Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spinach Cannelloni

My family LOVES spinach.  The boys like it because they immediately think of Popeye and how strong he is, and feel stronger after just one bite!  Whatever the reason, I'm just glad they eat their veggies.   I found this recipe in a pile of papers I had printed out.  As I see recipes online I tend to copy and paste to try at a later date.  I believe this came from the Clean Eating Magazine newsletter.  I tweaked it to our liking and this is what I came up with.  I hope you enjoy it.

Start a pot of water boiling and boil the lasagna sheets.  I got sheets instead of long noodles...you can use either one.  When they are ready, drain and lay out on a sheet to cool so that they do not stick together.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and adding 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour, whisking for 2 minutes.  Add 2 cups low fat or soy milk (I used skim) and bring to a boil until sauce thickens.

Reduce heat and simmer.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.  I always use freshly grated nutmeg.  I have a jar of the nuts in the pantry that I take out and grate as needed.  It tastes so much better when you freshly grate it. 

Grate 1/4 cup of Parmigiano reggiano, add to the sauce and cover the pan.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Saute the spinach in a nonstick pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a clove of minced garlic.

Combine 1 3/4 cup low fat ricotta, 1 egg (slightly beaten), 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl just until combined. 

Lay out the sheet and add sauted spinach to each sheet, about 2 tablespoons.  Add the ricotta mixture to the sheet as well.  I used a small scoop for this to make sure I had an even amount on each sheet.  (3 small scoops worked for me.)

Here are the other sheets.  I made sure I had enough in all of them before I started rolling them up.  That way if I was short on ricotta, I could scoop some from another sheet.  Luckily, it was just enough.

Coat the bottom of the buttered casserole dish with the sauce.  Roll up the lasagna sheets and place them in the dish seam side down.

Add remaining sauce to the top of the cannelloni and add 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake covered with foil for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.

Here it is out of the oven.  Let it cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with whole wheat rolls.  Mmmmmm.....

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