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Monday, December 9, 2013

Recipe Review from 11/18/13 and 12/2/13

We came through last week with upwards of 30" of snow followed by sub-zero temperatures.  I am happy to say the Husband and I both made it safely to work on time every day - took us each upwards of 50 minutes, but we managed.   I did leave an hour early Wednesday as road conditions were deteriorating enough that I didn't want to do the drive in the dark.  We are plowed out and bundled up.

Jingle Bells!  It's a balmy -14* (-25*C). 

I had two recipes from two weeks ago that I forgot to post about with trip planning and execution.  The Parsnip Apple soup was picked to use up the last of our garden parsnips and some of our apples.  I made the parsnip soup pre-trip and froze so I would have lunches ready upon our return.  The Husband also made his chili in advance for suppers, so we were set for meals for the week.  I can't say how nice it is to be able to come home from vacation, pull a couple dishes out of the freezer, and not have to make a trip to the grocery store first thing Monday.  It's a bit more work on the front end,  a bit of extra grocery planning and meal execution, but SO worth it! 

Slowcooked Moroccan Butternut Squash with Quinoa...Gosh darn it!  I forgot to type it in again!  I'll do it later this week.  Grr...  This was really good and easy and worth a review.  

Slow Cooker Pesto Spinach Lasagna  (Year of Slow Cooking Blog)  Vegetarian, Gluten free option
A few differences between recipe as written and what I ended up doing.  My notes are in italics.  This was very good!  I cooked this on a weekend.  Classic lasagna taste, not over-y saucy, not sloppy-gooey.  Leftovers were even better.   My friend Tess made this with GF noodles and she said they did turn a bit gummy.  I didn't think to ask if she skipped the extra water.  I did, spinach has plenty of liquid to hydrate the noodles.  Recommended! 

1 (24-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
1 (8-ounce) box lasagna noodles (I used Cremette No-boil)
1 (11-ounce) container pesto (I used 6.5 oz)

1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (12-ounce) bag baby spinach
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounces mozzarella cheese (I used 10oz, grated)

1/4 cup water  (I skipped - spinach is full of liquid already)

Use a 4 quart slow cooker. 

Put a spoonful of pasta sauce (about 1/4 cup) into the bottom of your cooker and swirl it around. Add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (you're going to have to break them to make a layer). Smear ricotta cheese and pesto onto the noodles. Add a handful or two of baby spinach, and top with a layer of Parmesan and slice mozzarella cheeses. Repeat layers until you've run out of ingredients. The spinach is fluffy, so you're going to have to squish it down to make it all fit.

Before closing the pot, put 1/4 cup of water into the empty pasta sauce jar and close and shake. Pour this saucy water over the top of everything.

Now cover up and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for about 3 to 4. You'll know it's done when the top layer begins to brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. It will also pull a bit away from the sides. 

Taste-test a noodle to check texture.

Uncover, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Parsnip and Apple Soup (Ckng Lght Nov 2012)  gluten free, vegetarian option
We made this before our Charleston, SC, trip, and froze for lunches upon our return.  After a week of eating out, coming home to a meal already prepared is a bit of a relief.   I skipped the bacon and used toasted pumpkin seeds. 

photo from
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 cups chopped peeled parsnip (about 2 pounds)
  • 3 cups chopped peeled Fuji apple (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups no-salt-added chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled  (optional - I recommend toasted pumpkin seeds)
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add parsnip and next 8 ingredients (through garlic); sauté 8 minutes. Add stock, 2 cups water, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until parsnips are tender. Remove from heat; uncover. Let mixture stand 10 minutes.
  2. Place half of the parsnip mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters).   OR Use your immersion blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, and discard solids.   Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining parsnip mixture. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt. Sprinkle evenly with parsley and bacon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The lasagna sounds good.

Not sure about the parsnip soup. I've never been a big fan of parsnips. LOL

I promise myself that after Christmas I am getting back into the habit of cooking. It's been too much eating out lately.

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