Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Favorite Snack

These mixed with these....YUM!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Calorie Free Lime Rickey's

When I was a kid I was embarrassed to like the flavor 'grape'...I guess it was an uncool flavor to like. Well now I'm grown up and guess what? I love the flavor 'grape' and don't care if you know! haha There's a restaurant where my parents live called Dylan's and I always order a lime rickey when I go, they're delicious

Here's my homemade version with significantly less calories!

In a 2 quart pitcher mix 1 packet sugar free grape drink mix, 1 packet sugar free lemonade drink mix, and 2 quarts of water. Use sugar free drink mix of choice: Crystal Light, Wyler's Light, generic brand, etc. Mix well and refrigerate until cold.

In a 20 ounce glass, mix one 12 ounce can of cold Fresca with 4 ounces of grape/lemonade mix.

*You can use your grape/lemonade mix to make lots of lime rickeys OR use in popsicle molds to make sour grape popsicles!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spinach, Artichoke, & Mushroom Lasagna

Two things about me
1. I love lasagna. In fact, it was what I picked for my "birthday dinner" almost every year and what I used to always request when I went home from college.
2. My sister and I are "freebie followers" so we often sign up for free stuff, coupons, etc.

So I signed up to get this lasagna cookbook and when Corinne came in town this weekend we tried our version of one of the recipes. It was delicious! Here's our version...

Spinach, Artichoke, & Mushroom Lasagna

1 recipe Béchamel Sauce (recipe below)
1 jar marinara sauce of choice (or homemade red pasta sauce)
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
15-oz container of low fat ricotta cheese
1.5 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg
Drizzle olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
6oz bag of baby spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms (baby portabella or crimini)
1 box of no boil, oven ready lasagna noodles
1 large can of quartered artichoke hearts (in water, unflavored)
2 chicken breasts cooked & shredded (optional)

Béchamel Sauce:
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3.5 cups 2% milk
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg (or grated fresh)

-Melt butter on medium heat in large skillet
-Add onion & garlic, cook until soft and translucent
-Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes making sure not to brown
-Whisk in milk slowly and bring mixture to boil. Stir in nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
-Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, whisking often

Lasagna directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix ricotta and egg in small bowl.
3. In a medium skillet saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil until soft and onions are translucent. Add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Spread 13x9 inch casserole dish with 1/2 of béchamel sauce. Top with lasagna sheets to cover. Do not overlap lasagna noodles.
5. Layer with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the spinach/mushroom mixture, 1/2 of the artichokes, 1/2 the chicken (if using), the remaining 1/2 of the béchamel sauce, 1/3 of the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the parmesan
6. Layer with more lasagna noodles. Top with the remaining ricotta mixture, the remaining spinach/mushroom mixture, the remaining artichokes, the remaining chicken (if using), 1/2 the jar of marinara sauce, 1/3 of the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the parmesan.
7. Finish with the last layer of lasagna noodles. Top with a layer of marinara sauce then the remainder of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
8. Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and cook until top is browned, ~10 minutes. Remove, allow lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

*If you prefer you can alternate the sauce béchamel/marinara/béchamel/marina instead of the above