Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weekly Menu + Lasagna Roll Ups


Here is another menu for the week at our home. Chicken Tacos is always a winner. I make it in the crock pot with frozen chicken breasts along with a jar of salsa and a package of taco seasoning. I mean, this could not be easier.
 
The Asian Grilled Salmon with Quinoa recipe came from Ina Garten and it was just okay. It was a "popular" recipe on Food Network but it lacked that WOW factor that the Barefoot Contessa usually has in all her recipes. You basically mix up Dijon mustard, olive oil, soy and minced garlic. This goes on the salmon before you bake it and you add more before serving. It was okay, but not amazing.
 
The Thai Tilapia with Coconut Curry Broth was AMAZING. Click the link to see my step by step photos of this wonderful meal that I can't wait to make again.
 
Lasagna Roll Ups was a conglomeration of several recipes I read online. Giada's rendition is what inspired me first but I knew that I could improve to better fit my family's taste.  I had the idea to make these lasagna rolls instead of one large pan of lasagna so I could freeze them in smaller portions. This is the recipe I want to share with you today.
 


My idea worked brilliantly and I really like the way these turned out. I cut some corners, making this easy enough for a week night meal - and better yet, I have three pans of this in the freezer!



Although I made most of this up on the fly, these are the two recipes I referenced when planning our meal: the Pioneer Woman lasagna recipe as well as Giada De Laurentiis' Lasagna Rolls.

HWM LASAGNA ROLL UPS

16 oz cottage cheese
15 oz ricotta
2 eggs
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 c shredded parmesan
tablespoon each of basil, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic salt
pinch of salt and pepper
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 jar pasta sauce and 1 lb turkey
1 box lasagna noodles
B├ęchamel Sauce - stick of butter, flour and milk


In a large bowl I mixed the cottage cheese, ricotta, eggs, parmesan, mozzarella.

 Then seasoned with my spices.

 
Next I added in the drained spinach, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.


For the b├ęchamel sauce I melted a stick of butter, added 4 tablespoons of flour, stirred with a whisk and then added milk until I got a medium-thin consistency.  This will go on the bottom of my pan and while I don't feel this step is a necessity (it did dirty ANOTHER pan) I appreciated how it added a creaminess to the finished lasagna rolls.

I browned a pound of turkey and then cut a corner and added a jar of pasta sauce. I know how easy making homemade tomato sauce is, but come on man, I needed a shortcut.

To assemble I put a ladle full of the cream sauce on the bottom.

I parboiled the lasagna noodles, they were pliable but not cooked all the way through. Working in small batches, I smeared the cheese and spinach mixture down the center and then rolled the noodles up.

Then I used disposable bread pans and placed the rolls seam side down. I would buy a larger pan next time so I could get four to a pan. Three works well for us right now. I ate one roll for dinner and Jim ate two rolls. Harper didn't want it, probably because of the spinach? We will never know.

I had a little extra cream sauce left over so I ladled it over the top and let it drip down between the rolls, and I think this helped them not stick together.

I topped the rolls liberally with the meat sauce, then (not pictured) shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

One went in the oven (uncovered) and three were covered in foil and put in the freezer for another time.
 
Baked uncovered at 375 for 20 minutes and bam, dinner is served. I'm so glad I have three more of these in the freezer. Delish!
 

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