Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

A low fat pasta that makes a great vegetarian main dish. The original recipe lists 1-1/4 cups marinara sauce and 4 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves. I made a basic tomato sauce (3 tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 garlic clove, oregano, basil, salt and pepper) and used 2 cups of frozen spinach and it was fantastic!

Ingredients:
16 jumbo pasta shells (Cook a couple of extra shells to allow for a few breaking while the pasta cooks.)
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
4 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves, roughly-chopped
12 oz skim-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded skim-milk mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 large egg
1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups marinara sauce

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown, about a minute or two. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves begin to wilt but are still bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. The spinach should be reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool.

3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil and salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Pour 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a shallow 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell with a generous amount of the spinach and ricotta mixture, and place in the baking dish.

4. Cover with the remaining sauce and bake covered with aluminum foil for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top begins to brown and the sauce begins the bubble, another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with a dusting of Parmesan.

Source: http://www.forkknifeswoon.com/food-drink/main-dishes/2013/05/spinach-and-ricotta-stuffed-shells/

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Southern-style Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

chocolate cake

As a chocolate lover I’ve tried lots of different chocolate cakes recipes. Without a doubt this recipe is far away my favorite one. The original website calls it “The Very Best Chocolate Cake,” well they are not kidding, this is simply the best home chocolate cake ever !!

Ingredients:

• For the frosting
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup double-strength brewed coffee
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• For the cake
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 ounces good-quality unsweetened or 82% extra dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup hot double-strength brewed coffee
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

For the frosting, heat the cream, butter, sugar and salt over low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Add coffee and vanilla; stir until blended. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring minimally, until it reaches a spreadable consistency (about 2 hours). While the frosting is cooling, make the cake.

For the cake, preheat oven to 325°F. Generously coat the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with shortening. Line the pans with parchment paper rounds and coat the bottom and sides with additional shortening; toss with flour, discarding the excess. (I highly recommend using Baker’s Joy, a shortening spray with flour added. It is much easier!)

In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the chocolate into the hot coffee until completely melted. In another large mixing bowl combine the eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Stir the melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Lastly, fold in the flour mixture in 1/3 increments, stirring well after each addition, making sure the flour is completely incorporated and there are no lumps.

Divide batter between prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pans, approximately 30 minutes. Run a flat spatula around the edge of the pans and remove cakes to wire racks to cool completely. (Do not remove parchment paper layer until cool.)

Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of one layer. Top with the second layer and spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Allow cake to sit at room temperature, covered by a cake dome or large glass bowl, for at least two hours before serving, or overnight. The flavors only get better with time.

Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-southern-style-chocolate-cake-with-chocolate-frosting-recipes-from-the-kitchn-180358

Lemon Cake

LEMON CAKE

Few ingredients, lots of flavor! I added a little bit of milk, it came perfectly moist.

Ingredients:

• For the cake
250 ml self-raising flour
10 ml baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
125 ml butter (melted)
180 ml caster sugar
2 large lemons (juice and rind)
2 large eggs
1 pinch of salt

• For the glaze
125 ml sugar
1 large lemon juice
50 ml butter

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to about 180C/gas mark 4
2. Line a small cake tin with baking paper and butter
3. Sift all the dry ingredients together
4. In a separate bowl mix butter and sugar then add eggs one at a time beating in between each egg, lastly add the lemon rind and lemon juice together with the vanilla essence
5. Now finally add little bits of flour to the wet mixture and beat each time
6. Place in cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes depending on your oven
7. About 10 minutes before the cake comes out of the oven melt the sugar, butter and lemon juice together and pour over the hot cake

Source: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/easy-lemon-cake-3165

Breaded Mushrooms

breaded-mushroom-recipe_1

Mushrooms rolled in a cheesy breadcrumb mixture and then baked to a golden brown, great appetizer to start that tasty meal. Delicious and really simple to make!

Ingredients:
8oz mushrooms (stalks removed)
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
4 tablespoons white breadcrumbs (dried)
pinch of garlic salt
pinch of ground black pepper
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley (freshly chopped)

Directions:
1. Start by preheating the oven to 475°F then lightly grease a nonstick baking tray.
2. Gently wipe the mushrooms with damp kitchen paper and set aside for later.
3. Combine the cheese with the breadcrumbs, add the garlic salt and black pepper.
4. Roll the mushrooms in the cheese mixture, and set on the greased baking tray.
5. Finish by baking in the oven for about 8–10 minutes or until golden browned and then serve.

Source: http://notecook.com/side-dishes/breaded-mushroom-recipe-2/

Wild Mushroom Lentil Burgers with Cashew Garlic Sauce

lentilburger

An amazing recipie for veggie burgers, highly recommended!

Ingredients:
1 cup beluga lentils
Knob of ghee or coconut oil
1 red onion, sliced
Couple pinches sea salt
2 cups / 175g mixed wild mushrooms, sliced (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle…)
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons tamari
½ cup / 80g sunflower seeds
15 kalamata olives
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
1. Wash and drain lentils. In a medium saucepan, cover with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer and cook until tender (about 20-25 minutes). Remove lid off to cool and set aside. Drain if there is any water left.

2. In a frying pan heat a knob of ghee or coconut oil. Add sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about five minutes, then add garlic, rosemary and thyme. Cook for a few minutes, then add sliced mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to cook without stirring for a few minutes so that they brown on one side. After five minutes, stir mushrooms and add tamari, stir to coat. When mushrooms are cooked, remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a food processor grind sunflower seeds until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add cooked lentils, mushroom mixture, mustard, olive oil, and plenty of cracked black pepper. Pulse to blend. You may need to help this process by stirring once in a while. Avoid adding too much liquid – the mixture should be really thick. Season to taste.

4. Pit and roughly chop olives. Add to the food processor and stir to combine (you want them to remain in fairly large chunks).

5. Form 6-8 balls with the mixture, slightly smaller than a baseball. Press to flatten into patties, but keep them thick. Press around the outside edge to prevent them from cracking.

6. You can warm the burgers two ways. Remember that they are already fully cooked, so all you need to do is heat them up.

Frying pan: heat a knob of ghee or coconut oil and cook the burger on one side until golden, 4-6 minutes, then flip and cook on opposite side. Serve.

Oven: Cook burgers in a 375°F/ 190°C oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through bake time.

7. Serve burgers open-faced on a slice of whole grain sourdough toast, or in a high-vibe pita. Garnish with anything you like! I used Cashew Garlic Sauce, pickled onions (recipe here), and a pile of greens.

Cashew Garlic Sauce:
½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
Scant ½ cup water
1 small clove garlic (start with just ½)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chives
½ teaspoon sea salt
Squirt honey or maple syrup

Directions:
1. Soak cashews for at least 4 hours, up to 12. Drain and rinse well.
2. Add cashews to a food processor or blender, which ever is the most powerful. Add ½ clove garlic, all other ingredients and ¼ cup of water. Blend on high and add the remaining water in increments until the desired consistency is reached – not too thick, not too runny. Season to taste and add the other half clove of garlic if desired.

Source: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2012/11/wild-mushroom-lentil-burgers-with-cashew-garlic-sauce-at-whole-living/