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Vegetarian Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

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I had something like this recently and it was heavenly. I found this recipe on SimplyRecipes and hope it meets my expectations. I have adjusted it a little to make it Weight Watcher’s friendly. This is 10 servings and 11 WW points. That seems like a lot of points but this can be a full meal in itself rather than separate components. I wouldn’t eat additional bread. If you want to eat a salad with it, that would make it more filling and get you more veggies.

  • 1 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 generous cup of chopped onions
  • 1/8 cup olive oil plus more for keeping the noodles from sticking to each other
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I recommend Muir Glen brand with added basil)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed in clean towel of excess moisture
  • 1 lb whole wheat lasagna noodles (16 to 20 noodles)
  • 1 15-ounce container of part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 pound Parmesan, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 12 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
Place mushrooms in a large (6 to 8 quart), sauté pan on high or medium high heat. Stir them with a wooden spoon or shake the pan from time to time. You may hear them squeak. Sprinkle salt over the mushrooms. The mushrooms will sizzle and then start to release water. (Note that you are not adding fat at this point to the pan; this method of cooking mushrooms in their own moisture is called “dry sautéing.) Once the mushrooms start to release water into the pan, stir in the chopped onions. Cook until the mushrooms are no longer releasing moisture and the mushroom water has boiled away, about 5 minutes more.

Add the olive oil to the mushrooms and stir to coat. Sauté the mushrooms and onions for about a minute.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for a minute longer. Reserve 1 cup of the tomato sauce (it will go in the bottom of the casserole dish), and put the remaining cup of tomato sauce into the pot with the mushrooms.  Add the large can of crushed tomatoes.  Add one cup of water. Stir in the thyme, sugar, and red pepper flakes. If you are using dried basil instead of fresh, add it now.  Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer on a low simmer, for 20 minutes.

Once sauce is simmering, salt the boiling pasta water, and add the dry lasagna noodles to the boiling water.  (The water should be at a vigorous, rolling boil.) Stir gently, making sure that the noodles are not sticking to each other. Set the timer for 8 minutes, or however long is indicated on the package of the noodles. Cook uncovered on a high boil. When the noodles are ready (al dente, cooked through but still firm to the bite), drain the noodles in a colander, and rinse them to cool them with cold water.  As you rinse them, gently separate them with your fingers so they don’t stick to each other. Prepare a couple large cookie sheets or baking sheets by spreading a tablespoon of olive oil over the baking sheets. Place the lasagna noodles on the sheets, gently coating them with a bit of that olive oil, and spreading them out. This will help keep them from sticking to each other while you finish the sauce and prepare the layered casserole.

Turn off the heat on the stovetop for the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the one cup of reserved tomato sauce over the bottom of a large (preferably 10×15-inch) casserole dish. (If your casserole dish is smaller, you may need to add another layer as you go through this step.) Place a layer of lasagna noodles down over the tomato sauce, slightly overlapping. (For our 10×15-inch dish, we ultimately fit 3 layers of noodles, each layer with 6 noodles.  Then we had 2 extra noodles on which to nosh.) Sprinkle half of the ricotta cheese over the noodles. Sprinkle half of the defrosted, drained, and excess moisture squeezed out spinach over the ricotta.  Sprinkle half of the Mozzarella cheese over the spinach, and just a quarter of the pecorino cheese. Then spoon 1/3 of your mushroom sauce over the Mozzarella. Sprinkle half of the fresh basil over the sauce if using.

Repeat the layering process. Place a second layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining ricotta, spinach, and Mozzarella over the noodles. Sprinkle another quarter of the pecorino along with the Mozzarella. Top with another third of the mushroom sauce and the remaining fresh basil.  Layer your final layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining sauce over the lasagna noodles, and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino or parmesan cheese.

Pull out a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover the casserole dish. Spread a little olive oil over the inside of the piece of foil (the side that will have contact with the lasagna). Place the foil over the casserole dish and crimp the edges.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 25 minutes.

Take the lasagna out of the oven when done and let it rest 10 minutes before cutting to serve. Once made, the lasagna will last a week in the fridge.


Light Chicken and Mushroom Marsala: It’s Moist

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I found this blog and think I have found a winner! Go check it out and see what you think.

Crockpot Chicken & Mushrooms

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I found this recipe at and thought it sounded really good. I tweaked it a little bit because I can’t leave a recipe alone. I did the calorie count using cooked rice so you could see pretty much what the full meal would cost you calorie-wise. Under 500, which is pretty good for a full meal!

4 each chicken breast, no skin, no bone, R-T-C, cut 1″ thick
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon paprika
1 can cream of mushroom soup, condensed
10 small pearl onions
1/4 cup flour, all-purpose
6 ounces mushroom pieces, canned with liquid
3 cups cooked rice

1. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Cut into 1″ thick strips. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on both sides.

2. Arrange chicken breasts in crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients except for rice and spoon over the chicken.

3. Cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, until tender but not dry.

Servings: 6

Notes: R-T-C: Ready to cook

Serving Ideas: If you prefer to serve with mashed potatoes instead of rice, it’s an easy and delicious substitution.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 426 Calories; 9g Fat (18.7% calories from fat); 41g Protein; 44g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 96mg Cholesterol; 832mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

Chicken Breast With Cream Sauce

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I love chicken. This looked really good. I would definitely not use shiitakes just because of cost. Button mushrooms or portobellos would be more cost-effective and give great flavor. I can definitely see serving this with some roasted fresh veggies such as green beans, squash (summer squash or zucchini) or brussels sprouts. For a starch, I would serve with a yummy rice that had been cooked in chicken broth. I wouldn’t try pasta because there is not enough sauce to coat the pasta and adding more sauce would add more calories. This recipe came from Eating Well.

  • 2 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth, or dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, or scallion greens
  1. Season chicken with pepper and salt on both sides.
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once or twice and adjusting the heat to prevent burning, until brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 12 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Add shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Pour in vermouth (or wine); simmer until almost evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Pour in broth and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cream and chives (or scallions); return to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, turn to coat with sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Tip: It’s difficult to find an individual chicken breast small enough for one portion. Removing the thin strip of meat from the underside of a 5-ounce breast—the “tender”—removes about 1 ounce of meat and yields a perfect 4-ounce portion. Wrap and freeze the tenders and when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry or for oven-baked chicken fingers.

Serves 2.

Per serving: 275 calories; 15 g fat ( 5 g sat , 7 g mono ); 84 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein;1 g fiber; 373 mg sodium; 370 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (34% daily value).

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat



One Pot Beef Stroganoff

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One pot? Not too difficult? Yum!

beef stroganoff

beef stroganoff

2 pounds stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups mushroom, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can beef broth
3 cups water
4 cups egg noodles
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 package onion soup mix
1 package frozen peas
1/2 cup half-and-half, fat free
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup light sour cream

1. Cut meat into bite size pieces. In Dutch oven heat olive oil. Add in meat and mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is brown (10 to 12 minutes). Remove meat mixture and allow to drain on paper towels.

2. Add broth, water pepper, onion powder, soup mix, and pasta. Reduce heat simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes until noodles are done (15 to 20 minutes). Add meat back into mixture.

3. Combine corn starch and half and half. Stir into beef noodle mixture and simmer until slightly thickened. Also add sour cream.

4. Serve!

Suggestions: If you like herbs, add some rosemary, thyme, or parsley. It goes well with something like this!

Serves 8.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 495 Calories; 26g Fat (51.1% calories from fat); 37g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 132mg Cholesterol; 963mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Note: If you want to tone down the meat in this stroganoff and still get the “stroganoff-effect” you can use Portobello and/or meat crumble substitutes. Or just reduce the amount of beef and use extra mushrooms and maybe use pearl onions.