Tag Archives: flax seed

♥ Doll’s Birthday ♥

12 Mar

Yesterday was a very important day: her♥ birthday.  There are 20 days a year where we are only 1 year apart in age and I like to remind her of that constantly, although she insists that she doesn’t feel as old as I do.  I’m obviously keeping her around so she keeps me young. 😉

Since our schedule has been so hectic lately, I tried to make her birthday as special as I could without taking time away from work.

On Sunday, her dad invited us over for some takeout from Bravo! Cucina Italiana.  I am not a humungo-fan of Italian food (which is odd because my parents are constantly cooking pasta dishes), so I opted for the Balsamico Cobb Salad.  I didn’t take a pic because her dad is a little weary of my phone being on me at all times.  Its nothing fancy, just a salad with egg, tomato, bacon, grilled balsamic chicken, Gorgonzola, and these little crunchy pasta pieces that reminded me of Chinese food.  I of course indulged in the creamy horseradish dressing because I am obsessed with horseradish anything.

On Monday, I basically spent the entire day in the kitchen.

I made us a larger-than-usual breakfast spread with eggs, bacon (extra-crispy), and toast.

BirthdayBreakfast

Lunch was coconut-crusted chicken tenders, Brussels sprouts, and sliced pineapple.  It didn’t even last long enough for a photo op.  Then, I immediately went home and strapped up!

Apron

She requested chocolate cake with vanilla whipped cream icing and voila…

An over-the-top, ginormous cake:

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Probably too much for two people, but luckily we have tons of family members we plan on pawning it off on today.  As opposed to cakes I’ve attempted in the past, this one was actually good.  I always try to get creative and use fondant, but guess what…fondant tastes like crap and as far as I’m concerned should only be used to make accents on a cake.  In your face baking shows.

She requested chicken fettuccine alfredo with broccoli for dinner, which I obliged.  We had tried this flax seed pasta by Hodgson Mills in the past, but always with red sauce.

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(Yes, we are still under construction.  Miss Perfectionist refuses to primer until the mudding and sanding is impeccable.)

I still love the pasta, but I will never again make it with alfredo.  It just…wasn’t good.  Like the pasta absorbed the alfredo or something.  I actually can’t put my finger on exactly what happened, but just trust me on this.  Skip the alfredo with the flax seed pasta.  We basically just ate around it and had alfredo chicken and broccoli.  Oopsie!

Anyway, my doll♥ seemed to have a good birthday even though dinner was ruined because of my insistence on eating healthier.  Cheers to another orbit around the sun 🙂

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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!

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