Archive of ‘Meatless Meals’ category

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger

Looking for a “meatless” burger FULL of flavor? Try this delicious Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger! This sandwich features a marinated portobello mushroom with grilled onions, bleu cheese crumbles and a Dijon herb sauce! “Meatless Mondays” will never be the same!Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Now I have to start this blog post by saying that I have never had a portobello burger before. Ever. I’ve had my fair share of of meatless burgers, like black bean  (thanks to one of our sons who is a vegetarian), but never a burger patty made out of a huge portobello mushroom.  I love portobello mushrooms, and yes, they are known for their “meaty” taste, but until I tried this recipe, the concept had eluded me. Until now.

I found the recipe on Pinterest for the basic burger part of the recipe, then tweaked the recipe a bit to let me marinate the mushroom before cooking, which gave it additional flavor!  I’m a traditional beef burger girl all the way, but was open to trying a meatless version.  The result? A tasty burger, which my husband and I really enjoyed!  Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you will enjoy this flavor-filled sandwich.

Here’s how to make these delicious “meatless” burgers: First thing to do is to make a sauce for the finished burgers.  In a small bowl, combine plain Greek yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic cloves, dijon mustard, dried basil, parsley and salt. Mix well, then refrigerate until ready to use.

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth. Remove stems and gills from underside of mushroom. Clean the gills out by carefully running a small spoon around the underside of the mushroom. Discard gills. This is what they looked like before marinating. Each mushroom is about 4 inches wide (which is perfect size to fit on a hamburger bun)!

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Make a simple marinade for the mushrooms by mixing together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of salt. Pour the marinade over prepared portobello mushrooms, turning to cover, and let them sit in the marinade for 20 minutes (with mushroom top face down in the marinade most of the time).

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat a skillet on medium-high.  Lightly brush the skillet with the olive oil. Add mushrooms and red onion slices to the hot skillet.  Cook mushrooms 4 minutes per side, until they are tender and juices begin to be released.  Cook onions until tender and lightly browned.

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While mushrooms cook, split and lightly butter each half of hamburger buns. Grill them, butter side down in a skillet, until toasted and lightly browned.

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To assemble burgers, spread a Tablespoon of the herb sauce on the bottom side of a toasted bun. Top with cooked red onion, then put the cooked mushroom on top of the onions with the top (smooth side) down. Sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles, then cover with lettuce leaf. Top with bun, and it’s ready to eat!

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you enjoy this delicious burger. It is a tasty alternative to a traditional beef burger, and we really enjoyed it and were pleasantly surprised by it’s great flavor! Have a great day.

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: https://www.cleaneatingmag.com/recipes/grilled-portobello-burgers-with-blue-cheese-creamy-dijon

Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Meatless Monday never tasted so good with this vegetarian burger!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Serves: 2 burgers
Ingredients
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms (wiped clean, stems and gills removed)
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 1½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 kaiser rolls (or hamburger buns)
  • Butter (for toasting buns)
  • ¼ cup bleu cheese (crumbled)
  • 2 Romaine lettuce leaves
For Mushroom Marinade:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
For Burger Sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Pinch of salt
Directions
  1. Make the sauce for the finished burgers. In a small bowl, combine plain Greek yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic cloves, dijon mustard, dried basil and salt. Mix well, then refrigerate (covered) until ready to use.
  2. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth. Remove stems and gills from underside of mushroom. Clean the gills out by carefully running a small spoon around the underside of the mushroom. Discard gills. Make marinade for mushrooms by mixing together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Pour marinade over prepared portobello mushrooms, turning to cover; let them sit in marinade for 20 minutes (with mushroom top face down in marinade most of the time).
  3. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Lightly brush skillet with the olive oil. Add mushrooms and red onion slices to hot skillet. Cook mushrooms 4 minutes per side, until tender. Cook onions until tender and lightly browned.
  4. While mushrooms cook, split and lightly butter each cut side of hamburger buns. Grill them, butter side down in a skillet, until toasted and lightly browned.
  5. To assemble burgers, spread a Tablespoon of the dijon sauce on the bottom side of a toasted bun. Top with cooked red onion, then put the cooked mushroom on top of onions with the top (smooth side) down. Sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles, then cover with lettuce leaf. Top with bun, and it's ready to eat!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Portobello Bleu Cheese Burger / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Veggie Lasagna Rollups

I am occasionally on the lookout for ideas for “meatless” meals, since one of our sons is a vegetarian.  I like finding new recipes we can enjoy together when he comes for dinner. Recently I came up with this simple recipe for Veggie Lasagna Rollups, after raiding my pantry and refrigerator for ingredients.Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here’s what I came up with:  Use lots of veggies and cheeses inside a rolled up lasagna noodle, then top with an Italian flavored pasta sauce, and bake. Sounded simple enough, and the recipe I ended up with had lots of flavor and tasted great!  Here’s how I made them:

Melt butter in large skillet. Add chopped veggies (yellow and green bell peppers, onion, spinach, and mushrooms). Saute until crisp-tender. Set skillet aside.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. When done cooking, remove noodles carefully and drain, then lay pasta flat on work surface and blot dry with a paper towel.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder until fairly smooth. Reserve and set aside 1/4 of the cheese mixture to add to the top of the lasagna noodles prior to bakingSpoon a layer of remaining cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle, lengthwise. Try to leave about a half inch on either side of noodle clear.

Once noodles have cheese layer, evenly divide the cooked veggies down each noodle.  Top with a bit of grated Mozzarella cheese.  Repeat process for each lasagna noodle.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread Italian pasta sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish (enough to lightly cover bottom of dish).  Roll each one of the lasagna noodles up, beginning at the short end.  Place lasagna rollups seam side down in the baking dish. Spoon reserved cheese mixture over tops of lasagna rollups.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour pasta sauce over tops and sides of rollups until covered (I used a can of Italian spaghetti sauce for simplicity).  Top the sauce with additional grated Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake lasagna rollups in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until cheese and sauce are bubbly, and dish is heated through.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove dish from oven. Let it cool for just a minute, then carefully lift each rollup out of dish with a spatula and place onto individual serving plates.  Here’s a sideview of what it looked like once cooked and on the plate… a simple, meatless yet tasty veggie and cheese filled Italian lasagna rollup.  The recipe makes 8 rollups, so depending on how hungry you are, you can either get 4 servings (2 per person) or 8 servings (1 per person).

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will consider trying this recipe. Make it your own by adding any other veggies of your choice to the mix, as well. AND…if you want to add meat… simply brown some crumbled Italian sausage and add to the veggie mixture – whatever works best for you!  Have a great day, friends.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Veggie Lasagna Rollups
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cooked veggies, four cheeses, and Italian pasta sauce in rolled up lasagna noodles make this an easy to prepare, delicious and meatless meal.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8 rollups
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (at room temp)
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small package frozen spinach, thawed and drained really well
  • 7-8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 8 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (prepared canned marinara)
  • Additional grated mozzarella and Parmesan (for sprinkling on top of rollups before baking)
Directions
  1. Melt butter in large skillet. Add chopped veggies (yellow and green bell peppers, onion, spinach, and mushrooms). Saute until crisp-tender. Set skillet aside.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. When done, remove noodles carefully and drain; lay pasta flat on work surface and blot dry with a paper towel.
  3. In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder until fairly smooth. Reserve and set aside ¼ of cheese mixture to add to top of lasagna noodles prior to baking. Spoon a layer of remaining cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle, lengthwise, leaving about a half inch clear around edges of noodle.
  4. Evenly distribute cooked veggies down each noodle. Top with a bit of grated Mozzarella cheese. Repeat process for each lasagna noodle.
  5. Spread Italian pasta sauce on bottom of a large baking dish (enough to lightly cover bottom of dish). Roll each of the lasagna noodles up, beginning at short end. Place seam side down in baking dish. Spoon reserved cream cheese mixture over top of each rollup.
  6. Pour marinara sauce over tops and sides of rollups until covered. Top with additional grated Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese (as much as you wish).
  7. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until cheese and sauce are bubbly, and dish is heated through.
  8. Remove dish from oven. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, then carefully lift each rollup out of dish with a spatula and place onto individual serving plates.
Notes
The recipe makes 8 rollups, so depending on how hungry you are, you can either get 4 servings (2 per person) or 8 servings (1 per person).
Fresh baby spinach can be substituted for frozen (I was using what I had on hand).

 

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Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart

I recently made a delicious and colorful Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart. I found a recipe on Pinterest from a favorite blogger, tweaked the recipe very slightly, and enjoyed the results very much!Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks
The recipe features a delectable (pat in the pan) crust, and is filled with quiche-style filling, with fresh mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Ricotta cheese, plus fresh basil leaves, Italian spices, and is beautifully “crowned” with beautiful tomato slices for that pop of flavor and color!  Believe it or not, the recipe was not too hard to make, either! This dish is perfect for breakfast, lunch OR dinner. I think it would be fabulous to serve at a brunch!

Here’s how you make this delicious tart:  Preheat your oven to 410 degrees F.  Place butter, oil, water, sugar and salt in an oven-proof bowl. Place bowl in preheated oven; cook for 15 minutes. Remove hot bowl from oven.  Add flour into the hot butter mixture. Stir this until the dough comes together and can be formed into a ball. Place the dough ball into a 10 or 11 inch tart pan (with a removable bottom).

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Once dough has cooled enough to handle, press the dough into the tart pan and up the sides to form a crust. (Hint from original recipe author: save a tiny bit of dough which can be used to repair any cracks in crust after baking).  Pierce the crust all over with the tines of a fork. Press the sides of the crust in the pan to help reinforce the crust. I used a fork to do this. Bake crust at 410 degrees for 15 minutes (until golden in color).  Remove crust from oven. If any cracks occurred, use the tiny bit of dough to do a quick repair job. Let crust cool.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 F. Place a long baking sheet into the heated oven (for later).

NOTE*** — I only had a 9 inch tart pan, so as you can see from my photos, I used the extra crust for two little tarts as well, then just divided the filling between the tarts. (The smaller crusts took a bit less time to cook).

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While you are baking crust or waiting for crust to cool down, combine the eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, half and half, Italian seasoning and salt in a medium bowl. Stir well to mix; once combined, add the small basil leaves and stir together. Set aside.

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Slice tomatoes (1/4 inch slices). Place slices on top of several paper towel to let them drain a bit.  While the tart is in the oven baking, lightly brush the tops of each tomato slice with a bit of olive oil

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once the tart crust has cooled completely, add the grated fresh mozzarella cheese and spread to cover bottom of crust. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the mozzarella cheese.

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the tart onto the heated baking sheet (in the oven) and bake on the pan for 10 minutes at 375 F.

Remove tart from oven after 10 minutes; arrange the tomato slices on top of the tart. Sprinkle tomato slices with salt and black pepper. Place the tart back in the oven and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes (mine took 20), until just set. (When you slightly wiggle the tart pan, the filling no longer “jiggles” back and forth). Remove the tart pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This is how they looked when they first came out of the oven. I already had taken the tart pan off the small ones, as they had cooked and cooled enough before the large tart was done. Aren’t they gorgeous???

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I kinda like the little bitty ones… they would be perfect to serve at a brunch!

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The tart can be served hot (after it rest for 10 minutes), or at room temperature. Either way is wonderful. Wrap leftovers well; will keep for several days if refrigerated.

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I hope you will consider trying to make this delicious tart, I loved being able to use fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden to make it! It was wonderful to have this tart hanging around in our refrigerator for a few days; it was so easy to grab a slice for lunch or breakfast!

Have a blessed day… we got a new puppy yesterday, so I am up to my eyeballs in “PUPPY” stuff. So tired, yet so very thankful for our new furry bundle of JOY!

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://thecafesucrefarine.com/2016/06/tomato-basil-fresh-mozzarella-tart/

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://thecafesucrefarine.com/2016/06/tomato-basil-fresh-mozzarella-tart/

Tomato, Basil and Three Cheese Tart
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Enjoy this delicious and colorful tart (with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and fresh basil) for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
For crust:
  • 6 ounces butter
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (non-flavored oil)
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups, plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
For tart filling:
  • 4 large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (room temp)
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (dried)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup small, fresh basil leaves
  • 10-15 small colorful tomatoes (I used a combo of Romas and various color cherry tomatoes)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Olive oil (to lightly brush on tomato slices prior to baking)
  • Salt and pepper, to sprinkle on tart before final bake
Directions
To make the crust:
  1. Preheat your oven to 410 degrees F. Place the butter, oil, water, sugar and salt in an oven-proof bowl. Place bowl in preheated oven; cook for 15 minutes. Remove hot bowl from oven.
  2. Add flour into the hot butter mixture. Stir this until the dough comes together and can be formed into a ball. Place the dough ball into a 10 or 11 inch tart pan (with a removable bottom). Once dough has cooled enough to handle, press the dough into the tart pan and up the sides to form a crust. (Hint from original recipe author: save a tiny bit of dough which can be used to repair cracked crust after baking).
  3. Pierce the crust all over with the tines of a fork. Press the sides of the crust in the pan to help reinforce the crust. I used the fork to do this. Bake at 410 degrees for 15 minutes (golden in color).
  4. Remove crust from oven. If any cracks occurred, use the tiny bit of dough to do a quick repair job. Let crust cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F. Put a long sheet pan into the oven to heat up.
  5. While you are waiting for crust to cool down, combine the eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, half and half, Italian seasoning and salt in a medium bowl. Stir well to mix; once combined, add the small basil leaves and stir together. Set aside.
  6. Slice tomatoes (1/4 inch slices). Place slices on top of several paper towel to let them drain a bit.
  7. Once the tart crust has cooled completely, add the grated fresh mozzarella cheese and spread to cover bottom of crust. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the mozzarella cheese. Place the tart onto the heated baking sheet (in the oven) and bake on the pan for 10 minutes at 375 F.
  8. While the tart is in the oven baking, lightly brush the tops of each tomato slice with a bit of olive oil.
  9. Remove tart from oven after 10 minutes; arrange the tomato slices on top of the tart. Sprinkle tomato slices with salt and black pepper. Place the tart back in the oven and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes (mine took 20), until just set. (When you slightly wiggle the tart pan, the filling no longer "jiggles" back and forth). Remove the tart pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. The tart is also delicious when served at room temperature!
Notes
Note: FYI- Original recipe called for ½ cup small fresh basil leaves. I made the tart the first time with that measurement, but I found I actually prefer LESS basil flavor in the tart, so have adjusted the quantity down to ¼ cup small basil leaves for my version.

 

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Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach

My husband and I tried a new recipe a few weeks ago for “Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach”. Let me tell you… it was a fantastic, very flavorful, “meatless” dinner, and must be totally “HEALTHY” because it has spinach in it, right? (snicker, snicker)Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
It actually was very delicious and EASY to prepare! I found the recipe online and played around with it just a bit to suit our taste buds, and boom! Mac and Cheese with ATTITUDE! Here’s how easy it is to make:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain macaroni noodles, according to the package directions (then set aside).  Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add chopped green onion; cook & stir for a couple minutes, then add minced garlic and cook for one more minute.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Stir (or whisk) in flour. Continue cooking for one minute.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add in half and half and milk, stirring continuously. Turn the heat on the stove up to medium-high. While stirring, bring the mixture to a boil. Continue stirring. This should take several minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once the sauce has come to a boil and has thickened (see photo below), add salt and pepper, to taste.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Turn heat down to medium-low. Stir in the smoked Gouda and freshly grated Parmesan cheeses. Mix well to melt cheeses.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once cheese has melted, add in the chopped spinach and the cooked and drained macaroni noodles. Stir to combine.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once dish is fully mixed, taste sauce. If necessary, add additional salt and pepper, to suit your taste.

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spray a 2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray, then pour macaroni mixture in. Sprinkle the top with dried bread crumbs. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake it for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. After 15 minutes, remove the foil , and continue baking for approximately 6-7 additional minutes, until the cheese sauce is nice and bubbly!

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here’s what it looked like straight out of the oven. Can you see the bubbling sauce on the edges of the pan?

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We let it cool down just a touch, then dished up our servings! It was really delicious! The combination of flavor from Smoked Gouda Cheese and Parmesan really give this comfort food dish a LOT of flavor! I sure hope you will give this recipe a try. It’s that kind of recipe that makes you want to curl up on the couch (in sweatpants) with a big bowl of this comfort food after a long day. No matter HOW you eat this, I think you’ll LOVE it!

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/03/21/spinach-macaroni-and-cheese/

Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda and Spinach
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Creamy and cheesy, this comfort food meal features Smoked Gouda and Parmesan cheeses... and fresh spinach!
As Prepared By:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped green onion, thinly sliced (stem and bulb)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Half and Half
  • 2 cups low-fat milk (I used 1%)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1½ cups Smoked Gouda cheese, grated
  • ½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, cut into ½ inch strips
  • ¾ pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained (use pkg. directions)
  • ½ cup dried bread crumbs
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat, in a large skillet or saucepan. Add chopped green onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add minced garlic and cook for additional minute. (do not burn garlic!)
  3. Stir or whisk in flour. Cook for additional minute.
  4. Add half and half and milk. Stir or whisk in to the flour mixture in pan to fully combine. Turn heat up to medium high. Continue cooking, stirring often until mixture comes to a boil. This will take several minutes. The sauce will thicken quite a bit. Once thickened, season to taste with a little bit of salt and black pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low.
  5. Stir in Smoked Gouda and Parmesan cheeses. Stir to combine. Add chopped spinach and cooked & drained macaroni noodles. Stir well to fully mix ingredients together. Once mixed, taste it again. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Spray a 1 quart baking dish with non stick spray. Pour macaroni mixture into dish. Sprinkle the dried bread crumbs evenly over the top of macaroni. Cover pan with foil.
  7. Place covered dish in 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil from dish, then continue baking for 6-7 minutes. When done, the sauce is hot and bubbly around the edges of the pan.
  8. Remove from oven, let it rest for about a minute, then serve it up! YUM. Enjoy!
Notes
Any combo of cheeses would probably work in this dish... Just be sure that the total amount of cheese added is 2 cups! Have fun creating your OWN version!

 

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Florentine Lasagna Roll

I’ve been making this meatless Florentine Lasagna Roll for almost 20 years… for potlucks and delicious dinners with our family! Filled with spinach, three kinds of cheese, garlic and onion, then covered in a simple Italian flavored tomato sauce, this recipe is easy and FABULOUS!Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Even though this meal is “meatless”, you don’t need it with three cheeses, spinach and fantastic Italian flavors shining through in this meal!  The recipe is “simple”; all you do is cook lasagna noodles, mix together a cheese and spinach filling and spread it over the noodles, roll it up, cover with an Italian-flavored tomato sauce and bake. Easy, right? Right. Anyone can make this great dish!  Here’s how..

Cook spinach and drain well.

Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In medium sized bowl, combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, cooked and drained spinach, chopped onion, garlic cloves, black pepper, and egg.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mix well, to completely combine ingredients. Set aside.

Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions. You need 10 cooked lasagna noodles for this recipe. I cook 12, in case any of them split or break. (Think of it as pasta insurance.) Once cooked, I drain the noodles, then arrange them on a large sheet of wax paper, overlapping the long (curly) sides to form a rectangle like this…

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once noodles are fully arranged, carefully spread the filling over the noodles. I put spoonfuls of filling all over the noodles, then use the back of a spoon to spread out the filling.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I spread grated Mozzarella cheese all over the cheese/spinach filling, then carefully roll up the pasta and filling.  To roll it up: Using the wax paper to help, begin tightly rolling the noodles up (starting with the side of rectangle with straight pasta edges). Use the wax paper to help roll noodles tightly as you go. Tuck the noodle edges under as you complete the first roll,  so you have a tight, firm roll to begin with.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I pulled back some of the wax paper as I rolled to show you what it should look like.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When pasta is completely rolled up,  place the finished roll on a large baking sheet (one with rimmed edges). Carefully remove the last bit of wax paper from underneath the roll. The lasagna roll should look like this.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (tomato sauce, sugar, basil and oregano); stir to combine.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon sauce over the entire surface (top and sides) of Lasagna Roll. Use all the sauce.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When completely covered with sauce, grate Parmesan cheese all over the top and sides of the roll.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, and let the Lasagna Roll stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

With a sharp knife cut slices of the Florentine Lasagna Roll, and place on individual serving plates with a large spatula. Serve with some crusty bread and a great salad, and BOOM! You’ve got yourself a great Italian “meatless” meal… just like that!

Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Trust me… this meal is DELICIOUS. You won’t even miss having meat in it. The flavors are amazing, it’s really EASY to make, and looks quite nice, too! Sure hope you will give this recipe a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

Have a great day during this busy holiday season. My husband and I made an intentional decision this year to NOT fill up this holiday season with “busy-ness” and constantly looking for “things” to entertain us, as our culture tends to promote. Instead, we are enjoying a simple holiday season this year, trying to focus on what Christmas really means to us… the birth of our Savior, Jesus. His humble birth changed everything, and for that we are GRATEFUL.

Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: unknown (wrote recipe on a 3×5 card over 20 years ago- didn’t note where I got it from)

Florentine Lasagna Roll
 
Prep time
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Meatless, but definitely not tasteless, this three cheese and spinach filled lasagna roll is absolutely easy to prepare and tastes delicious!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 10 cooked lasagna noodles
For The Filling:
  • 10 oz. package frozen spinach, cooked, and well drained.
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese (room temp.)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (do not add to filling-keep separate!)
For The Sauce:
  • 3- 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
For garnish:
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
To Make The Filling:
  1. Cook spinach according to package instructions. Drain well. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, cooked spinach, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, chopped onion, black pepper, minced garlic and egg. Stir well until mixture is fully combined. Set aside.
To Make Lasagna Roll:
  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Remove from heat; drain.
  2. On wax paper, arrange the noodles overlapping the long (curly) sides to form a large rectangle.
  3. Spread cheese/spinach filling over surface of noodles. Spread grated Mozzarella cheese over the cheese/spinach filling.
  4. Starting at short ends of the pasta (non curly), roll up the pasta (in jelly roll fashion), using the wax paper to help. Tuck the ends under and firm up the roll, as you roll it up, continuing to use the wax paper as a guide. When it is roll completely, carefully transfer (might have to use two spatulas) the roll to a large (9x13) baking sheet. Carefully remove the wax paper. Seam side should be down on the sheet.
To Make Sauce:
  1. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, sugar, basil and oregano. Stir to combine.
To Finish Roll:
  1. Spread the sauce over top and sides of entire lasagna roll. Grate Parmesan cheese over top of the roll. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven. Let Lasagna Roll stand for 5 minutes before attempting to slice. Using a sharp knife, slice into serving sizes, and using a spatula, place slices onto individual serving plates. Enjoy!

 

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Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce

Well, Fall weather has definitely come to the Pacific Northwest, bringing with it LOTS of rain and cooler temperatures, I have felt myself craving pasta lately. It’s funny- in the Summer I want to BBQ our meals; in Fall and Winter I crave “comfort food” recipes, much like this easy recipe for Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce.Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
My husband and I enjoyed this “meatless” pasta dish last week. Store bought tortellini is cooked, then served in a delicious cream sauce, which features the flavors of spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, and of course… Parmesan cheese! It’s a very easy dish to pull together, as well, which ALWAYS scores big with me. Here’s how you make it:

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook tortellini, according to package directions, while you are making the sauce. Time it so that the tortellini is done when the sauce is ready.

Cook frozen chopped spinach according to package directions (I didn’t have any so I used fresh baby spinach, chopped it, then cooked it for a couple minutes in boiling water to wilt it).

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drain the spinach really well using a strainer. Set the drained spinach aside. (I drained it so well I BROKE this strainer. Oops. Be careful out there, folks!)

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a large skillet, sauté onion in oil until it is tender (3-4 minutes).

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once onions have softened, add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring well.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add tomatoes, spinach, basil, salt and pepper to the skillet.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Give it a good stir, then continue cooking the mixture on medium-high heat until almost all of the liquid has cooked out (this will take about 5-6 minutes).

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour in the whipping cream.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grate Parmesan cheese and add it to the mixture.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Give the sauce a good stir. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to LOW and simmer for 8-10 minutes (or until the sauce has thickened). Leave the skillet uncovered while cooking.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

About the time the sauce is finished cooking and hot, the tortellini should be done cooking.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drain the cooked tortellini, then add to the skillet full of the tomato-spinach cream sauce.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gently stir, to coat the tortellini with the sauce. Place tortellini and sauce in serving dish, or serve portions onto individual plates. Grate additional Parmesan cheese on top of each individual serving, if desired, and serve while hot!

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it! Serve this with a mixed green salad for a hearty dinner! The recipe serves 6 (if using 16 oz. frozen tortellini-see Note Section of printable recipe). We enjoyed the leftovers, too!!

Have a great day! Think of ways you can encourage a friend, neighbor, or family member today, and act on it… be someone who makes a positive difference in someone’s life!

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/tortellini-with-tomato-cream-sauce

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce
 
Prep time
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Cheese tortellini, enhanced with a cream sauce featuring tomatoes, spinach, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Comforting and filling!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 package (16 oz,) frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoonfuls olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1½ teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired
Directions
Make tortellini:
  1. Cook the tortellini according to package instructions. While the tortellini is cooking, make the sauce.
Make Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce:
  1. While tortellini is cooking, sauté chopped onion in olive oil (in large skillet) for 3-4 minutes, until onion has softened. Add garlic to skillet; cook for one minute, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn.
  2. Add tomatoes (and juice), drained spinach, basil, salt and black pepper to the skillet. Cook this mixture (uncovered) for 5-6 minutes on medium-high heat, until almost all of the liquid has been cooked away.
  3. Stir in the whipping cream and the Parmesan cheese. Stir well, then bring to a boil. Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce heat back down to low; simmer and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened up a bit.
  4. When tortellini is finished cooking, drain it well, then add tortellini to tomato-spinach cream sauce in skillet. Gently stir to fully coat pasta with the sauce, then serve while hot.
  5. If desired (I recommend), garnish each individual serving with additional grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Notes
-No frozen spinach? Use fresh baby spinach. Place spinach leaves in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain. Use as directed.
-Can also use a 9 oz.. pkg. of FRESH tortellini. Makes a couple less servings (and extra sauce), but is good substitution for 16 oz. frozen tortellini.

 

 

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Florentine Manicotti

My husband and I love Italian food! One of the dishes we enjoy occasionally is this “meatless” recipe for Florentine Manicotti. Pasta shells filled with three cheeses (creamy ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan), spinach, and covered in spaghetti sauce. Yum. I like to think of manicotti as the Italian version of Mexican enchiladas!Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!For anyone unfamiliar with manicotti, it is a large, tube shaped type of pasta that is typically filled with meat or cheese and is baked in spaghetti sauce. This particular recipe is meatless; it’s delicious, and is a fairly easy dish to prepare.  I use a recipe I found years ago on a box of pasta, and tweaked it a bit by adding cooked spinach and a couple additional spices to the cheesy filling, to give it a true “Florentine” touch!

The first thing I do when I make this recipe is to cook a small box of frozen spinach, according to the package directions. Then I drain it very well, and let the spinach cool. When it has cooled off, I mix up the cheese filling, then add the spinach.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Here’s what manicotti pasta shells look like BEFORE they are cooked (they’re about 5 inches long):

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!The tubes of pasta are fragile, so be careful not to break them. Carefully add the pasta to a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook for 7 minutes.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!When done, carefully remove the pasta shells to a colander and drain them well.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Now put a layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Gently fill each of the pasta tubes with the cheese and spinach filling. I hold the shell in my hand and fill one side with the cheese/spinach filling (using a spoon and sometimes a butter knife) clear to the middle, then switch to the other end of the shell and fill the other side. Try to get as much filling into the shell as possible without splitting it.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Once the shells are filled, lay them on top of the spaghetti sauce.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Now cover the manicotti with the rest of the spaghetti sauce. I like to cover the entire pasta shell with sauce, then sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese (or grated mozzarella cheese).

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes longer or until the manicotti is hot and cheese filling is bubbly. Let cool for a minute or two (easier to serve up) , then remove manicotti to serving plates using a spatula. The only thing left to do is grab a fork, dig in, and enjoy this tasty dish!

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Hope you will give this recipe a try!  I may not have the most mouthwatering “professional” photos to share (staged of course by a photography assistant), but trust me… these are delicious, and I really think you will enjoy them! Have a great day.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe adapted from: Box of American Beauty Manicotti Pasta Shells.

Florentine Manicotti
 
Prep time
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Manicotti pasta, filled with ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, covered with spaghetti sauce is a filling, easy to make Italian dish.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 6-8 uncooked manicotti pasta shells
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese (1¾ cups)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach (cooked per package directions, and drained well)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground oregano
  • 3 cups (or one 28 ounce jar) prepared spaghetti sauce
  • Additional Parmesan or mozzarella cheese (for garnish, optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook frozen chopped spinach per package instructions. Remove from heat; drain WELL. Let spinach cool.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, grated mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ground oregano. Stir well until fully combined.
  4. Add spinach to the cheese mixture. Stir well, to combine.
  5. Cook manicotti shells according to package instructions (add to boiling water-7 minutes cook time is typical). When done, remove from heat, drain gently, and let dry.
  6. Fill each shell using a spoon until full of filling.
  7. Spread some of the spaghetti sauce over the bottom of 13x9 baking pan (enough to fully cover); put the filled pasta in a single layer on top of sauce.
  8. Spoon the rest of the spaghetti sauce over the top of the manicotti. Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan cheese (or mozzarella), if desired. Cover pan with aluminum foil.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes; remove foil, then cook an additional 15 minutes. Manicotti should be hot and cheese bubbly when done. Remove pan from oven. Let sit for a minute or two, then gently remove manicotti to individual serving plates using a spatula.
  10. Serve with a green salad and a slice of crusty french bread, and enjoy!

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Lentil Stew

Well, this was a happy experiment. It was my first time cooking lentils! I guess I’m behind the times, but I kept hearing about how inexpensive, nutritious, and filling lentils were, so I started looking to see what goes into a good, thick Lentil Stew. Then I made my own version!Lentil Stew / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I must have looked at 25 different ways to make lentil soup or stew. I finally decided to just make my own version and add a variety of ingredients (like carrots, celery, thyme, dill, garlic, etc) I found on various recipes that sounded like they would be good additions.

On a side note… did you know that lentils (a legume) contain the 3rd highest protein of any legume? True. Lentils are inexpensive AND highly nutritious. A win-win kind of main ingredient. The only HARD part about making this stew was I had to remember to write all the ingredients down as I made it, so I could actually remember what I did. Do you ever do that? Let’s just say that one hand was stirring the pot, one hand was writing it all down, and I suppose I might have used my FEET to take the pictures… somehow I got it done, and guess what? This stuff is GOOD! Go figure.

Here’s how I made this delicious lentil stew:  First things first. I cooked the chopped onions for a few minutes in a bit of olive oil until they had softened.

Lentil Stew / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I added the lentils (which I first rinsed in a colander) and brown rice to the soup pot, along with 5 cups water.

Lentil Stew / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I added 1 large cube of chicken bouillon to the mix (I crumbled it up). If you want to make this a completely vegetarian stew, leave the chicken bouillon out. I like the flavor it adds, but it certainly won’t hurt the dish at all if you omit it.

Lentil Stew / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I added chopped celery, chopped carrots (I sliced up baby carrots), flat leaf parsley, thyme, dill, salt, oregano, seasoning salt, and minced garlic to the pot. I brought the mixture to a boil, then reduced heat. I cooked it on a low simmer for about 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Lentil Stew / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
After the stew had cooked for about 45 minutes, the rice and lentils had softened, a lot of the broth had been absorbed, and it looked like a thickened soup or stew. That is how I served it, but if you want it to be more “soup-like” (more broth), just add a cup of water during the last 10 minutes of cook time.

Lentil Stew / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Divide hot stew into serving bowls, and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve it hot with some crusty slices of bread, and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal! Even though this dish is meatless, the combination of lentils and brown rice combine to make sure all essential amino acids are provided to make a complete protein. The leftovers are amazing, also (just sayin’).

Lentil Stew / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This was an easy meal to make, and my husband and I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch over the course of several days. Sure hope you will give it a try… I think you will be surprised at just how good it is!

Lentil Stew / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lentil Stew
 
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Hearty, healthy and delicious, you will love this thick lentil stew!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup brown lentils (rinsed)
  • ⅓ cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • 1 large chicken bouillon cube (can omit if making this vegetarian)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped small
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Dried parsley (OPTIONAL-to sprinkle on stew as a garnish before serving)
Directions
  1. In a large soup pot, cook the chopped onion in olive oil until onions have softened (3-4 minutes).
  2. Add 5 cups water, rinsed lentils, brown rice, and crumbled chicken bouillon cube.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Bring soup mixture to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  5. Continue to cook the stew for 45-50 minutes (covered) on low, stirring occasionally. Uncover the stew the last 10 minutes of cooking time.(*If you want the stew to have more broth, simply add in another cup of water during the last 10 minutes of cooking time).
  6. Taste. Season with additional salt/pepper, if desired.
  7. Ladle the hot stew into serving bowls. Sprinkle with dried parsley (optional).
  8. Serve with some good crusty bread, and ENJOY!

 

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Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!)

I am always on the lookout for a meatless entree I can serve when we have our Vegetarian son and his girlfriend over for dinner!  I found a recipe for Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (meatless) on Pinterest and decided to give it a “taste-test” before offering it up for a family get-together!Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Our youngest son (the one who used to love huge steaks and hamburgers) became a vegetarian a few years ago. His girlfriend is also a vegetarian. That complicated things a bit by making dinners more challenging for our “family get-togethers”, soooo… I’m glad I tried this recipe (and only tweaked with it just a little)… it was delicious, and really easy to prepare! If you like a good enchilada, or enjoy a meatless meal occasionally like we do (one with loads of flavor), you will like this recipe… meat eater or not!

Here’s how you make it!

Prepare quinoa according to package directions. When done, place quinoa in large bowl with green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, green onion, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add the enchilada sauce, salt and pepper. Stir well, to combine.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Stir in a half cup of cheddar cheese and a half cup of pepper jack cheese. Stir until fully combined.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased (or sprayed) 8×8 inch baking dish. Spread mixture evenly in dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses on top.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Bake casserole for about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees (or until cheese is bubbly and fully melted). Remove casserole to a wire rack. Garnish the top with chopped tomato and cilantro. Serve, and enjoy!

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Just a word… the texture of the casserole makes this one to be scooped out with a spoon, rather than cut into pieces with a knife. It tastes fantastic, though, and the flavors are totally that of eating a good enchilada, without the meat.  I refrigerated the leftovers and the next day was able to cut it into pieces (while chilled) and get this photo so you can see accurately what it looks like on the inside.

Hope you will consider trying this recipe… it is packed with flavor and tastes great!

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Original Recipe (slightly adapted) from: http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/07/quinoa-enchilada-casserole/

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Meatless!)
 
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A great meatless recipe for enchilada casserole, featuring quinoa, black beans, corn, spices, and cheese! Delicious!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Meatless Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For Casserole:
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (4.5 ounce) chopped green chiles (drained)
  • ¾ cup corn kernels (frozen or canned...doesn't matter)
  • ¾ cup canned black beans (drained, rinsed)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion stalk (green/white parts, sliced)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese (divided)
For Garnish:
  • 1 Roma tomato, (diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8x8 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Cook quinoa in 2 cups of water (per package directions).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, place the cooked quinoa, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, green onion, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
  4. Add enchilada sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  5. Add ¾ cup of cheddar cheese and ¾ cup of pepper jack cheese. Mix well to combine.
  6. Pour quinoa mixture into prepared baking dish. Spread evenly in dish. Top the casserole with the rest of the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.
  7. Bake casserole (uncovered) in a 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Cheese should be melted and very bubbly around edges of pan.
  8. Remove baking dish to a wire rack. Let it cool for a couple minutes. Garnish the top of casserole with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro. Spoon the casserole out onto serving plates. Serve, and enjoy!
Notes
Another option: Original recipe used chopped ripe avocados as a garnish (instead of cilantro).

 

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Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce

I found a recipe recently for Butternut Squash Ravioli, drizzled with a browned butter and sage sauce. I love to make homemade ravioli, and thought this would be a great recipe to try. So I made it… and we really enjoyed it!Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

A couple of years ago a dear friend of ours made a similar dish for us, with a different style of pasta, and I really liked it! The creaminess of the butternut squash combined with the flavor of Parmesan cheese and a touch of nutmeg in the ravioli was amazing… AND I loved the easy browned butter sauce (with only TWO ingredients!) that covered the pasta. So that is why I started searching for a similar sounding recipe… and that is how I stumbled upon this one on Pinterest!

I decided to make my own ravioli… just because I have the cutest little pasta machine I received as a birthday gift several years ago. I think making homemade pasta is very therapeutic and fun! However, if you don’t have a pasta machine, you still can make this recipe with two other options: 1) make pasta dough and roll it out by hand with brute strength, or 2) buy a package of won ton wrappers and use those instead of pasta. If you go the purchased won ton route, this recipe just got a lot simpler! If you like the adventure of making and rolling your own pasta dough for ravioli, then this is still a very simple recipe… honest!

Here’s what ya do:  Peel, de-seed, cut into cubes, then bake (per instructions) the butternut squash.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Make the ravioli dough. This time I used an easy egg-less recipe I found in my pasta machine instruction book. Mix the ingredients in a stand mixer with a dough hook on it.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove when dough forms a ball. Let dough rest for about 15 minutes, covered with a slightly damp dish towel.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Slice off a piece of the dough, and run it through your pasta machine, adjusting settings (per manufacturer instructions) until you have long strips of dough.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Bake the butternut squash. Mash it up, then mix it with Parmesan cheese and nutmeg in a bowl. Place small spoonfuls of mixture onto pasta sheets, leaving space in between each one.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Now gently pull the dough up and over the top of the butternut squash, from front to back, to touch the other side of the dough. Carefully cut into individual raviolis like this:

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Crimp the edges with a fork all the way around, sealing the edges shut like this:

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Now the ravioli should (hopefully) look like this:

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Bring a large saucepan full of salted water to a full boil. Right before you cook the ravioli (remember FRESH ravioli only takes 2-3 minutes to cook), make the browned butter/sage sauce. I grow my own sage, so all I had to do was go out to my front porch and get some of the leaves… easy-peasy!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
After the butter and sage have cooked for about 3 minutes, the butter will begin to turn light brown. It will be a bit more brown than this…and will smell somewhat “nutty”.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The ravioli cooks in about the same time it takes to make the sauce (about 3 minutes).

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove raviolis with a slotted spoon;  place them directly into the browned butter/sage sauce (sorry, no picture of that… was too busy trying to get them all in the skillet and covered with sauce!) Spoon the sauce over the hot ravioli, then gently spoon them up and onto serving plates. Spoon additional sauce and sage leaves over the ravioli. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese on the top, and serve!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Sure hope you try making these… they are absolutely delicious!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Butternut Squash Ravioli With Browned Butter Sage Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://jennysteffens.blogspot.com/2011/09/butternut-squash-ravioli-with-sage.html

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce
 
Prep time
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This butternut squash ravioli with a browned butter sage sauce is a perfect meatless meal...delicious and elegant!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
For Squash Filling:
  • 1 pound butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper (to season)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For Browned Butter Sauce:
  • ¾ cube butter
  • 10-12 sage leaves
For Pasta:
  • 1 recipe homemade pasta dough OR 1 pkg won ton skins (*see notes)
My pasta dough was made from:
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
For Garnish:
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Slice squash in half. Peel and de-seed. Cut the squash into cubes, place in bowl, and coat them fairly well with olive oil. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper. Place the squash cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees. The squash should be tender when done. Remove squash from oven; place into a medium bowl and mash the squash with a fork until well "mashed". Add the Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Give it a taste. If necessary, add a bit more salt and pepper.
  2. While the squash is baking, make the pasta, per manufacturer's instructions. Roll it out into long strips on a well-floured surface.
  3. Place small spoonfuls of the squash filling in the middle of the long sheets of pasta dough, leaving space between each one. Gently pull the dough up and over the filling from front to back until the dough touches the other edge. Lightly press down the outer edges. Carefully cut each ravioli apart. Using a fork, carefully crimp the edges of the raviolis, to seal completely.
  4. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, for the ravioli.
  5. While the water is coming to a boil, make the butter sauce: In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the sage leaves. Cook this for for 3-4 minutes on medium-low, only until the butter begins to brown. Once the butter turns light brown, remove pan from the heat.
  6. Cook the ravioli in boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes. They will float to the top of the water when they are done cooking. Remove the raviolis from the hot water using a slotted spoon; place them into the browned butter sauce. Carefully spoon some of the sauce onto the raviolis, to cover.
  7. Place raviolis onto individual serving plates. Drizzle with the browned butter sauce and the sage leaves. Finely grate Parmesan cheese on top; Serve... and enjoy!
Notes
If using won ton wrappers, place prepared squash/Parmesan mixture into center of won ton wrapper. Brush all the edges of the won ton with water, then press edges together to completely seal around filling. Follow rest of directions.

 

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