops removed.  I guess you could also try making a pesto out of some regular celery including the leaves. 

Adapted from Epicurious.com