Skinny Lasagna Rolls

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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!):

Sweet Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche

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I love sweet potatoes. For those of you that have been loyally following this blog for the last two years, I am aware that I sound like a broken record. Sorry.

(I’m not really sorry.)

However, the leaves have officially changed color, Halloween has come and gone, sweater weather has arrived, and all of these variables make me crave the warmth and fall flavor of sweet potatoes. Tis’ the season, right?!

Thus, when I stumbled upon this delicious gluten free recipe, which just happened to include sweet potatoes, it took all of about ten minutes before I found myself in the kitchen whipping it up.  And oooooooooh buddy, it was good.

Thus, consider this my gift to you, and get cookin’! You will be so glad you did.

Also, if you happen to share in my sweet potato fanaticism, make sure you check out the ‘vegetable’ and ‘Vegetarian Dishes’ portion of my Recipe page. It is a goldmine of sweet potato lovin’.

Come back soon!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • Olive oil spray + 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch spinach- rinsed, stems removed, and thinly sliced
  • ½ small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 Tablespoon organic white miso
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • ¼ cup Asiago cheese (to sprinkle on top)
  • Optional:
    • Spring herbs (dill, parsley, chives) to taste
    • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400˚F and lightly spray a pie dish with a layer of oil, set aside.
  2. Rinse, peel, and thinly slice sweet potatoes (using either a sharp knife or a food processor).
  3. Arrange the sweet potato slices evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan in a crust-like fashion. Spray the tops of the potatoes with a light layer of oil and bake for 15 minutes. After the crust has baked, reduce the heat to 375˚F.
  4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium sized frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, sauté the sliced onion and crushed garlic until light brown, about seven minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, about four minutes. Drain any excess liquid from the frying pan.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the mozzarella and goat cheese, miso, herbs, and any desired salt/pepper. Then stir in the vegetable mixture until thoroughly combined.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the potato crush, sprinkle the top with asiago cheese, and bake for 40 minutes at 375˚.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Fourteen Forty
  • Gluten free? Don’t forget to check out the gluten free section of this blog, found under the Recipe tab.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other scrumptious recipes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links posted below photos!):

Hawaiian Quesadillas with Caramelized Onion, Roasted Mushrooms, and Spinach

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Whenever I get invited to potlucks, I get stressed out. That probably sounds silly coming from the girl who runs a food blog, but it’s true!

I don’t want to bring anything that’s going to require a ton of preparation or assembly required, once arriving at the potluck. I don’t want to bring anything that’s already being made, so mac and cheese is perpetually off the list. I want my dish to be easy to carry around in case there is not enough table seating, and I want it to be friendly for those with dietary restrictions.

Whew! Now you see why I find potlucks slightly stressful?

Well put your stress aside, because I have some good news for you! My recent potluck friendly dish of choice has been to make homemade fancy quesadillas! I used this particular filling combination for my a dinner with my a cappella group recently, and despite having made enough to feed an army, every single one of these little quesadilla triangles was devoured! That’s a good sign you’re doing something right! Thus, I thought I would share, for those of you with similar potluck anxiety as myself.

Gluten free? Use corn tortillas! Vegan? Try substituting with vegan cheese!

These little guys really are a win-win-win.

Try them yourself! There’s so much to love.

XO, A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 package of button mushrooms (your preference on type), diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 8 Whole wheat Tortillas
  • 1 bag of shredded blended white cheese (mozzarella based)
  • 1 16 oz. can of pineapple tidbits, reserve the juice
  • 1 package of fresh spinach leaves, chopped and stems removed

Directions:

  1. Heat one Tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the diced onion and mushrooms. Cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the vegetables are lightly browning.
  2. Add the Balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to the pan. Stir and allow to cook for a few more minutes, as the veggies absorb some of the balsamic vinegar. (At this stage, I also liked to add some of the pineapple juice from the can to the pan, however I love pineapple, and if that is not your favorite flavor, you can leave the juice out!)
  3. In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. To arrange the quesadilla: Place one tortilla in the pan and top with a generous layer of cheese.  Then add some of the mushroom/onion mixture, pineapple tidbits, and chopped spinach on top. Finish with an additional layer of cheese and another tortilla.
  4. Allow for the quesadilla to cook on its original side for a few minutes, allowing for the bottom layer of cheese to melt and the tortilla to lightly brown. Flip sides and continue cooking for another few minutes.
  5. Place on a cutting board and cut into triangles using a pizza cutter. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • I made this dish for a party, thus I bought all the ingredients in mass and made dozens of quesadillas. Consequently, I cannot give you very accurate quantities in the ingredients list, but I trust you to favor whatever flavor combination you prefer and to highlight that.
  • Prefer fresh pineapple?! Check out this step-by-step photo tutorial on how to cut a fresh pineapple for a quick and easy process!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other scrumptious dishes by ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links found below):

Tangy Strawberry Balsamic Tempeh Sandwich (or salad!)

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A few weekends ago my cousin and I were making dinner together. She suggested a salad, I suggested tempeh, she suggested strawberries, and it was a date! Together in her kitchen we were cooking and chatting away, as I volunteered to come up with a marinade for the tempeh.

My go-to ingredient for every sauce, dip, and marinade is always Balsamic Vinegar. I love it! My brilliant cousin Bekah, however, is the one who made this marinade awesome. Bekah came up with the dazzling idea to add orange juice to the marinade, which took this tempeh from delicious and traditional to exotic, fresh, and unique! I swear, I’m never going to want to make tempeh any other way.

Since that night I’ve made this dish in both salad and sandwich form, so I thought I’d share the sandwich variation with you. Although, if you are looking for a gluten free or low carb variation, check the notes and tips section below for the salad suggestion!

Yet again, I am grateful for rented kitchens, family, time together around the table, and experiments. Bring on the strawberries, and bring on the summer.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (plus 1 Tablespoon)
  • ½ teaspoon agave
  • Generous sprinkle of sea salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 2 Buns, toasted
  • 1 block of tempeh
  • 10-20 Spinach leaves, rinsed and the stems removed
  • 5-10 Strawberries, sliced into thing pieces
  • 4 thin sandwich slices of Havarti cheese

Directions:

  1. Slice the tempeh into thin strips. (I cut the block in half, turned those halves on their ends and sliced those in two. Then I cut those 4 thin squares into 2-4 long strips each!)
  2. Combine the balsamic vinegar, orange juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil, agave, sea salt, and pepper in a shallow dish and mix well.  Add the tempeh to the dish and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Flip the tempeh pieces to allow equal soaking.
  3.  Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Add the tempeh pieces to the pan once the oil is hot.  Cook for 3 minutes on one side and then flip.
  4. Drizzle 1/3 of the marinade sauce over the tops of the tempeh pieces and tilt the pan to allow the sauce to slide under the tempeh pieces. As you continue to cook the tempeh and rotate it, continue to drizzle the sauce over the tempeh. This will create a caramelized exterior, darken the tempeh, and significantly increase the flavor.
  5. Once the tempeh is cooked, assemble your sandwich by placing a slice of Havarti cheese on each side of a freshly toasted bun (this helps the cheese melt!). Then stack with spinach leaves, strawberry slices, tempeh, and top with the other half of the bun. Enjoy while it’s hot!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2 large sandwiches (potentially with a few pieces of tempeh left over!)
  • Gluten free and low carb variation: Prepare the tempeh in the same way, but serve over a spinach leaf salad. Crumble some harvarti cheese and slice up a few strawberries to throw on top, and you won’t even miss the bread! Other possible toppings: sunflower seeds and sliced purple onion.
  • Be careful when pouring the marinade into your frying pan- if your pan is too hot and you pour the marinade over the tempeh it may spit! If this happens, simply turn down the heat and wear an oven glove while you pour. I did not have a problem with this but do not want anyone to move too quickly and get burned!)
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this post, check out these other delicious meals from ‘a rented kitchen!’:

Crunchy Peanut Butter Spinach

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I really am not a big fan of spinach.  It is something I have been working on, because I know it is extremely healthy for you. The truth of it is, I don’t mind using spinach in dishes (such as my Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spinach and Cranberries) but I really have a hard time eating a raw spinach salad. Go figure.

I found this recipe in a cookbook my dad gave me for Christmas, and something about the ingredient’s list won me over (probably the peanut butter, let’s be honest). Next thing you know I’m cooking this enormous pot of spinach for myself- party of one.  It would have been very bad news had I not enjoyed the dish, because I had a lot of it. However, fortunately, I loved this spinach! I ate a third of it by myself for dinner one night, and quickly finished off the leftovers in the next few days.

If you are not a big spinach person, or if you are a big spinach person, I would encourage you to try this recipe! The crunch from the nuts paired with the chili powder and lemon juice provides an incredibly full flavor that is hard not to love. Go figure.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 12 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 pound (450 g) spinach*
  • Junice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened.
  2. Add the garlic and crushed peppercorns to the pan and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Rinse the spinach, and chop- removing any large stems in the process.
  4. Next, add the spinach, lemon juice, chili powder, salt and pepper, and half of the stock.  Simmer until the spinach has wilted.
  5. Combine the peanut butter and the remaining stock in a small bowl and whisk together.  Add to the spinach, combine well, and cook for an additional few minutes.
  6. Serve warm, and garnish with additional chopped peanuts on top as desired.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2-4
  • Feel free to substitute other greens, such as kale, for the spinach as desired.
  • Source: Small Planet Small Plates Cookbook by Troth Wells

Above: Agave Sauteed Kale with Roasted Sweet PotatoesVegan Italian Vegetable Casserole, and Baked Kale Chips