Spinach Lasagna

I feel like I should preface this post by saying Zack and I do not like cooked spinach.  Give it to us raw in a salad?  That sounds delicious.  Cook it into any food, especially one of our favorite Italian dishes, lasagna?  NO WAY, no how.

BUT – one day Demeter (see Birthday Cake) and I went to the dining hall on our college’s campus for dinner.  They had spinach ravioli.  Demeter was getting some, so I decided to be brave and get a little, too.  It was incredible.  Not goopy and gross like all other cooked spinach that I’ve ever had.  The flavor actually complimented the Italian flavors really well.

As fate would have it, the next day I saw a recipe for spinach lasagna.  After some gentle coaxing, I got Zack to agree to try it if I made it (I promised him I would make him a grilled ham and cheese sandwich if he didn’t like it).  It was even better than the ravioli! Even Zack liked it! Although, he did say that he would like it even more if I used slightly less spinach next time.  10 ounces is kind of a lot for such a small thing of lasagna.

It should also be cooked a bit longer than 30 minutes, because the cheese wasn’t completely melted after 30 minutes.

I wish I had written down the name of the sauce that I used, because it was amazing.  It only had 4 ingredients and was completely natural.  I got it at TJ Maxx, a type of discount store, so I may never see it again.  😦 Since it only had 4 ingredients, the garlic was kind of overpowering, but not going to lie, I kind of loved it.

Looking at these pictures really makes me want another big plate of this right now.  I like it as much as regular lasagna which is saying a whole heck of a lot!

Today I am taking a cooking class with my mom called “Edible Christmas Gifts” and I cannot wait!  I will let everyone know how it goes.

Spinach Lasagna

– 4 oz cream cheese

– 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

– 1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, divided

– 2 c spaghetti sauce

– ~10 lasagna noodles, cooked

– 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Set aside.  Make a layer of noodles on the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish.  Spread spinach mixture on top of noodles.  Layer another layer of noodles on top and cover with spaghetti sauce and 1/2 c mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Mixed Vegetable Pilaf

One of my good friends is a vegetarian.  She really likes promoting vegetarianism, so she gave me three cookbooks of hers to look through.  I think it’s awesome when people can commit to vegetarianism (and even Veganism!) but I cannot.  I love my poultry too much.

Anyway, these cookbooks were really cool.  I got lots of healthy recipes out of them.  This was one of them.

The only thing that I would change about this is I would decrease some of the liquid.  I thought it would all cook down, but by the time it was finished, the rice was still kind of soupy.  It’s just a personal preference, but I like my rice more dry.

Look at all those yummy veggies!  Carrots, zucchini and mushrooms!  Mm, some of my favorites.

This dish makes a great side for virtually any meal.  You could even eat it as an entree for a light dinner.

Thanks, Demeter, for lending me your cookbooks 🙂

Mixed Vegetable Pilaf

– 2 T butter

– 1 c sliced, fresh mushrooms

– 1/4 t dried basil leaves, crushed

– 1 can (10 1/2 oz) chicken broth

– 3/4 c water

– 1 c regular rice, uncooked

– 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced

– 1/2 c shredded carrot

In 10-in skillet over medium heat, in hot butter, cook mushrooms and basil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add broth and water.  Heat to boiling.  Stir in rice.  Return to boiling.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer, covered, 15 minutes.

Stir in zucchini and carrot.  Cover; simmer 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Let stand, covered 5 minutes before serving.  Makes about 5 cups or 6 servings.