Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spinach Lasagna

This is a family recipe, not sure where it originally came from.  My family recipe uses to jars of spaghetti sauce, but I prefer only one.  In Italy lasagna (or pasticcio) typically has far less sauce than in the U.S.  

Spinach Lasagna
image from tasteofhome.come
15 oz ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
1.5 c. shredded mozzarella
1 egg, beaten
1.25 c. frozen spinach or spinach puree
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. oregano
1 jar (15.5 oz) spaghetti sauce 
1 c. water
In a large bowl, mix ricotta, 1 c. mozzarella, egg, spinach, salt, pepper and oregano.  In a greased 13" x 9" x 2" pan layer 1/2 c. spaghetti sauce and 1/3 of noodles and 1/2 of cheese mixture.  Repeat three layers .  Top with remaining noodles and sauce and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella on top.  Pour water around edges and cover tightly with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr 15 min.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Gingerbread Spice Cake

image from
We are preparing for a road trip and I like to take veggie muffins for snacks and breakfasts.  I made this bread into muffins.  I made it exactly as written, but I added walnuts and I baked it in a muffin tin for 18-20 minutes.  We taste-tested and they are yummy.  The other 10 are in a bag in the freezer until our trip, provided we don't sneak any before then!

Gingerbread Spice Cake (or Muffins)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄4 teaspoon allspice
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1⁄4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup broccoli puree
1⁄2 cup carrot puree
1⁄2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1⁄4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon grated orange zestPreheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a bowl or zipper-lock bag, mix the flours with the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, oil, and egg until smooth. Beat in the vegetable purees, yogurt, molasses, vanilla, and orange zest. Add the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in the pan before turning the cake out onto a rack to cool completely. * Recipe from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

Chocolate Pear Cake

These pears were not from our CSA, but this recipe was just too delicious not to share.  The cake is perfectly moist and rich and the flavor mix with the dark chocolate and pears is wonderful. We needed an organic dessert with a green ingredient and found this recipe fit the bill.  It was well worth the effort and I will make it again!

Chocolate Pear Cake
* image from
4 oz unsalted butter, softened (or unsalted non-dairy substitute)
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped (melted and cooled slightly)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal (finely ground almonds), or hazelnut meal, or combination of both
4 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, or Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 Bosc pears, poached 
Poach the pears: peel, cut in half and core the pears. Combine 2-3 cups of water and half a cup of sugar in a sauce pan on medium-high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the pears (add more water if needed to cover the pears), bring to a low boil and cook for 20-25 min or until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Butter or spray a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate and set aside. Sift together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, beat on a low speed until combined. Still on low speed, add the sifted flour mixture and beat for 1 minute, or until just combined. Pour the batter into prepared cake pan. Arrange the sliced pears in a circle. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes. Do not over bake. When a tester is inserted into the center of the cake, it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached. * Recipe from

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

I have been on a bit of a baking kick lately, adding pureed vegetables to baked goods.  This was one wonderful recipe.  I actually read comments online and decided to make these in a 13"x9" so that we had thinner, crispier bars.  I also used frozen blueberries instead of preserves.  We shared them at a dinner party and they were a hit.

* image from The Ginger Snap Girl
Blueberry Oatmeal Bars
Nonstick cooking spray 
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar 

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Balance trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, chilled
1 cup low-sugar blueberry preserves
1/2 cup spinach puree 
Preheat oven to 375°. Coat an 8" x 8" baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir to mix well.  Add the margarine and cut it quickly into dry ingredients with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and is no longer powdery. Do not overmix, bits of margarine will still be visible. Set aside about half of the oat mixture; press the rest firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly browned at the edges (but not fully baked), 13 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix the preserves with the spinach puree in a small bowl. Spread blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer, then sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Bake until topping is slightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars. * Recipe from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.