Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dessert for Breakfast?

..or breakfast for dessert.  Take your pick, it's a winner

1/2 cup granola
1/2 -3/4 cup PLAIN yogurt [this is important for the health part]
A splash of orange juice
Chopped fruit of your choice. Pineapple is shown here
Frozen fruit of your choice for topping.  Strawberries shown here.

Layer them in any order that suits you because it'll all be mixed together once you dip your spoon. Bone appetit!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Trick To Beans

Beans are one of the most healthful things a person can eat and it's a wonder people don't eat them more.  I'm not talking about the canned kinds such as bean with bacon or baked beans (with the one piece of gratuitous pork fat).  I mean dried beans you buy in a package or in bulk, like pintos or great white northerns.
Nutritional reasons aside, there remains the one culprit that stops people from eating them:  a room full of folks with vicious amounts of gas.
If you enjoy the beans (but not the gas!) there's ways to cut out most of the unpleasantry if you don't mind taking a couple extra steps.
For a meal of pintos free of noxious fumes, put your rinsed and sorted beans in a pot of water the night before.  About one inch of water over the beans works fine.  Boil them over medium-high flame until you stop seeing white foam.  Drain and rinse.  Put them back in the pot covered with hot water and let them soak overnight.  Drain and rinse them the next day, then put them back in the pot with an inch-inch a half of water above the beans.  Cook them to desired tenderness with spices and vegetables of your choice.  It seems like a lot of work, but it's mostly beans boiling or setting overnight.
Navy or Great Northerns work the same way, but you can skip letting them sit overnight since they're softer and cook faster. Three or four hours should be enough.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Spinach and Cheese Lasagne

In the spirit of a meatless Thanksgiving, I made this lasagne dish.  It's not my first time making lasagne, but it is my first time making a meatless lasagne.  I was pleased and so was the ex since he ate a few hunks of it and then fell asleep.  Sleep?  That's the mark of a Thanksgiving success.

Spinach and Cheese Lasagne

1 lb. lasagne noodles
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. olive oil

1 30 oz. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. basil

1 jar good quality spaghetti sauce of your choice*
(add a pinch of oregano if the sauce has little or none in it)
1 10 ozpackage frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
2-3 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven at 350 degrees
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Add salt and olive oil.  Boil for 8-10 minutes (al dente).

While noodles are boiling, mix the ricotta, eggs, parmesan together in a bowl along with the parsley and basil.  Set aside.

Drain or squeeze as much water out of the frozen spinach as you can, or, alternately, use fresh spinach if you can get it.  Add the oregano to the spaghetti sauce if you opt. for the oregano and stir.

Drain the lasagne noodles in a colander, return to pot.  Add a small amount of the spaghetti sauce to the noodles and stir carefully.  This keeps the noodles from sticking together.

Put a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan.  Layer noodles on top.  Spread half of the ricotta mix on top of this.  Put most, or all of the spinach on top of this.  Just enough so that it looks right to suit your tastes.  Put a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on top.  Then another layer of noodles.  Put the rest of the ricotta on top of this, followed by more sauce, then half of your mozzarella cheese.  Put your final layer of noodles on top (you may have leftover noodles), the rest of your spaghetti sauce and finally the remaining mozzarella cheese.  cover loosely with a sheet of greased aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and edges are browning.

Remove from oven, cool on a rack, cut and serve.
*You may want to get two jars of spaghetti sauce in case you run out.  I used a jar and a half for my recipe.