Monday, May 4, 2015

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

I love sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash.  The sweet tasty aftermath that is left in the mouth is scrumptious!  My family does not usually like it, so I still work hard on testing recipes to see if they will like it.

I came up thru this recipe while using Pinterest, and the mix of Spinach with the Butternut Squash got me drooling!  let alone Ricotta cheese in it, looked delicious!  and well fit for my meatless cooking day!  This also does well being a side dish since it is meatless and it is great for vegetarian people.

The recipe is a vegetarian lasagna that calls for creamy texture and sweetness added to it.  My family liked it so definitely it will be on my meatless meal list!  

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna


Butternut Squash Filling:
- 2 cups butternut squash puree (see Instructions on how to do )
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup milk plus 2 tbsp
- 1/3 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Spinach Filling:
- 1 cup cooked spinach (8 oz uncooked)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste

Other Ingredients:
- 10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked
- 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (or more)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Optional – I did not use)
- Paprika


 - Preheat oven to 375 F / 190 C.

Butternut Squash Filling:
    - To do the butternut squat filling, you would need to cut in half one butternut squat, remove seeds, and close it up in aluminum foil.  Place in oven and bake for 30min or until it is soft.  Once cooked, spoon out the meat and blend it until pureed.  To complete the filling, blend 2 cups of butternut squash puree  with Ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg. Add more milk if needed (to make the butternut squash filling very creamy). Mix very well, taste and add more salt, if needed.

Spinach Filling:
   - Combine spinach, Ricotta cheese, mozzarella, garlic, salt and pepper.

Cooking lasagna noodles:
   - Bring a very large pot of water to boil, and cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Rinse in cold water, drain.

Lasagna assembly:
   - Grease the lasagna dish lightly with butter. Spread 1/3 of butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked lasagna noodles without overlapping.
   - Spread half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
   - Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
   - Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
   - Spread a generous amount of butternut squash filling (the remaining 1/3) over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup of mozzarella). Generously sprinkle the cheese with paprika if desired.
   - Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

  • 4 boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine bread crumbs
  • oil for deep frying

  • Place cubed chicken breasts into a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and add parsley, onion powder, garlic powder , salt and pepper. Mix well. Put the flour in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Put beaten eggs in another bowl and breadcrumbs in a different bowl. Place those 3 bowls close to the chicken mixture, to make it easier to work with. 
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Roll out the chicken into small balls, about 1 tablespoon each, and flatten them using the palms of your hands to form the nugget shapes. Cover each nugget with flour, then dip into the egg, and cover with breadcrumbs. Repeat the process with the remaining nuggets. 
  • Fry the nuggets in hot oil, until the chicken is cooked through and turn golden brown (about 4 minutes per side). Remove from the oil and drain the excess grease using paper towel. Serve warm.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Orange Muffins with Dried Cranberries

Aromatic, soft, not to sweet morning muffins that are great for a low dose of sugar as breakfast or any kind of snack.

The orange juice adds a nice taste and additional sweetness while using very little sugar.  If you do not have dried cranberries, I am sure raisins would be fine and still delicious.  

The topping gives it additional sweetness while reserving the taste of the original muffin itself.  The cinnamon of it mixed with the nutmeg in the muffin give this muffin a very delicious taste to it!

Orange Muffins with Dried Cranberries

1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup dried cranberries

2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 190.5°C and line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with baking cups (I buttered and coated with flour instead because I had no muffin cups, and I made 9 instead of 12); coat baking cups with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine orange zest, orange juice, milk, oil, and egg in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Gently fold in cranberries and fill each baking cup 3/4 full of batter. 

 Mix together sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake for 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes before removing from pan to serve warm or cool completely. Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Yield – 10 muffins (serving size: 1 muffin)
Calories – 166
Carbs – 26


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Indian Butter Chicken

First time cooking an Indian dish and trying it as well.  It turned out delicious and not hard as I thought..!

If you are looking for an easy, quick, and delicious dish that your family will for sure love, you should try this!

Indian Butter Chicken


4 pieces Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Bite Size Pieces 
5 cloves Garlic, Minced 
1 teaspoon Salt 
½ teaspoons Black Pepper 
½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (I omitted it since my son will eat)
¼ teaspoons Ground Coriander 
¼ teaspoons Cumin 
¼ teaspoons Cardamom 
1 Lime, Juiced 
1 Onion, Diced 
¼ cups Butter 
1 can Tomato Sauce 
2 cups of Whipping Cream 
1 bunch Chopped Cilantro, to taste 
Cooked Basmati Rice 


Combine first 9 ingredients and marinate overnight.

Saute the onion in the butter until soft. Add marinated chicken and cook about 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on. Add the whipping cream and cilantro just before serving over Basmati rice. 

Note: this is a little spicy, but you can cut back on the cayenne if you want.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Crispy Homemade Fish & Chips

We love fish & chips!  – it was surprisingly simple to make, and so delicious.

The secret to the ultra-crispy batter is a combination of baking soda and bubbly soda water, this is what gives the first the crispy texture you are looking for!

For a cocktail party, try cutting fresh fish into small bits for bite-sized fish and chips to dip in tartar sauce.  

The tartar sauce was homemade.  It was the first time I make it! Below is the link to the site I got it from. 

Crispy Homemade Fish & Chips


3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
500gr of preferred fish fillets 
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 cup soda water
canola oil, for cooking
Salt, pepper, paprika, per taste


Put 1/4 cup of the flour into a shallow dish. Cut the fish fillets on a slight diagonal into 1-inch wide strips.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, salt and other spices and soda water – the mixture should have the consistency of thin pancake batter.

In a heavy pot, heat about two inches of oil until it’s hot but not smoking. Pat the fish strips dry with paper towel and dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip one or two pieces at a time in the batter to coat well and gently place in the oil. Cook, turning as needed, for 4–5 minutes, until deep golden and cooked through. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool, then sprinkle with salt.

Serves 4.

The chips/fries were made oven baked and you can check its recipe here 

Recipe for the tartar sauce found here


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Simple Orange Cake

This cake is super simple and so delicious.  Not very sweet, and so soft.  Great for breakfast, snack or tea party!

Simple Orange Cake

Ingredients + Method:

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
rind of 1 orange
1/4 cup oil
3 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
Whisk all the above together
Add to the wet ingredients:

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
juice of one orange
Continue to whisk these last ingredients and then pour into a greased and floured pan and bake in preheated 177 C oven for 25-40 min depending on oven.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tri Color Pasta Salad

Quick, easy and delicious salad.  Full of color and taste!  

Great for parties and side dish wish any meal, and also with barbecue.

 Tri Color Pasta Salad

  • 350gr tri-color rotini dried pasta - cook and drain as instructed in package
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • ¼ cups red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 2/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing
  • 2 teaspoons sauté spice (equal parts black pepper, salt, and garlic powder)
  • ½-1 cup toasted pine nuts (I omitted this, but next time will use!)
  1. Cook pasta and coat with Caesar dressing while warm. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the pine nuts) and toss. 
  2. Top with toasted pine nuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cheese, Olive and Turkey Ham Bread

This bread is no type of bread where you need to use yeast of any kind and wait till if foams up.  You don't need to wait any minute to place it in the oven.  It is as if you are baking a cake, but turns out savory type of cake.

A cake filled with olive, turkey ham and cheese.  Great to be cut into slices and placed in a tray presented at any kind of party.  This bread is soft, tasty, and not dry at all.  Great for breakfast, snack, party food, anything really.!


1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2¾ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
4 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup whole milk
6½ tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons small-diced turkey or chicken ham
170 gr Cheddar, Gruyere, or Emmental cheese, coarsely grated (about 1½ cups)
2/3 cup pitted sliced black olives 


1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Butter and flour an 8½-x-4½-inch loaf pan.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. In another bowl or in a large measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk, olive oil, and ham. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and stir gently to blend. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the cheese and olives. Scrape the batter into the pan.
4. Bake the loaf for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 190 degrees C and continue to bake the loaf for another 35 minutes or so, until it's puffed and golden, and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let it rest for 5 minutes, then turn it out. 

Turn the loaf right side up and let cool completely on the rack.


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