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Ham, Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna Roll-Ups ♥

17 Apr
I adapted this recipe from someone I hate, Ellie Krieger. 
I even hate giving her credit for it because her face bothers me that much.
Please keep in mind that I made this 2 days after Easter
and have been sitting on this post (no, I don’t eat super old ham).
 

Ingredients Used In THIS Version (Ham, Spinach & Ricotta):

12 lasagna noodles (I’ll explain what I used in a minute)
12 oz. leftover Easter ham
8 oz. spinach (I used frozen)
15 oz. part-skin ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
pasta sauce
salt, pepper & oregano
Mozzarella or Parmesan for topping
 

First, and I mean first – get those lasagna noodles boiling in some salted water.

I a a stickler for Hodgson Mill organic pasta that’s made with milled flax seed.

Trust me, I know that whole wheat pasta tastes like crap, but this is tolerable and I haven’t tried a type of pasta I didn’t like from the brand.

What’s the deal with the flax seed?

Whole flax seed cannot be digested, but milled flax seed can.  That means that your body gets those yummy Omega-3 oils that make it strong.  Hodgson Mill  claims that one serving of pasta (like 3 lasagna noodles) provides you with 500 mg of Omega-3 oils.

 

Ok, onto the work.  Like I said, get those noodles boiling.  Mine took about 7-9 minutes to cook.  You want them al dente, true; but, you should be able to tell when they’re ready when it seems like they are sturdy enough to be rolled without falling apart.

While you’re noodles are getting their boil on, get the filling ready.

Mix together the spinach (thawed and drained OBVI), ricotta, and egg.

Since I used leftover Easter ham (which was obviously cooked), I just cubed it and reheated it in a little bit of olive oil.

Once it was warm, I added some pasta sauce.  Its really up to your discretion how much sauce you use here.  It will go in both the filling and on top of the roll-ups.

You want this warmed through of course, but it really just needs to simmer until the noodles are ready to be stuffed.

Before the noodles are done, set out some wax paper and prep a dish for the oven (cover in tin foil and pasta sauce).

You can probably turn off the ham/pasta sauce as this point too.

And then, lay them out side by side:

Now the fun part starts – the stuffin’!!

Each one is getting a scoop of the spinach/ricotta mixture:

Followed by a scoop of the ham/sauce mixture:

Then you just roll those suckers up…

Place them side-by-side in a dish (I happened to use this one because I know it holds 1 box of lasagna shells, rolled):

Cover the entire thing with the remaining pasta sauce…

And then cheese (I chose Parmesan and light Mozzarella here):

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes…

After 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes.  (I don’t know why, but that’s what stupid Ellie said to do.)

I made garlic bread in the meantime:

And we had ourselves a little Italiana feast!

These are literally the perfect low-cal alternative to lasagna lovers like me.  The roll-ups really allow you to control your portions (I only needed 2 before I was stuffed!), they are incredibly easy to serve once cooked, AND the ingredient options are endless.  Ellie suggests using portobello mushrooms, but I have been getting more experimental each time I make them.

I was also able to save the spinach/ricotta mix for some ravioli a few days later:

Delizioso!

Easter Endurance

8 Apr

Well the morning starting in a frenzy.  I had slept in longer than planned (I wanted to jog this morning so I could spend Easter a little more guilt-free.)

We were off to my parents (an hour away) by 9:30!

Well, hello Easter!

And (as predicted), plenty of beautifully dyed eggs…

Almost immediately, jelly bean boredom started to set in over the kitchen…

It was clearly time to start getting some appetizers made so that we could munch on healthier stuff!

If you’re from New Castle, Pennsylvania then you know what Mary’s Restaurant is.  And you know how excited I was to find out my mom had saved some of her hummus from the night before…

Chic plating, I know.  Be impressed with our domesticity.

Oh, the eggs.  How darling are these…

Easy enough to make, just cut 1/3 of the egg off instead of halving it (like you normally would to make deviled eggs).

Keep the caps to use as hats, and then just add some olive and carrot to make faces.  Every other part of making deviled eggs is the same!

I mean, how adorable are these eggs?  How have I lived 28 years and NOT thought to do this?  No idea…

Don’t you hate waiting?

The food was finished relatively early, with of course my dad having to take over mashing the potatoes.  For whatever reason, my mom is incapable of making mashed potatoes without lumps.  Its the one thing I can always remember my dad handling in the kitchen.

Yummmmmmmmm!  Best!!!!

Everything turned out really well, especially the ham…

I made my famous three-cheese macaroni with cauliflower…

And overall, everything was amazing!!

Easter Part 1 was pretty good, but we had to get back to Pittsburgh because we had another dinner to get ready for…

Lordy, lordy.  Thankfully we didn’t eat Easter “dinner” until around 6, because I was stuffed.

As usual, things at her♥ mom’s were amazing in general…

I could burst.

I even let my mac & cheese broil differently, and I believe it turned out better the second time:

We even got some Easter baskets at the end of the day from the MIL♥

She’s pretty much adorable…

I’m exhausted, full of ham and regretting giving all my candy to DR♥ because I am really craving some candy and that damn bunny didn’t bring me a thing!

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