Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spinach, spinach, & more spinach

Last night a friend came over to design a necklace and bracelet for me. I'm very excited! R. offered to make dinner. Then it turned out he had a board meeting after work, which would have cut into cooking time. Saturday I started looking for make-ahead recipes we could use. Since we hadn't picked a meal yet or gone shopping, we were pretty flexible. I was leaning towards a vegetable lasagna for a few reasons. One, we have a bunch of no-bake lasagna noodles still from when I bought too much for the squash/pumpkin lasagna this past winter. Two, it's spring, and to me spring equals vegetables. Through the power of the open web, I found a spinach lasagna recipe at the Mayo Clinic, of all places. At least we know it's healthy: Spinach lasagna with sun-dried tomato sauce.

While R. was napping (still) on Sunday, I started the mushrooms and spinach, skipping the sauce for later. R. did that part when he got up and then took over and assembled it. Our changes:
- we used 2% milk because the soy milk we had was vanilla flavored
- we used sund-dried tomatoes in a jar (oil) instead of dry-packed
- we had a greater variety of mushrooms and ended up with 12 ounces instead of 10
- we used regular instead of fat-free ricotta

Prep was pretty easy, just a little time-consuming because of the steps. Clean-up wasn't that bad. R. covered the baking pan in foil and stuck it in the fridge. Monday evening, I pre-heated the oven when my friend showed up and baked the lasagna while we talked design.

We had extra spinach, having bought twice as much as we needed, and I thought a salad would be a good thing to have. However, I didn't want to go to the store for anything extra, so I did a Google search for "spinach apple salad" and quickly settled on this one. We had Granny Smith apples and cheddar (shredded) but no walnuts. Close enough. The dressing was good, but I would almost use a little less oil. I put the shredded cheddar in a separate dish and also put some goat cheese in a dish so we could choose which type we wanted. R. got some hazelnuts out, as well. I think we all ended up having it with goat cheese. Is there anything goat cheese doesn't improve?

For dessert, R. had made a raspberry chambord sauce the other night and we still had some left.(By the way, Chambord liquer has the cutest bottle ever. I'll even say it's cuter than the Frangelico monk.) We also had vanilla ice cream and butter pecan ice cream. And Ghiradelli 60A% bittersweet chocolate chips for melting. We decided on vanilla and topped with the raspberry sauce and some chocolate sauce. Delicious!

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