Skinny Lasagna Rolls



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!




  • 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


  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.


Notes and Tips!:

  • Source:
  • 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!):

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Roasted Rosemary



Pumpkin almost asks to be turned into baked goods. That’s my theory at least.

Every fall we crave pumpkin sweets in the form of pumpkin breads, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin spice lattes. The list goes on- sweet, sweet, sweet.

I am clearly guilty of this myself, as a vast majority of my pumpkin recipes thus far have been sweet (no surprise there, have you seen the Chocolate section of my blog?).

However, out of respect for this very versatile vegetable, I had to throw a savory pumpkin dish your way, and holy cow is it delicious!

If you have never had the privilege of enjoying Pumpkin Pasta, stop what you’re doing and make this right now! I promise you, you will love fall in a whole new way!

And check back tomorrow for yet another pumpkin recipe, as part of A Rented Kitchen’s Pumpkin Week! We are welcoming October in the most delicious way.


Pumpkin Week

Day One- Pumpkin Recipe Review!

Day Two- Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Day Three- Spiced Pumpkin Pie Dip

Day Four- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Roasted Rosemary



  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Rosemary, chopped
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup half & half
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup Romano Cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound pasta (gluten free if necessary!)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized frying pan over medium-high. Add the garlic and allow to roast for 1 minute, or until lightly browned.
  2. Add the Balsamic vinegar and rosemary to the pan. Sautee the Rosemary for 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the Rosemary from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb any additional oil.
  3. Prepare the pasta by heating a large pot of boiling water, adding the pasta to the pot, and cooking for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Do not over cook.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin sauce by combining the pumpkin puree, broth, half and half, sour cream, and spices in a medium sauce pan. Whisk together until smooth, and heat over medium high heat.
  5. Once the pasta is done cooking, toss in a large bowl with the pumpkin sauce. Stir in the Romano cheese and roasted rosemary. Sprinkle with additional red pepper flakes as desired.



Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Vegan? Feel free to leave out the cheese and add a little extra pumpkin, or replace with vegan cheese!
  • If you like this dish, check out these other scrumptious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (recipe links found below photos):



Parmesan Pesto Pasta with Roasted Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes



One of the best things about summer, is eating like it’s summer. All of that fresh produce, eating your meals outside on the porch….


It’s things like this that make me geek out and get absurdly nostalgic and grateful for this beautiful messy life. You’ve been warned.

Anyhow, in terms of the perfect summer meal, this dish ranks at the top. It is quick and easy and the two main ingredients you can pull straight from your garden or local farmer’s market for dirt-cheap.

This is the type of summer meal that will make you reevaluate your life to appreciate the little things. Ok- the whole life reevaluation thing might be a little bold for a simple pasta dish, but it Will at least make you wish you had a basil plant if you don’t already. (Those little herbs are expensive, and so much better fresh!)

Thus, I hope you make the time to whip up this summer dish while the basil and tomatoes are perfectly in season. Eat it outside. Eat it with friends. Catch a firefly or two. Summer passes quickly, life passes quicker.

Happy cooking!

xoxo A Rented Kitchen




  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup – 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 1 Tablespoon (set aside)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 8-12 ounces cheery tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar


  1. Heat the oven to 350˚F and brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts. Process until well chopped and thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the olive oil (omitting the additional 1 Tablespoon) to the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  4. If using immediately, transfer the pesto into a large bowl and stir in the cheese. (If using later, see the notes below!)
  5. Prepare your pasta in a large pot of boiling water with a dash of salt.
  6. Meanwhile, toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper as desired. Once thoroughly coated, arrange the tomatoes on the pre-oiled baking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft and plumped, but not yet popped.



Notes and Tips!:

  • Shout-out to my beautiful cousin Rebekah for this creative and delicious meal!
  • Gluten free? Make sure you use gluten free pasta!
  • Pesto Source: Food Network
  • If you intend to make the pesto and save it for a later date, after you add the oil and pulse until smooth, transfer the pesto into an air-tight container, drizzle with a little olive oil over the top, and freeze. On the day you intend to use the pesto, remove it from the freezer, thaw, and then stir in the cheese! Enjoy!
  • If you like this recipe, try these other scrumptious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below!):

Sweet Potato Ravioli



One of the beautiful benefits of moving to the east coast a few years ago, is that I have been able to spend significantly more time with my cousins. I owe this recipe to my cousin Bekah, who is an awesome cook, and introduced me to sweet potato ravioli. I will forever be indebted to her.

Bekah has a similar love for sweet potatoes as I do.  It’s one of those over-the-moon, home-run, forever and always kind of loves. Therefore, we were both pretty giddy about the discovery of this dish.

After my introduction to sweet potato ravioli with Bekah a few weeks ago, I promptly purchased my own ingredients, adapted a similar recipe, and whipped up my own batch….four weeks in a row. Some might say I was obsessed.

You may not share the same strange love of sweet potatoes as I do, but I do hope you all try this scrumptious dish.  And I  suggest the Kale Pesto sauce to top it off as well! My bet is you will be hooked 🙂

Here’s to comfort food and family to share it with.

Come back soon!

Love, a rented kitchen





  • 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 inch crushed Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • ½ cup water (for assembling wontons) + 2 cups water for steaming


  1. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350˚F for 50 minutes- 1 hour, or until soft to the touch.
  2. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and use a fork/knife to peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes. (Be careful! They’ll be hot!)
  3. Combine the baked sweet potatoes with the spices in a large bowl. Mash until completely mixed.
  4. Assemble the raviolis one at a time, by brushing a thin layer of water along the outside edge of a wonton wrapper. Arrange the wonton wrapper so that it is in a diamond position compared to where you are standing.
  5. Place 1 teaspoon of sweet potato filling in the center of the wonton wrapper and pinch the edges closed, so that the bottom corner is pinched to the top corner.
  6. Fold the two side edges together, wrapping one over the top of the other, and pinching tight. (There are usually images portraying this process on the wonton package if you are a visual learner!)
  7. Bring a large bot of water to a boil, and steam the ravioli for 2- 5 minutes on either a cooling rack placed over the boiling pot, or in a steaming basket. This is most effective if you are also able to place the lid over the pot with the raviolis inside.
  8. Serve warm with Alfredo sauce, shredded Parmesan cheese, or the pictured Kale Pesto!


Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Click here for the Kale Pesto with Lemon and Parmesan recipe! It’s seriously fantastic!
  • If you enjoy this recipe, check out these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen!’ (Recipes below!)

Homemade Fresh Tomato Sauce with Basil, Mushrooms, and Baslamic Vinegar



It’s officially spring here in Richmond, thank the Lord! I was starting to think spring would never come. However, it is here and I am so so thankful.  It is funny how a week of sunshine and warm weather has made my conscious imagine that I have more free time than I really do (no brain, it is not summer yet, keep working!), as well as immediately start craving some of those fresh summer dishes we all know and love so much (cough cough balsamic bruschetta and blueberry mint lemonade!).  I know it is not truly summer yet, and in many ways that’s a very good thing, but nonetheless I have been really craving some fresh summer-ripened tomatoes this week. Thus, I present to you my favorite, quick and easy, homemade pasta sauce.

With fresh tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, veggies and spices, this simple concoction will please both meat eaters and veggie heads alike! It is so easy to just buy a great big jar of pasta sauce at the store, however when you do that you often get a very long list of preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients. With this homemade pasta sauce, you’re only getting the best fresh and natural ingredients. I can also guarantee that none of those store bought sauces will be nearly as satisfying and delicious as this homemade sauce. That’s the nature of fresh tomatoes and basil for ya!

Give it a try, and happy spring!



  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½- ¾ diced yellow onion
  • 1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (+ ½ teaspoon garlic powder- optional)
  • 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (with the juice!)
  • 2 diced vine tomatoes (medium sized)
  • 5 large Basil leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • 2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Topping optional: Rosemary, additional sprinkle of oregano or basil, shredded cheese


  1. Preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Next, add the mushrooms to the pan and allow to cook for another few minutes.
  4. Add the diced garlic to the center of the pan and allow to cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Then thoroughly mix into the onions and mushrooms. You can add the garlic powder later if you want additional garlic seasoning- I did, but I love garlic.
  5. Add the canned diced tomatoes (with all the juice!), the fresh diced tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic powder (optional) capers, balsamic vinegar, and oregano. Mix together well and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly, or until most of the tomato juice has disappeared.
  6. Serve over a fresh bowl of pasta and top with additional herbs and a sprinkle of dried Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


Notes and Tips!: