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    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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Spinach and Pine Nuts

And then, there were leftovers! I had pine nuts on my counter that were an impulse buy. Spinach in the bag was leftover from the lasagna spirals, plus I kept a couple spirals in the fridge for lunch today. I figured I’d have a chance to get some natural daylight as a light source.

Lasagna Spiral Rolls and Spinach

I found a recipe for spinach with pine nuts (see recipezaar recipe here) and served it with the nuked lasagna spirals.

Badaboom. Big badaboom. Microwave + spiral == a mess. I don’t like microwaving in plastic so put it on a plate. I forgot to put a shield over it. Oops. But it cleaned up easily.

Lasagna Spiral Rolls and Spinach

Freezer Fun Food: Lasagna Spirals

When I saw lasagna spirals on Lynn’s blog, I knew I had to give it a try. I added it to my first menu and here it is. Rolling up little lasagnas sounded work intensive but wasn’t that bad. Also, they’re so fancy looking that I have something for a fancy menu.

This did take longer than I thought to make though. I didn’t get to try one until 9 p.m. Substitutions that I used were dried oregano and dried basil for the fresh basil. I couldn’t see buying all that basil for just a tablespoon. (Window sill herb garden, you say. I know, I say.)

Lasagna Rolls
Most of this was already on hand except the ricotta (low-fat) and fresh spinach. I wonder how it’d be with frozen spinach instead….

Lasagna Rolls
Hi, I’m a big tray of awesomeness. You know you want me.

Of course there was enough for quite a few servings so I took Lynn’s advice and grabbed all the one-cup containers I had. I found that I didn’t have as many as I thought so I started grabbing other containers. Let’s see which do best!

Lasagna Rolls to the freezer
Ready for the freezer. Here’s hoping!

Dinner: Spinach and Mushroom Quesadilla

Spinach, Mushroom Quesadilla The smell was Heaven! It was very quick and easy and tasted fantastic. The omnivore said when it was in the pan, “Oh, you’re sneaking that vegetarian stuff in on me.” No. I’m not sneaking. I’m on day four-ish though of meatlessness. It requires experimentation.

I was still eating while attending my online master’s degree class. Thankfully, I finished before it was my turn to talk. 🙂

I think to save time, I can have the spinach/mushroom mixture cooked before. I just had enough for three quesadillas and two were eaten by the omnivore. (Yep, that good.) Also, next time, I will serve it with something wet like salsa.

Before I put the top tortilla on:
Spinach, Mushroom Quesadilla

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

from: Martha Stewart

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) button or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces (about 8 cups) prewashed spinach, shredded
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas (8-inch)
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) pepper Jack cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add spinach in two batches, letting the first batch wilt slightly before adding the next; cook until spinach is completely wilted and mixture is dry, 2 to 3 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush one side of tortillas with remaining tablespoon oil. Place 4 tortillas, oiled sides down, on two baking sheets. Layer each tortilla with cheese, spinach mixture, and more cheese, dividing evenly. Top with the remaining 4 tortillas, oiled sides up, and lightly press to seal.
  4. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning them once, about 10 minutes. To serve, cut quesadillas into quarters.

Laptop Lunch #6

Wow. Number 6 already? I found a tin of miniature letter cutters and got a little silly with my Laughing Cow babybel.

Laptop Lunch #6

Clockwise, starting at the top left: Fat-free cottage cheese with bits of oranges and cantaloupe in it. A pile of plum and orange slices. Next is a Laughing Cow Light Babybel on top of spinach on top of orange slices. Last, but not least, is a bunch of cantaloupe balls with plum slices.The theme of this is cozy neighbors. A little of one container is in another container. Did I mention I was in a silly mood?

I started to get the hang of making balls out of my cantaloupe near the end. A few have rind on them. Oops!

WW Core except for the Laughing Cow (1 point). I just had to try these little letter cutters that I found in a drawer. I wanted to do “C” for cheese but it didn’t have “C”! No idea why. So, this is “N” for “NUM!” Also, a little gotcha… I forgot that there is a paper(?) string thing and the cut-out didn’t pop out as easily as I thought it would so had to cut along the edges of the “N.” When I got to work, I peeled off the strips and it put a slash through it making it look like “No N.” Or maybe it’s a “Z”!

Closeup of the N

Yes. I’m easily amused.

I also discovered that I don’t like orange plus cottage cheese. And the plum was very tangy but was told they’re supposed to be sweet so I’ll try that again. I still really like the combination of spinach and orange.

Flatout amazing! My first time making a flatout wrap

Turkey, tomato, spinach, cheese wrap

Two thumbs up!

I wanted to buy a low-cal, low-fat wrap for sandwiches (yes, thinking about my laptop lunch makings) and found among the wraps a weird looking oblong wrap. Brand name is Flatout and after looking at the nutritional values of those available, I got the Honey Whole Wheat one. It’s a lot of good bread for just 1 point. Odd though, I can’t find it on the Flatout website. This is the closest to the nutritional value that I found: Multi-grain Flatout.

The texture is great. It’s not scratchy or heavy wheat. It didn’t fall apart like the one tortilla ‘sandwich’ that I made did.

I looked on the website to try and figure out how I was supposed to use it. I found a few recipes but no play-by-play. So, I went with the generic “put the stuff on round end of the bread and then roll tightly.” I smooshed the cheese on the bottom using a wet tablespoon. It made the spreading of the cheese much easier. I then put on spinach, some thinly sliced turkey breast, and some slices of tomatoes. I rolled up from the filled end as tightly as I could but couldn’t do too tightly because of the tomatoes.

It held together very well considering I take my sandwiches so dry — no mayo, etc. I sliced it in half and it still held up well.

Fantastic product! I can’t wait to try some other ideas with it. Interestingly enough, after I bought it, I saw a fellow blogger post her fajita photo made with Flatout bread. So weird to go from never knowing about a product to buying it and seeing it in use shortly after!

Kitchen Sink Salad

Organic Produce I stopped off at Walgreens and Food Lion on the way home. Walgreens to buy the non-food items to see if I really do save. That and they have the eye drops I need for my Lasik healing. I then went to Food Lion to wander the aisles a little but mainly went to pick up mushrooms and bacon for a recipe I saw.

I looked in the organic section to see what was available and how much it’d kill my budget. The local farmers markets aren’t open all the time yet nor are they stocked with all I need, of course. Boy were those prices high! But, I focused on the “dirty dozen” to get the most green benefit from my green. I picked up a few organic apples.

While there, I stopped off to look at one of my latest addictions: strawberries. They were cleaned out. Seems they’re having an unadvertised special on strawberries for 1.33 a pound. Yep. That’s dirt cheap. But then again, strawberries are one of the “dirty dozen” so I hesitate to buy too many “dirt cheap” strawberries. I, at least, try to buy ones grown and processed in U.S.A. Since they were out and I already had a little tub in the fridge, I didn’t pick any up. I wanted to use up the strawberries I do have so that I can buy more (and maybe check out one of those you-pick farms). I don’t have much time before I leave for Orlando for a week so want to clean up all the produce in the fridge.
kitchen sink salad

Dinner: April 25, 2008

Kitchen Sink Salad

That’s really all I can figure to call it. I had some produce in the fridge that I needed to either eat or throw away and I hate to throw stuff away. I sliced up a golden delicious apple, a hot house seedless cucumber (I love those cause I don’t have to peel them), romaine, spinach, boiled egg (only the white part), strawberries, and bacon (center cut). I drizzled it with about 3 tablespoons (I measured to see how much dressing I use to count points) of Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Dressing. Thoughts: Well, while I knew apple, spinach and strawberries would do well with balsamic, I didn’t like when I’d get a combination bite of strawberry and egg. So, I basically had two salads. I thought the egg, spinach, romaine, bacon combination was fantastic as seen in that recipe. I also liked the combination of strawberry, apple, spinach, romaine, and balsamic. The cucumber didn’t do much except blend into the spinach.

Update: I broke down and walked to Food Lion today to get some strawberries. They are from U.S.A. but not many left for $1.33.