Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken & Spinach Pesto Lasagna

Thank you to my friend Kelly for this wonderful recipe! I loved it!! It wasn't too hard to make and it was different than traditional lasagna. I made two pans and I am already looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Since there is no "sauce" in this recipe, I definitely recommend using regular Lasagne noodles and not the "no Boil" ones. I think using the no boil ones would make this too dry. Next time I make it, I will also be using fresh spinach and homemade pesto (since I have a huge basil plant in my back yard!)

I made this for 8 adults and 3 kids tonight and everyone liked it! Don't mind my "fine china." The cooking I'm getting better at... the cleaning... not so much! :)

*12 uncooked lasagna noodles (I used Barilla Lasagna Noodles)
*3 T olive oil
*1 cup onions, chopped (white or sweet)
*3 cloves garlic, crushed
*2 pkgs frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
*3 cups cooked diced chicken breast meat (I used a Rotisserie Chicken)
*1 tsp kosher salt
*1 tsp black pepper
*2 cups ricotta cheese
*1 large egg
*1 1/2 cups prepared pesto sauce, plus 2 tbsp (I used 2 containers of Buitoni brand pesto with basil- 7 oz per container)
*3/4 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese
*2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray 13x9 inch casserole or lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray. Partially cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. (I boiled mine for 8 minutes)
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onions and garlic until transparent. Add spinach. cook and stir about 5 minutes. Add chicken and stir about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
In large bowl mix together ricotta cheese, egg, pesto, and parmesan cheese until throughly blended. Add chicken and spinach mixture to bowl and stir to combine.
Spread two tablespoons pesto in bottom of prepared pan.
Layer 4 lasagna noodles , slightly overlapping. Top with 1/3 of spinach ricotta mixture and 1/3 mozzarella. Repeat Layers Twice.
Bake about 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly!

chop onion 
Pesto I used

Lasagne Noodles I used

add pesto to bottom of pan

mixture of ricotta, egg, pesto and parm cheese.

My pan was bigger than the noodles so i just made it work...

saute onions and garlic in olive oil

chop chicken

Add spinach to sauteed onion and garlic. Cook 5 mins, then add chicken and cook a few more minutes

Add the ricotta mixture to the chicken spinach mixture

layer of the mixture

cover with lots of mozz cheese

3 layers in all

served with salad and garlic bread