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Portobello and Pasta, Yum!

lasagna roll upsOver the last year I have tried many new foods one of which I have come to love is Portobello mushrooms; they are woody as well as meaty, I have even used them in place of a burger on the grill which is de-licious! But today we are talking about adding them to lasagna and rolling them up.

Inspired from Ellie Krieger

Portobello Lasagna Rollups with Easy Tomato Sauce


12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles

2 teaspoons olive oil

12 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups easy tomato sauce (see below)

1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed drained and squeezed dry

1 large egg, lightly beaten

fresh ground black pepper

pinch of ground nutmeg

1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain them well and spread them on a parchment or aluminum fold to keep them from sticking together.

Heat the old in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt, stir in 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, spinach, egg, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper and the nutmeg.

Spread 1 cup of the remaining tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture onto a lasagna noodle. Top with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture, then roll the noodle and stand it up. Repeat with the remaining noodles and mixtures.

Spread the remaining 1 /12/ cups tomato sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with Parmesan and mozzarella, cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Uncover and then bake an additional 15 minutes.

I love the following Easy Tomato sauce it is delicious and we use it on so many things! I used to be a huge Prego fan but understand now the difference of good homemade sauce and a sauce that is laced with sugar and not so good for you!

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained and chopped *we have come to love Fire Roasted tomatoes they have such a great flavor.

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until they have softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the remaining ingredients and cook uncovered stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.

Baked Penne with four cheeses


4 cheese pastaWho doesn’t love comfort food sometimes? I have yearned and missed homemade macaroni and cheese, which I will attempt to “lighten” up soon but in the mean time we loved Ellie’s four-cheese baked penne.

1 1/2 cup small curd low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup spark-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 T chopped fresh parsley
1 pound whole-wheat penne
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 15 ounce can no salt added tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 c of the mozzarella, and parsley and stir.

Cook the pasta in a large post of boiling water until it is tender and drain.

Heat the oil in the same pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and cook, for about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and stir,

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Add the past to the pot and turn off the heat.

Stir in the cheese mixture.

Spray a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish with cooking spray

Transfer the pasta mixture to the dish and spread out.

Add the remaining 3/4 mozarella and parmesan to the top.

Bake until heated all of the way through and the cheese is melted about 45 minutes.

*Notes from my kitchen

I used to be a “Prego” fiend, i couldn’t have pasta without my sweet Prego, but move over Prego this recipe is so fresh and delicious and it can be made larger for for a crowd.

Does your family love Italiano? Give it a try and let me know how they love it!

It’s Fresh Flavor Friday


pasta and turkey meatballsI love to cook! Therefore during my “wellness makeover” I will be sharing recipes with you that I think are delicious and that your whole family will love on Fresh… Flavor… Friday!. Good nutritious food, not “diet” food rather food that will appeal to you and your families taste as well as nutritious value. My family loves “Italiano” so I turned to the Food Network and was curious to try Ellie Krieger’s Turkey and Meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti.

I’m happy to report this was wonderful and not one person said anything about it tasting like “diet food.” It was fresh and filling. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Join my “wellness makeover” facebook fanpage for more delicious recipes!

Ellie Krieger’s Turkey Meatballs with quick and spicy tomato sauce and Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Yields: 6 servings



• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid included
• 1 teaspoon finely minced canned chipotle en adobo and sauce, or more to taste
• 2 teaspoons chopped oregano leaves
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• Salt
• 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves


• Cooking spray
• 1 pound ground turkey meat
• 1 slice fresh whole-wheat bread , crusts removed, pulsed into crumbs
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
• 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 box (16 ounces) whole-wheat spaghetti


Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil for pasta.

Make Sauce:

In a 4-quart saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chipotles, oregano, rosemary, and salt. Bring all the ingredients to a low boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until liquid has evaporated slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. While sauce is cooking, make meatballs.


Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. Form into 2 1/2 -inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and almost entirely cooked through.

Meanwhile, remove rosemary sprig from sauce and add fresh basil. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and cook additional 10 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs have absorbed some of the sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the whole-wheat spaghetti according to package directions.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and meatballs, toss and heat through over medium heat. Divide evenly among 4 pasta bowls and garnish with parsley and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan.

Yield: 6 servings (1 serving equals about 1 1/3 cups pasta and sauce, plus 2 meatballs