Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna

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Last night I tried my hand at lasagne for the first time. It was a good experience and I think I did fairly well! I’ve always heard how much of a pain it is to make lasagne but I actually had fun and didn’t find this recipe to be daunting at all. I only used half of the sauce that the original recipe called for so if you follow my instructions and use the same amount but feel it could use more know that it’s okay and if you want to use more next time use more. Just remember that the more sauce you use means more calories and quite frankly this tasted pretty darn amazing with the amount I used ūüôā Original recipe found at http://www.food.com.

Serves: 10-12 ¬† ¬†Calories: 380 (but remember the more sauce you use the more calories you’ll be eating)

Ingredients:

– Cooking spray
– 9 uncooked lasagna noodles, we used whole wheat noodles
– 1 onion, chopped
– 4 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1-14.5oz. can vegetable broth
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, I highly suggest spending the extra and getting this fresh
– 1-14oz. can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
– 1-10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
– 1-28oz. jar pasta sauce (white or red sauce), I used 16oz.
– 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
-1-4oz. package crumbled feta cheese, you can use the herbed stuff but I didn’t want to take away from the rosemary so we used regular feta.

Directions:

1.)¬†Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.

2.) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes; drain.

3.) Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp

4.) Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes

5.) Stir in pasta sauce.

6.) Spread 1/4 of the artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; top with 3 cooked noodles.

7.) Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles. Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese.

8.) Sprinkle feta cheese on top.

9.) Cover and bake for 40 minutes.

10.) Uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

11.) Let stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Otherwise it will be a mess when you cut it. Live and learn.

*Original recipe found at http://www.food.com

**Photo is an original taken by me. 

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Curried Vegetable Samosas with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

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A few weeks ago I started playing with wonton wrappers and I think it’s my new “thing.” I love making little pouches filled with delicious veggies what can I say ūüôā This week we went a little heavier with the filling and had a spicy sauce on the side. The sauce really makes these bad boys amazing. It is extremely spicy using a whole Serrano chili¬†so be warned that if you are not a fan of spicy you may want to only use half of a pepper. Don’t omit it because I think it really compliments the veggies. I also want to add for those on a budget (like me) that this may look like an expensive recipe with all the fresh herbs but if you have a dollar store near your home that sells produce you may be able to get most of the produce there. I was able to buy the mint, cilantro, Serrano chilis, bag of red onion, lemons and ginger at the dollar store. There is no way to pass up those savings so check out your local dollar store. Original recipe can be found at http://www.myrecipes.com .

Serves: 4 (5 samosas a serving with 1 tbsp sauce)    Calories: 228

Ingredients: 

CHUTNEY:

– 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves

– 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves

– 1/4 cup of chopped red onion

– 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

– 1 tbsp water

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1/8 tsp sugar

– 1 Serrano chili, chopped coarsely

– 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled

SAMOSAS:

– 1 & 1/4 cups of mashed cooked and peeled baking potatoes

– 1/4 cup cooked lentils

– 1 tbsp minced fresh mint

– 1 tsp curry powder

– 1 tsp butter, softened

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1/4 tsp ground cumin

– 1/2 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed

– 10 egg roll wrappers

– 1 large egg, lightly beaten

– Cooking Spray

Directions:

1.) Cook lentils according to package (Boil for about 20-25 minutes)

2.) For chutney, combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Set aside

3.) If you don’t want to boil your potato you can do it in the microwave. Puncture the potato with the fork all around. Cook for 3 minutes on each side.

4.) Combine the potatoes, lentils, mint, curry powder, 1 tsp of butter, 1/4 tsp salt, and cumin. Gently fold in the peas.

5.) Working with 1 wrapper at a time, cut down the middle to make 2 long rectangles. Moisten the edges with egg and spoon about 1 tbsp of filling into the middle of the wrapper. Take one corner and fold it to meet the opposite corner. Press the edges to seal and set aside. Continue with remaining wrappers and filling.

6.) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Lightly coat the samosas with cooking spray also. Add the samosas to your pan and cook for 1 minute on each side. Set on paper towels to collect excess oil.

7.) Serve with chutney.

*Original recipe found at http://www.myrecipes.com

**Photo is an original taken by me

Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

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I have a greater respect for vegetarians and how they shop/cook after the last few recipes I’ve tried. ¬†One night we all slap on a smile and go together making the grueling task of grocery shopping a little easier (kudos to my man for helping). I usually don’t know exactly when I’m making these family dinners because my husband’s work can be pretty demanding. This is really difficult when making vegetable dinners because it’s simply just not the same using frozen veggies. Since I cannot shop multiple times a week and I’m fairly new to mostly veggie meals I have to give a round of applause to those who do this on a regular basis. I’m sure with a little more practice I too can master the art. (I am aware this one has chicken and the last one has shrimp, I’m making remarks since most of my ingredients have been veggies recently.) ¬†This recipe has a great little twist on the traditional stir fry. Lemon! I was a little wary at first but all I can say is wow. The lemon really brings out the flavor in the veggies and from here on out I’ll probably squirt some lemon anytime I make carrots ūüôā The original recipe called for mushrooms but since I don’t do mushrooms I substituted with bamboo shoots. That’s the beauty of being the chef you can make it custom to your own taste. So get crazy and try any of your favorite veggies in this one. I don’t think you can go wrong. Original recipe found at http://www.eatingwell.com .

Serves: 5-6      Calories: 225

Ingredients:

РBrown rice or wheat spaghetti

– 1 lemon

– 1/2 cup of reduced sodium chicken broth

– 3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

– 2 tsp cornstarch

– 1 tbsp canola oil

– 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, washed trimmed and cut int0 1-inch pieces

– 1 small can of bamboo shoots (found down the ethnic food aisle)

Р1 cup of carrots, cut diagonally  1/4 inch thick

– 1 bunch of scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces

– 1 tbsp chopped garlic

Directions:

1.) Grate 1 tsp of lemon zest and set aside. Juice the lemon and whisk 2 tbsp of the juice with broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl.

2.) Cook rice or pasta according to directions on package.

3.) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add bamboo shoots and carrots to the pan and cook until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add snow peas, scallions, garlic and the reserved lemon zest. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Whisk the broth mixture and add to the pan. Stir until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices. Cook until heated through, 1-2 minutes.

4.) Serve with rice or pasta

*Original recipe found at http://www.eatingwell.com

**Photo is an original taken by me.