Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagna

No matter how many times I make pasta dishes they can never quite measure up to lasagna.  I think there must be some type of magic hidden in the layers.  It’s just one of those scenarios when one plus one actual equals three, because the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.  And this lasagna is my new favorite, perfect for impressing dinner guests with the unique individual portion presentation.

sweet potato spinach lasagna

Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagna
2 sweet potatoes
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 c and 2 tbs milk
1/2 c and 2 tbs parmesan cheese
2 c frozen spinach
8 lasagna noodles
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
2 c italian blend shredded cheese

Butter 4 10-ounce ramekin dishes, set aside on a baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pierce sweet potato skins several times then microwave for 10 minutes, rotating halfway through, flesh should be soft.  Allow sweet potatoes to cool.  Remove flesh from skin and add to a bowl with nutmeg, cinnamon, 2 tbs of milk, and 2 tbs of parmesan cheese. Mix until smooth and well combined. Defrost spinach then ring out excess water using a kitchen towel.  Cook lasagna noodles to just shy of al dente.  In the meantime in a skillet melt butter over medium heat, add flour to make roux.  Whisk in remaining 2 c milk, allow mixture to come to a simmer and thicken.  Add 1 c italian blend cheese, remove from heat.

To assemble put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of each ramekin then lay 2 lasagna noodles in an “x” pattern, allowing excess pasta to overhand the edges.  Add a rounded tablespoon of the sweet potatoes in each ramekin, then spinkle with spinach, adding a bit more sauce, and extra italian blend cheese.  Fold 2 overhanging pasta pieces over the filling then repeat the layering until each ramekin is full.  Use remaining italian blend cheese and parmesan cheese to top each lasagna.

Bake for 30 minutes until lasagna is bubbly and delicious.  Allow 10 minutes to cool then use a knife to loosen the edges around the ramekin and unmold onto serving dishes.

Polenta with Roasted Veggies


Need a new idea for meatless mondays? What about a savory breakfast for dinner?  I had this dish on a trip to Santa Barbara and knew then that I had to make this dish at home.  And the lack of butter and cheese in the polenta isn’t missed due to the creaminess of a runny yolk.  Yum!

poached egg polenta

Polenta with Roasted Veggies
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c cornmeal
1 quart broth
2 zucchini, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 portobello mushroom caps, diced
4 eggs

In large saucepan heat 2 tbs olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, and salt to taste, saute until softened.  Add broth and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornmeal to avoid lumps.  Once all added cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add zucchini, bell pepper, and portobello mushroom to a large sheet pan.  Toss veggies with 2 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes, tossing half way through.

Fill a large saute pan with water, and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Once up to a simmer turn off heat source and add eggs one at a time separated from each other.  Cover pan and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add polenta to 4 bowls evenly, top with roasted veggies, and using a slotted spoon place 1 poached egg over each portion.

Healthy Chili Rellenos


chili relleno

When you’re trying to eat healthy sometimes even with the best intentions you crave all the wrong things.  But with this recipe you don’t have to give up anything.  Sure they’re not deep fried, but they still have all the same delicious flavors of a perfect chili relleno.  Also simple enough for week night.

Healthy Chili Rellenos
4 large poblano peppers
3 c frozen corn
2 shallots, chopped
1 jalopeno, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 chicken thighs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 c monteray jack cheese (if using)
scallions and cilantro for garnish

Place poblanos under broiler and char evenly all over, about 15 minutes.

While peppers are under the broiler, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Once hot add corn, shallots, jalapeno, black beans and toss until the vegetables char at edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chicken, cook another 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and add in garlic and season with cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook another minute or 2 then turn pan off.

Split the charred peppers open but not in half and scoop out the seeds. Place peppers in a shallow baking dish and stuff with the vegetable mixture. If using, top each pepper with 1/4 cup cheese and place back under broiler to melt the cheese. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.