Skinny Lasagna Rolls

lasagna

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So, it turns out that having a food blog and going through finals week in a masters program, are really not two activities that coincide very well. Surprise, surprise!

Like every finals period, when the crazy weeks of studying, reading, writing papers, copious amounts of caffeine, and minimal amounts of sleep roll around, my eating habits go down the drain. Again, surprise, surprise!

As soon as finals were over, in addition to actually exercising, sleeping, and doing laundry, one of the first things I wanted to do was cook! I was craving a real, healthy, warm homemade meal- one that I could share with someone, one that I could eat slowly.

As a result, I have made several new dishes over the last week to make up for my absence, that I am very excited to share with you all, including these delicious lasagna rolls!

They are delicious, healthy, easy to make, and excellent as leftovers. Give em’ a try, and come back soon! More yummy vegetarian recipes coming your way, from my little kitchen to yours 🙂

Happy Holidays, and Happy Cooking!

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Ingredients

  • 10 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente (about 8 minutes), well drained
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (no sugar added, I like Ragu Lite or Amy’s Pasta Sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups baby spinach, loosely packed and chopped well
  • 2 cups kale, loosely packed and chopped well
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups part-skim, shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese (small curd if possible)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  2. Prepare a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish, by spreading 1 ¼ cups marinara sauce evenly over the bottom.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium low heat. Once warm, add the garlic and sauté for one minute, or until fragrant. Add the chopped spinach and continue sautéing about 3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the garlic, wilted spinach, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, cottage cheese, egg white, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir well.
  5. On a clean work surface, lay out a large piece of parchment paper, and arrange each noodle to lay flat. Spread ¼ cup of the cheese and spinach mixture on each noodle, and then slowly roll the noodle into a pinwheel, careful not to press out the cheese mixture while rolling.
  6. Arrange the noodles, seam side down, in the casserole dish, so that the noodles are not quite touching. Spread 1 cup of marinara over the lasagna rolls and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
  7. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Skinny.ms
  • Instead of 4 cups spinach and 2 cups kale, you can also use 6 cups pure spinach, as desired.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious pasta recipes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below!):

Strawberry Poppy Seed Kale Salad

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I often think of Kale as a winter vegetable- imagining it with warm roasted sweet potatoes, in kale chip form, and sautéed with a little agave and lemon (all of which are recipes that can be found linked below!). However, paired with this refreshing lemon poppyseed dressing, fresh avocado, and ripe strawberries, this winter vegetable can be transformed into a beautiful light and refreshing summer salad.

I have several kale recipes on this blog, however have never simply tried creating a toss salad with kale. Not sure what I have been doing with my life, but I can promise you, that a kale toss salad will not disappoint! I was very pleased with the result.

Thus, for entertaining, potlucks, or simply for the sake of your health- mix things up. Give this salad a try! Your body will thank you for those dark greens, and your stomach will thank you for the delicious flavor!

And if you’re interested in some other Kale recipes, check out these delicious options below! Veg out, it’s good for you.

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped kale, stems removed
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

Lemon Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and use your hands to massage the leaves until the leaves are softer and darker in color.
  2. Top with strawberries, avocado, almonds, and feta cheese- toss gently.
  3. In a small separate jar, combine the dressing ingredients and shake until well mixed.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Two Peas and Their Pod
  • To make vegan, substitute in another vegan form of cheese, or simply omit the feta cheese!
  • If you like this salad, check out these other ‘A Rented Kitchen’ recipes! (Recipe links found below!)

Kale Pesto with Lemon and Parmesan

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If you have a nut allergy, or are a college student and don’t want to spend your entire pay check on pine nuts, pesto can be a sore subject. Buuut, I have good news! Check out this nut-free pesto recipe, for your tasting! Your tummy and wallet have never been so happy, I know.

I was inspired to make this kale pesto as a sauce for a delicious dinner of sweet potato ravioli . However, after enjoying all my raviolis I still had a good amount of pesto left and found a number of alternate delicious uses for pesto!

Check it out.

  • A dollop of this pesto on a baked potato (yes please).
  • Spread some of this pesto on a piece of toast, sprinkle with parmesan, and broil for 30 seconds. (YUM!)
  • Fry an egg, and throw it on top of a piece of pesto-topped toast! (ok, yes.)
  • Stirred into cooked pasta! (what’s not to love?)

See what I’m saying? This pesto recipe is so versatile, you won’t want to spend a dollar on sour cream, pasta sauce, or nuts ever again!

You’re welcome.

But above all, don’t forget to try this recipe with my favorite sweet potato ravioli.  It’s a beautiful combination.

From my kitchen to yours, over and out.

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Kale Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 cloves raw garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • Pinch of  salt
  • Black pepper, a few grinds

Pesto Directions

  1. Wash the kale under very hot water to remove any critters and dirt (especially if from a garden or farmer’s market!). The kale should turn bright green.
  2. Spread each kale leaf out on a cutting board and use a paring knife to remove the ribs. You only need to worry about the largest stems- use your discretion for this.
  3. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Puree until the pesto has reached your desired texture, about one minute, and is completely blended.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Pesto Recipe Source: Shockingly Delicious
  • Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for several days.
  • Enjoy with my delicious Sweet Potato Ravioli pictured above!
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other yummy snacks and dips below!

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spinach and Cranberries

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Over the last two years, Quinoa has boomed in popularity. It’s not hard to see why, the only hard thing to see is why it took so long. With just a little research it is easy to identify some major benefits to cooking with quinoa. The two that stick out the most to me are:

  1. Quinoa is a gluten free grain! Quinoa flakes are a perfect substitute for oatmeal, quinoa flour is easy to cook with, and quinoa can easily stand in the place of rice or couscous.
  2. Quinoa is a complete protein- that means all the amino acids that we need to fill our nutritional needs are present. Can I get an halleluiah?!

This recipe provides a delicious, vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan friendly meal. Not to mention it’s on the healthier side, made up of entirely vegetables and seeds (yes, quinoa is technically a seed).  So, the next time you have a dinner party and don’t know what to cook, I got your back. Throw some sweet potatoes on the oven and some quinoa on the stove and you’re good to go! Your guests will love this seasonal treat.

Happy cooking 🙂

-Sarah

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Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup quinoa (measured while dry)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 cup raw spinach (or kale), sliced into 1-inch pieces with stems removed*
  • ¼ cup (plus) dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
  2. Rinse the sweet potatoes, dry, and wrap in aluminum foil. Once the oven has preheated, place the sweet potatoes straight on the wire and bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour, or until fork tender.
  3. While the sweet potatoes bake, prepare the quinoa and veggies. Cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth- bringing the broth to a boil and then immediately covering and reducing to a simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once hot, add the diced onion and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until soft, stirring regularly.
  5. Add the spinach and cranberries to the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until soft. If dry, splash a little water in the pan, which will help steam the spinach.
  6.  Add the quinoa to the frying pan and mix together.
  7. Cut the sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the core. Spoon the quinoa mixture onto the sweet potato and serve!*

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Notes and Tips!:

Quinoa and Parmesan Kale Patties

I have somewhat of a theme going on- patties. I just noticed this, and I’m not sure what it is about a good patty, but I am definitely a fan! It all started out with the Quinoa Burger, and then there were the Crispy Black Bean Fritters with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce. And here we are at take three with these fantastic Quinoa and Parmesan Kale Patties!

The best thing about this meal is that there are two best things. 1) This meal is extremely healthy for you! Kale and quinoa are loaded with phytochemicals and nutrients that your body needs and craves. That alone is reason enough to go buy the ingredients right now. 2) These little guys are delicious and can be dressed up beautifully with avocado slices, lime, cilantro, salsa, or soy sauce! Your whole family is going to love them. I’ve been munching on them the last few days, warming up a patty whenever I get hungry, and I promise you it’s worth it. Get some more greens in your diet, Try these Quinoa and Parmesan Kale Patties and do something new. Sometimes mixing it up is just what you need!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2-4 Kale leaves
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs*
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, salsa, garlic oil, Braggs Amino Acid Spray, Soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 cup of dry quinoa with 2 cup of water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.
  2. Prepare the kale by rinsing 2-4 large leaves, and then cutting the leaf from the stem. Chop or tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces and place them in a steamer basket. Fill a large pot with 2-3 inches of water and heat at medium-hot heat. Place the streamer basket in the pot, over the water. Cover the steamer basket with the pot lid and steam for 3-5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, parmesan, sliced onions, spices, kale, and breadcrumbs. Mix well so that the moisture from the eggs is evenly absorbed.
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Using your hands or a ¼ measuring cup, scoop batter onto the frying pan in the shape of patties.
  5. Cook each patty for 5-7 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve warm and top with slices of avocado slices, salsa, soy sauce, cilantro, Braggs Amino Acid spray, or lemon juice if desired.

Notes and Tips:

  • If you’re gluten free, use gluten free breadcrumbs! I used Italian flavored.
  • These patties keep well! Store them in an air-tight container, microwave 2 for 1 minute, and enjoy!
  • I tried these patties with avocado slices, sprinkled cheese, salsa, soy sauce, and Braggs (not all at the same time!) and each combination was delicious!
  • Source: Yummy Supper
  • Want more kale in your life? Try these Baked Kale Chips or this Sweet Potato Pizza with Caramalized Onion, Goat Cheese, and Kale!