Monday, January 18, 2010

some good eats + quality time

The best part about the weekend, aside from getting to sleep in till 7am and getting caught up with life, is being able to whip up some tasty meals and really enjoy the company of family.  Usually during the week I rush home to get something on the table, talk briefly about the day’s happenings and then spend the rest of the night trying to catch up on school work, research, blogs, blogging, etc, never being seen again till bed time.  I don’t like that, although for the next 3 semesters it’s going to have to suffice somehow :)

I just wanted to share a couple tasty recipes that I hope you can enjoy with your family and friends or simply in the solace of your own company . . .

Roasted Spaghetti Squash topped with Roasted Veggies & Tofu in a Curry Peanut Sauce 

Serves:  2-3 (Chris and I enjoyed it so much, we ate it all!)


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Cooking spray
  • 2  cups cubed tofu (I used TJ’s teriyaki flavor)
  • 1/2  cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1 zucchini, chopped + 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/3  cup chopped green onions (I didn’t have any on hand this time)
  • 2/3  cup light coconut milk
  • 1-2  tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3  tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1  tsp curry powder + a bit more turmeric
  • pinch cayenne or more if you like it HOT

For the spaghetti squash:

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, place cut sides down on a foil lined baking sheet.  Pour about 1/2 cup water in pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes, turn squash over and bake for another 15-20 minutes until tender.  I also put a little butter in mine.  When it’s done scoop one 1/2 into a bowl and save the other half for another meal.  To the bowl with the squash add a splash of rice wine vinegar and toasted sesame seed oil to taste.


Sauté the tofu, carrots, zucchini, bell pepper and green onions until tender and browned.  Mix the coconut milk and last 6 ingredients in a bowl and microwave to soften, then add to the sauté pan over low to mix. 

Scoop some spaghetti squash on the plate and top with the curry peanut mixture and enjoy! 


  I really wish we would have had some leftovers!


Next on the list of weekend eats is . . .

Lasagna Rolls

These are a favorite in our house and they are fun to make with kids!  This would be great for a party too because it serves a lot of people.  I first got this idea from Giada and then tweaked it since she likes to use whole fat everything :)

Serves:  7-10


For the Béchamel Sauce:
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups NF or 1% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch cinnamon and cayenne
  • 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 light garlic+herb laughing cow wedges 
  • big handful of basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan + 1/2 cup Italian shredded cheese mix
  • 1.5 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped  
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • herbs de provence, thyme, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash  
  • 12-15 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2-3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella


To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is slightly thick and smooth (may take a bit longer with the lower fat milk).  Whisk the salt, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne into the béchamel sauce.  Keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Get out the goods.

IMG_7418 IMG_7427 IMG_7430 IMG_7431 IMG_7434 IMG_7438 IMG_7447

Whisk the ricotta, basil, Parmesan/Italian cheese mix, laughing cow, prosciutto, pepper and spices to taste in a medium bowl to blend.


Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

IMG_7476 IMG_7480Pour the béchamel sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9 dish.  Spread about 2 spoonfuls of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the béchamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. IMG_7490

IMG_7484Spoon 2-3 cups of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls (more if you like it saucy).  I got this sauce from TJ’s and it was really nice and fresh tasting unlike most jarred sauces.  Cover tightly with foil. 

Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20-25 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 10-15 minutes longer.  Let stand for 10 minutes (if you can stand it) and serve!


We had a salad on the side with romaine, cranberry goat cheese and walnuts, along with a glass of J. Lohr Merlot.


It is a nice red, slightly toasty with notes of dark cherry and plum.  It is pretty reasonably priced too.  We played the tasting game with a cute notepad I picked up at Anthro called ‘Rate that Wine’.  This would be great fun for parties too.   



I had 1 1/2 rolls with the salad and a small glass of wine.  After dinner I grabbed a coconut water and we curled up on the couch to watch a movie, but fell asleep not even half way through!  Ah well, this usually always happens with us! 


It was sure a nice night because Chris and I got to sit down and had a great time chatting over dinner again for longer than usual.  That’s another great thing about eating at home, you can sit at the table for as long as you want! :)


With the terrible tragedy that has hit Haiti and continues to trouble their existence, Diana from The Chic Life has developed another great idea to help.  She will be hosting a bake sale coming up around January 27th, and all the online bidding proceeds will go to the Red Cross Relief Fund.  I have volunteered to bake up a big batch of Gina’s awesome granola and it looks like there are some other tasty goods being made as well.  I may just have to bid on some myself!  Check out the details here if you’d like to become a baker or a bidder.  I just can’t imagine what they are going through right now.  While they have had many donations made, it’s been tough actually getting the supplies to them.  I feel so blessed to be safe and have access to all of life’s necessities.  Thanks for all your help! 

Hope you all have a nice week!  It looks like we are going to actually have some nasty, rainy weather coming up this week here.  I’ll have to be getting on that bike trainer and treadmill :)  



Lori said...

I haven't had spaghetti squash in forever. What a great way to prepare it! I'm not a big tofu fan, but in curry I could probably be convinced. That chevre looks so great too!

Gina said...

Wow Kristen! you've been busy, cooking up some amazing meals. The peanut curry sauce on the spaghetti squash is just brilliant. I want to make it right now. The lasagna rolls are so pretty. You have such talent.

Thanks for the link, and I hope the granola turns out amazing! If you make it, it will :) Goodnight.

Anonymous said...

ummm those lasanga rolls need to get in my belly ASAP! my boyfriend would even love those!

Anonymous said...

Lovin the squash recipe. And I just so happened to cook up a Spaghetti Squash this afternoon.. perfect, this is on this week's menu for sure :)

Shannon said...

You make the most beautiful meals...even when crazy busy! Very impressive!

Whitney @ Lettuce Love said...

Those rolls look really good!

MelindaRD said...

Looks like you have made some great meals. I love the use of spag squash. I do mine in a similar way. Love the idea of the lasagna roll ups. I bet the filling I used for my tortellinis would work well in these.

MelissaNibbles said...

Very creative eats. YUM!

BroccoliHut said...

Wow, all my favorites in one dish--tofu, squash, and PB!!

Tyler said...

mmm...i need to make some spaghetti squash soon! also, your pictures of the lasagna rolls are gorgeous!

Michal said...

Everything looks beautofil :) I really would love to try the roasted squash with tofu and peanut sauce. That is theeee most amazing combo!

Kasey said...

All of your meals look and sound amazing! My fiance would love those lasagna rolls.

tam said...

Ooooooo your right about the delicious looking food!

I put rice protein, banana and quinoa flakes in my breakfast to make it creamy as well as milk and well whatever takes my fancy! x x

Anonymous said...

The lasagna rolls look amazing! And I just love spaghetti squash. Looks great!

*Naomi* said...

you have been cooking up a storm girl!! first of all LOVE the idea of lasagna rolls, it is such a great twist on a classic and using the lauching cow just makes me happy all over!

cranberry goat cheese is SO good! I love that crumbeled in arugala salads!

gina's granola is SO good!!

Lori said...

Your spaghetti squash recipe came at the perfect time as I just stalked up when I saw them for 10 cents a pound. I followed your recipe but used shrimp instead of tofu since that is what I had on hand. Excellent! I am glad I doubled it for leftovers! Thanks for sharing.

kristen :) said...

Lori - glad you liked it! your version sounds yummy :)

Thinspired said...

I am obsessed with spaghetti squash lately but have only been making it with marinara sauce--this is a great new way to try it! I can't wait to give it a go :)

Anonymous said...

Love your lasagna rolls! I made some last week, but I never thought of using laughing cow cheese - brilliant!!

Rachel said...

I just tried that cranberry goat cheese from Trader Joe's and loved it! Your lasagna rolls look scrumptious, thanks for sharing these recipes.

sophia said...

I love how you healthify your meals...not going way crazy with the healthy, but just balanced enough. Like a true RD! :-)

Love the curry peanut sauce, and the lasagna rolls are gorgeous!!

Jessie said...

Yum! I'm always looking for new spaghetti squash recipes, so I'll definitely have to try yours.

You have an impressive background! I'm working on getting my RD (1.5 years to go!), and sometimes I feel like I don't have time for everything either! Even so, I also love to take time to cook something tasty whenever I get the chance. :)

Thanks for the recipes!

Anonymous said...

Those lasagna rolls look DELICIOUS! I've been wanting to make some for quite some time now, I need to get on that!

Love the Haiti bake sale, I am going to check that out now!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kris | said...

This tofu dish looks amazing! I am not a big fan of tofu, but this is something I could eat!

I really wish we had Trader joes here in Vancouver :( I hit it up everytime i am south ;)

Happy Friday!

Corinne @ Green Grapes Blog said...

You're a busy lady! Thanks for taking time to post those recipes--so excited to try 'em out! I need some new dishes in my kitchen :)