Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lasagna Roll-ups: Easy, Quick Dinner

So I love lasagna. But I hardly ever make it. Why? In the summer it's hot. In the winter, it still takes a good hour to bake (and that's not including prep time). Heaven forbid you forget the oven-ready noodles and have to actually cook your noodles beforehand. And then, after all this, someone will complain that--stop the presses--your concoction contains cheese. Or meat. Or something else unholy for one of my kids. 

But this...This takes 30 minutes from start to finish. Your kitchen isn't a sauna by the end and if you want you can even do a "lasagna bar" so that everyone can personalize their servings. That way every kid gets what he/she most wants (if that's your lenient parent thing anyway). It's also a butt-kicking idea for leftover Tuesday. Got half a chicken breast, a bit of sauce, and broccoli--perfect--throw it in there. Got some cream cheese, spinach, and Parmesan--can't beat it. But then you could go with traditional fillings too. The trick is to leave your sauce for the top. So you'll want to add your cheeses and meat, roll it up, and then top it with the sauce. 

We made a leftover one with chicken and broccoli and then a spinach one using this basic recipe (minus the artichokes and I microwaved it instead of baking it). Both were good, but that spinach one--wow. It was really good. And, yes, I let the kids wrap them with whatever fillings they wanted. 

How to Make Lasagna Roll Ups:

1. Boil some water. Add your noodles and cook them until they're al dente (or however it is you like your noodles). 

2. While your noodles are cooking, prepare you other fillings. Brown meat, mix ricotta with egg and salt; or make that delicious spinach stuff. 

3. Drain the water and lay your noodles flat. I always think this is the hardest part. Those noodles are just so darned slippery. 

4. Once flat, add whatever fillings you like. 

5. Roll it up.

6. Top with sauce (if you like). You can use a tomato marinara, but you could also make an alfredo or pesto type of sauce. The sky's the limit with these and that's partly what is so fun about them.

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