Saturday, 30 April 2016

Roasted Mushroom and Asparagus Lasagna

I have been ill and cooking has not been top of my list. I have been opening cans, nuking frozen food and buying fast food...lazing around in my chair and not exercising.
I've gained weight. I noticed on Friday, when I put on my jeans.

I had started doing daily walks again this week, and doing my cardio exercise regime in the morning, but 7 weeks of nothing has really taken its toll.

One of the things I like to do, is cook and slice and dice on weekends for the next week. And today I stopped at the farm market to prepare for next week.
The fresh asparagus has started to come in and I found a recipe I just had to try.

Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom Lasagna

The Veggies

Tossing the vegetables with oil.

Veggies after roasting.
I roasted the extra asparagus for snacking.

Building the lasagna, white sauce, half the roasted veggies and tomatoes.

Top layer – last third of the white sauce.

Topped with grated cheese and some of the roasted tomatoes.

The lasagna when it comes out of the oven.

Ready to eat!!

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 45 min. + standing YIELD:9 servings
  • 1 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon Paprika (I used smoky)
  • Dash ground cloves
  • 1-cup milk
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • ½ cup  shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ¼  cup grated cheese (for the top of the lasagna)
1.       Place halved tomatoes on a foil lined cookie sheet. Then place asparagus, onions and mushrooms in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Bake at 450° for 15 - 20 minutes or until vegetables are browned; set aside. Reduce heat to 350°.
2.       In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and cloves until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cottage cheese.  Set aside.
3.       In a 9-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer noodles, half of the asparagus mixture, a third of the white sauce. Repeat layer, then top with a layer of noodles. Add last 1/3 of white sauce and top with last third of the white sauce.
4.       Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 9 servings.

Nutritional Facts
1 piece (prepared with reduced-fat butter, fat-free milk and part-skim cheeses) 216 calories.

This was fabulous!!! 

I WILL make this again, but next time I think I will double the veggies and perhaps use green onions instead of red and Assiago cheese. I might add some grated cheese between the layers too. 
Oh Yes, I had a glass of a lovely Pinot Gris with it -- it was a wonderful supper and will be a great lunch next week. 
And I will tell you how it freezes as there is enough for 3 more meals.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Around noon today, I was wondering what I could make for supper with stuff I had in the fridge, freezer and the cupboards.
I wanted something filling, tasty and lo cal. I also wanted something with a kick. I checked and I had everything I needed to make Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Frozen chicken and chicken stock, canned corn, black beans, fire roasted diced tomatoes, a red pepper, a onion, tortillas ... easy peasy!
And the best thing is--that from start to finish, it takes only an hour (even though it tastes even better after the flavors meld.

Here's the picture!

AND here's the recipe!

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup


·         1 teaspoon canola oil
·         1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
·         2 large jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
If you don’t like hot, 1 diced red pepper (or a combination)
·         2 tablespoons tomato paste
·         I can diced tomatoes (choose fire roasted or chili for extra flavor)
·         1/2 cup frozen (or canned) whole kernel corn
·         1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
·         1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained or 3 small tomatoes, diced
·         32 ounces (1 carton) Chicken Broth
·         Check and season to taste, if you want it hotter, add your favorite hot pepper sauce
·         2 cups shredded cooked chicken
·         Garnish: Cilantro, Shredded Cheese, fried tortilla strips, broken tortilla chips, diced green onions, avocado and/or sour cream.


  1. Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 2 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, corn, beans, tomatoes, broth and chicken and heat to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes, check the seasoning. Then add the chicken , simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve topped with your favorite garnish combinations.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Split Peas Soup - With and Without Ham

I make this soup both with and without ham. The Veggan version is just as tasty as the the one with ham. This is great with a crusty bread. If you make it with Yellow Peas, here in Canada its called French Canadian Pea Soup (I am not sure why). All the pictures are for soup I made last weekend and I took some to my sister along with the Ox Tail Soup.

Ingredients for the stock


In the pot


Next day, after the fat has been removed, just before adding the other ingredients

Peas, barley and the carrots are in the pot

Starting to simmer

After an hour



 Split Pea Soup

YIELD:7 servings
6 cups vegetable broth
8 cups water

1 ham bone/ham hock

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

2 celery ribs with leaves, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups dried green or yellow split peas, rinsed
2 cups dried green or yellow split peas, rinsed
I cup chopped carrots
I cup chopped carrots
½ cup barley
½ cup barley

The version without the ham takes approximately 70 minutes as you don’t have to make the stock.

Ham Stock:

  1. Add the water, ham bone, onion carrots, celery and garlic to a pot and simmer for 1-2 hours.
  2. Strain the veggies and ham from the stock and put in the fridge so the fat comes to top and can be removed.
  3. Dice the ham and add to the stock.



  1. In a large saucepan, combine the stock, peas spices, ham, carrots and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. If you prefer a smooth soup, at this point you can run it through a blender.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 minutes longer.

Yield: 7 servings.
One serving without ham, (1 cup) equals 170 calories. With Ham 240 calories

And for Supper ....

Spot Prawns with fresh Pasta

We have incredible prawns here on the west coast. My sister gave me some fresh Spot Prawns. I cooked some fresh pasta and made a stir fry with carrots, broccoli, red pepper, celery, onions, mushrooms and prawns. Tossed with fresh grated Asiago Cheese and a balsamic reduction.

(Nellie enjoyed the prawns, cheese and some of the pasta! Oh yes...she likes split pea soup with ham too!)