Recently my lovely roommate and project manager extraordinaire of Zuber Haus (yes ... the 100% German friend who hails from Amana, Iowa has coined that phrase as the official moniker of her home) celebrated a birthday. When I asked what she would like to do for her birthday weekend she didn't skip a beat and not only had meals, but events AND work projects laid out for completion. (Anyone who knows MZ will not be the least bit surprised by this) ... the Birthday Weekend Itinerary went as follows ... in her own words OF COURSE:
Friday: 3pm parents arrive from Iowa. 4:15 take train home from work to meet them. 5:15 grocery shop and make a new recipe from pinterest 8:00 my brother, Harry's, Air Jam Contest Performance at Wheaton College Aside by Kate: I must insert here that anyone who attended a Christian college will understand that this constitutes as a "cool"/"fun" Friday night activity and I must also mention that MZ's brother, Harry, and his glee club crew dominated and came in first 9:00-9:30ish Linda's famous poppyseed bunt cake with french pudding topping
Saturday: 9:00am clear out kitchen to commence work project of silver honeycomb backsplash 10:00 parents arrive - mom applies additional white coat of paint to previous work project weekend of faux board and batten in guest room while dad preps brats and sauerkraut for Harry and his roommates, you and I go to Menards for supplies. 10:30 we start applying backsplash 12:30pm transport lunch and eat at Harry's house 1:30 back to work on backsplash and painting (hopefully mom moves to laundry room door paint application) 8:00 reservations at Schnitzel Platz to eat authentic German food, steins of beer, catching up in German with Chef Wolfgang and sing along with Hank and Bob (the Saturday polka band) Aside by Kate: Yes ... they wear lederhosen! It is true! This place really exists and I thought we might be asked to leave due to the volume of our table. I happen to be Irish and Swedish so I contribute mostly laughter.
Yes ... that was my weekend! And just think ... I didn't even include Sunday! Well by the end I'd consider the birthday weekend a MAJOR success, one of the biggest triumphs being the recipe Maria discovered on PINTEREST for Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups topped with meat sauce. Not only is this a simple and delicious alternative to time intensive lasagna, but it's healthier with the addition of a massive bag of frozen spinach and less noodles (for the carb concerned). It's also easy to make vegetarian by substituting meat with extra vegetables. And for quick, easy meals just freeze in single serving tupperware containers to be heated up for a delicious work lunch or dinner throughout the week!
Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups
Serves 9 (depending on how hungry your group is of course)
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
- 15 oz fat free ricotta cheese - MZ requested we use fat free cottage cheese instead due to her aversion to ricotta - how could I refuse ... it was her birthday after all
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- salt and fresh pepper
- 32 oz tomato sauce
- 1 package lean ground beef, turkey or chicken
- 1 diced onion
- diced garlic to taste (feel free to use the jar variety - that's what I do for ease)
- 9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°. Heat a large skillet and saute garlic. When you can start to smell the garlic aroma add the onion and cook until it begins to soften. Add ground meat and cook until browned. Add sauce and season to taste. I used some Italian Seasoning and Red Chili Flakes.
Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto a 9 x 12 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining noodles.
Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.
To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll and ENJOY!