Friday, April 29, 2011

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

My mom originally told me about these lasagna rolls she made. She raved about them. I looked them up online and tried to figure out how to make them. Frozen organic spinach is a pretty cost effective way to get organic greens plus I had a coupon.

Step 1: Make the filling.
It's 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella. I shred my own because preshredded cheese creeps me out. Some Salt, Pepper, and Basil. 1 cup part-skim Ricotta Cheese, one package of Cascadian Farms organic frozen spinach (thawed), and one egg white.
Mix it together.

Step 2: Boil the noodles according to the package. I used whole wheat noodles, Hodgons Mills and they worked very well. I made 12 noodles and the filling made enough for the 12.

Step 3: Spread the filling over the entire noodle. Don't put it on too thick, I used less than 1/4 cup per noodle.

Step 4: Roll the noodle up fairly tightly into a roll. I love how the ruffled edges look! It's not too difficult and I'm sure you could do it too!

Step 5: Arrange the rolls in a baking pan. I left the rolls a few centimeters apart. I also sprayed the bottom of the pan with some non-stick spray. Place the rolls in the pan seam side down.

Step 6: Pour some tomato sauce over the rolls. I used 2 cups of roasted garlic sauce and sprinkled 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

Step 7: Bake at 375 degrees for maybe 20 minutes. Make sure the cheese is melted and the rolls are heated through.

It's a fun way to eat lasagna that's already portion controlled! My approximate calorie calculations are here.

Happy Eating!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lentil Love Story

I'm going to tell you all a story...
Long long long ago a bag of green lentils sat on the shelf at the grocery story. It was a nice grocery store, very clean and well lit, and the bag of lentils liked it there. Although one of the re-stocking boys tended to pick his wedgies in the lentil isle. Other than that, life was good for the bag of lentils. Days past. No one took the lentils home. Until finally, one day, a girl with a long list and a giant envelope of coupons came wandering down the isle. She looked at the lentils and made an impulsive, non-list decision, to buy the lentils. It was true love and the lentils were so happy you could say they smiled. Once back in the girls apartment the lentils were put in a pretty bowl on the top shelf of the pantry, not to be thought of for a long while. The lentils watched brown rice leave the bowl, quinoa came and left, even arborio rice left with high hopes of mushroom risotto. The lentils were unused and the girl thought of them sometimes but her impulse purchase left her without recipe ideas.

Lentils, come down onto the counter and be apart of my kitchen and my food blog.
I have no idea how people eat lentils, besides a lot of soups which I wasn't craving.

I kept it simple.

I started with onions, I'm confident with onions. Onions and I have a long term relationship going. I know how they cook, how they burn and how to avoid the latter.
Then I added carrots. Carrots, although annoying to dice due to their rounded shape, are fairly easy. Carrots are predictable but have a more diverse flavor palate than onions. I used more carrots than onions and I sauteed them over medium high heat for a long time. I threw in a cinnamon stick for the heck of it.
Lentils have to boil, like pasta. I boiled them according to the package directions and then added them into the onions and carrots and removed the cinnamon stick. I added some dark vegetable stock and let them all get to know each other for a while.
And the lentils lived deliciously ever after, forever changing the girl's opinion about lentils.
The End.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Raw Kale Salad

I've exhausted most of my food documentary options on netflix.

I went to the internet, and I found good things! My favorite so far has been Jennifer Cornbleet's Raw Food Made Easy. It is actually fairly simple, unlike other raw food reciepes that include tons of healthy obscure ingredients I've never heard of before.

I have an obsession with how to videos. I mean, worse than documentaries. I could watch someone tell me how to uncork a wine bottle, get out a stain, massage your own hands, or perform acupuncture. Chris didn't want me to practice my newly learned acupuncture skills on him though.

Here is Jennifer telling you how to make the salad!

I changes a few little things. I didn't use red pepper, I used those smaller sweet peppers, so that I could have a variety of colors. Plus they must be in season at the moment because they're everywhere.

This is the organic kale before it's amazing olive oil and lemon juice massage. I rubbed and kneaded the oil into it's little leaves and look, what happened! It's shrank! Maybe that's why they say massage can remove cellulite...

Then I diced up the pretty pepper and threw them in too. Honestly, you could add anything you like, as with any salad but the lemon juice is acidic and you might want some savory or sweet flavors to balance it out. I used some "sprouted" almonds too (you just soak them in water for an hour or two and they get softer and delicious)

The Kale Salad was our lunch and I was nervous about how Mr. Wyoming would feel about it. I got his text message in the middle of the day, "Ok baby my lunch is freaking outstanding! i have no idea what is in it but it is amazing." Pretty rave reviews!

The kale is really filling and it requires a good bit of chewing (something I've been trying to be more aware of lately) but it's fun to eat lunch for your whole hour instead of scarfing it down in 10 minutes.

Let me know what you add to your salad and how it pared with the kale!
Happy Eating.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Ham for Lunch

My mom made ham for easter.
She gave me a bunch of her leftovers.

and when I got home I thought, what in the heck do you do with ham?
I did what any other 20-something would do. I googled.

Unfortunately most of the options involving ham also involve lots of cheese, bread, pasta, and cream and not too many fresh vegetables or fruits. Example.
also unfortunately I ate all the bruschetta so I had none leftover for lunch.

I decided to make a ham salad. Not the kind my mom suggested I make using mayonnaise and a meat grinder. Shudder.

Salads are so great for lunch because you throw whatever you have over a bed of lettuce and call it a salad! I call this one, ham sandwich salad.

Iceberg lettuce
Pickle (McClures)
Ham Chunks
Deli Mustard

As quick as you can dice a tomato you have a lunch all ready to go in your plastic to-go container. The dressing being thick-er than others meant that nothing got soggy or runny or weird by lunchtimes. BONUS. I hate soggy salad. I also hate trying to put dressing in a separate container, does anyone know of a 3tbsp container for sale?
My calorie approximation came in around 220.

How did you eat your easter leftovers?
Happy Eating!

Monday, April 25, 2011


I've talked before about how Italian food can feel cliche and movie worthy. Paired with red wine and black leggings you're ready to jump on a scooter and whirr right through the middle of some italian piazza.
It's a shame I have such emotional damage about italian food because I really do love it.

For lunch yesterday we had sandwiches on ciabatta bread with fresh mozzarella and tomato slices. It was delicious. It was light. It was not cliche.

For dinner we made bruschetta. The pronunciation of this word is slightly controversial.
Is it British English pronunciation: bruschetta or is it Listen again

My friend who went to culinary school says it's the first in Italy and the second at the Olive Garden. but He went to culinary school which can be a hoity-toity place so who knows.
I know I can put some bruschetta away!

There is a picture of a small sampling of the bruschetta I put away for dinner last night.

The last baguette left in Whole Foods, garlic and parmesan blend.
1 ugly tomato, which has less gooey parts in the middle
1 regular tomato
Diced red onion
Sprinkle of organic basil
Corse salt
Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pre-heat to 400 degrees.

Dice your tomatoes.

Dice your onion, rinse the onion.

Add the salt and basil. taste it until you like it.

Reduce your vinegar in a tiny pan until it is thicker and sweeter than normal.

Slice the baguette, which might be smooshed on one end from being the last baguette left in the bin, congratulate yourself on making it to the store before there was no baguette left and you'd be eating tomato salad for dinner.

Use a pastry brush to put extra virgin olive oil on one side of the bread. DON'T go crazy thinking your in an italian movie, just use a little.

Bake the bread until slightly toasted. I have no idea how long I had mine in for because I did go italian movie crazy and opened a bottle of wine at this point and after a while said, "oooh, the bread."

Pile about 1tbsp of the tomato mixture on the bread

Sprinkle about 1/8tsp of the balsamic vinegar reduction on top of that

You should definitely taste a few before you leave the kitchen for quality testing and because once you leave the kitchen your friends will probably eat them all and none will be left for you.

Eat as many as you can before people begin to wonder.

Happy Eating!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Body Cleanse

Have you ever done a body cleanse?
I haven't
but I do watch a lot of food documentaries.
a lot
all of the ones on netflix
it's a hobby. or an addiction. either way.

all the food documentaries have me thinking about doing a cleanse but a quick google search of "food cleanse" gives me all kinds of crazy things.
I don't want a crazy thing. I don't want to live off avocados for 30 days or give myself enemas.

I want a simple, pretty easy, 30-40 day cleanse that can include juicing or raw foods and can also include supplements, the natural kind that you get from the health store, not the "loose 30 pounds in two minutes" kind you buy for 45 payments of $1.99.
Anyone know of anything?

I'm really hoping for some suggestions.
Happy eating, and cleansing!

High Fructose Corn Syrup

I told you in this blog that I was embarking on a journey into a medical study.
I was very excited and considerably anxious about it.

Well, the journey has ended. Let me tell you why...

The journey looked like this:
First, you answer questions over the phone to see if you're a candidate for the study.
Second, you sign up.
Third, You fast for 12hours and have blood taken.
Fourth, You write down everything you eat for three days and answer a bunch of questions about how much physical activity you do.

The goal of the study is for the corn syrup to make up a percentage of your caloric intake. Clearly, they would need to figure out your caloric intake first. That's step four.

Firth, the lady calculates your percentage and tells you how many 8oz cartons of corn-syrup laden milk you drink per day.

I was under the impression that this number was based mostly on which group you were in; 10%, 20% or 30% of daily calories from the syrup-milk and then slightly from your bodies caloric needs.
The lady told me I would need to drink 6 1/2 eight ounce cartons a day! Do you drink 52oz of anything, besides water, every day? I don't. and I don't think I could.
I was honest and I told her I wouldn't be able to consume that much of anything, much less sweetened milk, and although I could try it if she wanted me too, it would probably be a waste of time and money on their part since I would most likely quit.

So, I quit before I even tasted a drop of corn syrup and I don't feel sad about it at all. I'll find another way to make $300.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Have you ever eaten an artichoke?
I have. It was covered in parmesan cheese, cream, and spinach on top of fried delicious chips.
I only ate the artichoke because it was on the chips.
I like chips more than artichokes I think.

I digress. I decided to make one! a real one. a real artichoke from the produce stand, not the frozen dip section of the grocery store.

First you snip all the little pointy ends of the leaves off. I used kitchen scissors. It doesn't take as long as you'd think.

Then you chop off the top with a very sharp knife. This was harder than I expected, the artichoke is tough and doesn't seem to want to be cooked. Slice off most of the stem too.

Then I filled a pot with an inch or two of water, a lemon slice and a bay leaf. I put my steamer basket on top.

You steam the chokes, as I've affectionally started calling them, for 20-30 minutes depending on how big they are.

Then, using some tongs and not your fingers, you pull them out of the pot and they're ready to go.
To eat them you pluck out a leaf, think "He loves me, He loves me not" and flip it upside down. You put the meaty part of the leaf that was close to the base of the choke and slide it though your teeth, taking the vegetable part into your mouth. It's a lot of work for a tiny little bit of vegetable but it's good. It's mild and earthy.

People often make dips for their chokes. I put about 2tsp lemon juice in a bowl with probably 1-2tbsp extra virgin olive oil and whisked it up with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. It was yummy on the chokes but I had a ton leftover that ended up down the drain. I read online that a lot of people make mayonnaise based dressings for artichokes but I really don't like mayonnaise. If anyone has a dressing that is yummy I could try something new though.

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dinner: Zucchini Rice

Zucchini is delicious lots of ways; grilled, baked, stuffed, sauteed, put in breads, even in cookies. Shredding zucchini is easy because it's tender and it's pretty wet in the inside.
I'm always looking for a fun new way to cook the same old food. Partly because I want to make my husband happy and partly because new more expensive foods aren't really an option. Plus dinner is more fun when you have cool new side dishes.

I cooked the brown rice in the rice cooker, I haven't mastered the rice cooker yet. Does yours get the brown crusty burn rice layer on the bottom? Mine does, EVERY time. I sprayed it with some cooking spray, still happened. I'll figure it out eventually but pointers would be awesome.

Then I shredded the zucchini raw and actually left it raw. I didn't want a mushy mess, which it kind of already is when it's raw. I mixed the cooked rice into the zucchini while it was still hot so the heat could party steam the zucchini. I added some salt, pepper, and lemon zest. That's it.

Delicious. I bet kids wouldn't even know there was a vegetable hidden in there. (I served mine with some chicken)
Happy Eating.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Citrus Meringue Sandwich Cookies

I'm a cookie phase. I like it. I'm going to start taking the cookies to work so I have less sugar running through my veins and then I will sleep at night again. These cookies are super sweet but also very tart. They are crunchy crumbly on the outside but then filled with creamy lemon curd.

Meringues Cookies.

2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the egg whites (save the yolks for the curd) in the mixer bowl with the fancy whisk attachment.

Beat egg whites, on medium speed until quite foamy, not just slightly foamy. Think mostly foam. Add the pinch of salt and increase speed to medium-high.

Slowly begin to sprinkle in the sugar. Continue to beat eggs until they become thick, glossy and messy. The egg whites will be the consistency of melted marshmallow.

I tossed the lime juice and vanilla right into the mixer at the end.

The blog I received this recipe from said to “Spoon into a piping bag, fitted with a large star tip. Pipe about a teaspoons worth of meringue onto the baking sheet” THIS FAILED FOR ME. It might not fail for you. I made a big giant sticky mess trying to put the egg whites into the baggie and spatula the rest with my non-existent 3rd hand. I got so mad about the whole thing that I squeezed the whole blob onto my baking sheet, and threw it into the oven. I considered going with that for about 15 minutes. Then I re-made the recipe with a few adjustments and got a new baking sheet.

When I did this the second time I used a spoon and made little dots of meringue on the sheet. Not pretty stars, but not a giant blob either so it worked for me. the dots can be close together on the tray.

Bake meringues for 2 hours, until firm and hardened.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before filling and sandwiching.

Lemon Curd.

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and set aside.

In a medium pot, whisk together lemon juice, granulated sugar, eggs, yolks, and pinch of salt.

Heat pot over a medium-low heat and add butter. Whisk the mixture, everything I read online said to keep a spatula nearby to help you get into the corners of the pan so it didn’t burn but I didn’t really use mine.

Cook the curd until the butter is melted, and the mixture is the thick and gooey. I whisked constantly, at first it smelled like butter, then eggs, then more like citrus, if you want the smell story.

Evidently Curd can get sort of chunky as you cook it because the egg can separate a little bit. This recipe doesn’t do it too much due to the whisking in the beginning and constant stirring. It can still happen a little though and if yours does it more I think it’s fine.

Remove the curd from the flame and immediately pour into the fine mesh strainer over the medium bowl. Press through the strainer, leaving any cooked egg bits in the strainer; I took a picture of what was left in my strainer so you could see what I mean.

Place curd in a container, with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly over (touching) the curd. Place in the fridge until completely cold.

Spread a dollop of curd on the meringue and top it with another meringue. This is a sandwich cookie, which is like eating two cookies, but it only counts as one, best trick ever!

These are most yummy when you eat them right after you sandwich them so don’t make a bunch and then think you’ll get around to eating them. They will be sticky and messy and not as good.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I made cookies!
Eliza helped me.

delicious, warm, gooey, chocolate, sort of salty, oatmeal hearty cookies!

baking is stressful but when it turns out... it's like a miracle!

I've recently been turned on to the blog Orangette. I was inspired by her cookie recipe.
I like the way she described them as plump hearty cookies, those kind are my favorite. I'm not a thin crispy cookie kind of gal.

Here is what I used:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (course)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 & 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 & 1/2 cups rolled oats whirled in the food processor for a few seconds

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

In my mixer bowl I, creamed together the melted butter and brown and granulated sugars until well blended.

Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk, mixing until light and creamy.

Mix in the sifted ingredients, working until just blended.

Stir in the chocolate chips and oats by hand, I used a spatula because I always use spatulas for everything.

Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line them with parchment paper, I don’t really like parchment because it folds funny and it makes me feel silly but I dislike cleaning so I use it.

Use a table knife to scoop and press dough into a ¼-cup measuring scoop, and put the dough balls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

You don’t want the cookies too close together.

Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.

Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cook completely.

I’d recommend eating with milk.

Happy Eating!