Spinach, cheese and ravioli bake

Michigan May temperatures are still chilly, though the sunshine has been warming me up for some outdoor gardening and exercise. I had some ingredients ready to go for another dinner dish, but decided to pair them up and make a classic comfort meal last week. I have made variations of this dish, already on this blog, but just made up this recipe and it was equally delicious.

I also wanted to test out my new box cheese grater, which is a huge improvement over other types of old-fashioned graters.  This easy pour grater by Venn Kitchen has four stainless steel grating sides which are very sharp.  The base is also non-slip with a design that can be used in two directions–vertical or horizontal, depending on personal preference.  Also included and what gives this grater a market advantage, is the unique compartment which collects the grated ingredients neatly and easily.

I loved the grater which I used for this recipe, and it made the whole dish come together so fast.

Here is how to make this comforting meatless pasta dish.  Gather these ingredients:  Pasta sauce, frozen mini cheese ravioli, shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, frozen spinach

Start by shredding the cheeses.  I used one cup of shredded mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  Layer the casserole dish with a thin coat of pasta sauce.  Add a layer of ravioli, top with cheese and then the spinach layer.

Layer 2-3 more times to complete the dish. Finish the top of the dish with grated Parmesan. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling hot.

Serve with a side salad.  This recipe freezes well for future leftovers.

For more information on Venn Kitchen products, follow them on Facebook.


Zucchini zoodle lasagna

I have been experimenting with my Paderno spiralizer and tried this recipe which was especially tasty.  This would be a wonderful one to try with children, as they would not even know that zucchini were a main ingredient of this dish.

I adapted the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens one-pan recipes and added some additional ingredients which made it closer to a pizza or lasagna without the noodles or crust.

Here is how I made this lasagna which could also be named a casserole pizza. I used two zucchini, spiralized them, salted and placed in a colander to drain for 20 minute prior to starting to assemble the dish.

Pat dry the zucchini.  Mix 2 eggs, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup cake flour, and 2 tablespoons cornmeal in a bowl.  Add the zucchini.

Place in a ceramic baking dish which has been prepared with Pam.  Add 3 chopped green onions, freshly ground black pepper, and one chopped sweet red pepper to the top of the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.

Then, add 3/4 can of pizza sauce to the top of the dish, top with 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella,  1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, mini pepperoni, sesame seeds and parsley flakes.  Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is well melted, and edges are crispy.

This dish is perfect to make ahead and store in the refrigerator to serve later in the day or within a few days.  I used my LidLover to cover the casserole and keep it fresh for heating up at a later time.

mushroom pot pie



meatless monday is a tradition in my house. i often search for a new twist on old favorites.  this recipe comes from real simple magazine, november 2011.  it is a fast easy dinner that is both delicious and quick to prepare for those manic monday evenings.

as with many recipes, i am certain that this one could be adapted to include cooked chicken or beef if truly desired.  this would also be a good recipe for the next day after thanksgiving or christmas turkey.

the recipe uses one sheet of puff pastry which has been thawed for 20 minutes prior to the preparation.

to make the mushroom pot pie:  preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat.  add about 8 ounces of chopped mushrooms.  i used Portobello and white mushrooms.  next, add sliced carrots, about 3 sliced celery stalks, one white onion, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.  cook until all the vegetables are tender.  this will take about 12 to 15 minutes.  next, add 1/2 cup flour to the vegetables and cook about 30 seconds to one minute to incorporate.  add 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth to the mixture and bring to a boil.  if adding cooked chicken or beef to this recipe, i would change the broth to chicken or beef broth.

while the mixture is cooking and coming to a boil, add 1 cup of frozen peas.  when all ingredients are hot, transfer the mushroom mixture to an eight inch SQUARE baking dish.  the square dish will fit the puff pastry perfectly.

using the puff pastry, lay it over the mushroom mixture.  cut several vents in the top of the crust with a knife.  place the baking dish on a rimmed sheet pan and bake until the crust is golden brown.  this step will take about 25 to 30 minutes.

serve this entrée with a side salad for a very easy weeknight meal.