Tag Archives: cheese

Three-Cheese Spinach and Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

22 Nov

Well, that’s a mouthful. I basically listed all the ingredients you need to make this dish in the title. Anyway. Bobby and I made this (plus an obligatory apple pie) for a pseudo-Thanksgiving potluck when he came to visit last weekend. We actually didn’t have any of the ingredients necessary to make this dish, so we winged it.

I’m going to list the ingredients I used, but I would highly recommend checking out the original recipe for the real thing. It’s pretty funny when you compare the two recipes, actually.

Three-Cheese Spinach and Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
Adapted quite liberally from Ezra Pound Cake

1 large butternut squash
3 tbsp olive oil
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 tbsp white wine
liberal dash of oregano
1 week-old baguette, cubed (I would not recommend leaving your baguette out for this long. It’s really hard to cut.)
salt and pepper to taste
half an onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
squirt of Sriracha sauce
1 1/2 lbs fresh spinach, chopped
3 handfuls of Trade Joe’s three-cheese mix (cheddar, Asiago, and something else I can’t remember)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seed and guts. Brush tops with olive oil and bake face-up on a cookie sheet for 30-45 minutes, until soft. The original recipe said to peel the squash and cut into cubes prior to baking, but I hate peeling butternut squash with a passion. They’re slippery little buggers. And the cubes degrade into mush when you mix it into everything else anyway.


Meanwhile, beat the eggs and mix in the heavy cream, wine, and oregano. Dump in your bread cubes and mix to coat. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. My bread had poppy seeds that we tried to scrape off, with moderate success. Don’t accidentally buy a poppy seed baguette, kids.

By this time, your squash should be nice and soft. Grab a spoon or a heat-resistant boyfriend and scoop out the flesh. You’ll want smaller chunks than in the picture below, else you’ll be munching on humongo pieces all dinner. Not that that’s always a bad thing.

Decrease the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat up the rest of your olive oil in a large pan and saute the onions and garlic. Add the Sriracha sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Add spinach and cover for about a minute. The greens should be wilted, but not bodiless mush.

With a slotted spoon, transfer a layer of cream-soaked bread into a well-buttered baking dish. Add a layer of spinach and another of squash, then cover with a layer of cheese. Repeat until you run out of ingredients, then pour on the remaining egg ‘n cream.


Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the custard has set. Om nom nom nom…

I wasn’t a huge fan of the bread pudding part because, well, it was my first time eating bread pudding. I hadn’t expected it to be quite so mushy. The spinach and butternut squash were incredibly tasty with cheese, though.

Length of Procrastination: 1.5 hours

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Nachos and Southwestern “Chicken” Wrap

7 Jun

A lot has happened in the few months since our last post, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Cambridge got hot. And muggy. Gross.
  2. Bobby turned 27.
  3. I graduated college.

This post has nothing to do with any of them, but I just thought I’d let you know. There’s an ice cream cake post coming in the near future that has to do with #2, but more on that later.

Bobby and I were feeling southwestern the other day, so we made nachos…

…and southwestern “chicken” wraps. If there’s one thing those veggie meat manufacturers do well, it’s imitating chicken. I’ve been vegetarian for just long enough to barely remember what chicken tastes like, but Bobby confirmed my assessment. 

Yup, definitely chicken-y.

Anyway, we didn’t really have a recipe for either of these things, so we just winged it. And you know what? TASTINESS ENSUED.

(+one more wrap picture)

Veggie Chili Nachos

Ingredients:

Chips
Shredded cheese (we used “Mexican Blend” from Trader Joe’s)
Vegetarian ground meat

We piled the chips in a pan, put the cheese and veggie meat on top, and baked in a toaster oven for a bit, until the cheese looked bubbly.

Southwestern “Chicken” Wrap

Ingredients:

Sliced cucumbers
Alfalfa sprouts
Veggie chicken strips
Corn salsa
Flour tortilla

We lightly sautéed the chicken strips, then piled everything in the tortilla. Wrap it up and om nom nom nom.

(What do you mean the wrap’s not southwestern? It’s….it’s got salsa in it! That’s southwestern, right? Right?! Whatever. It’s my blog and I’ll call it whatever I want. :D)

Length of Procrastination: 20 minutes

veggie lasagna

23 Apr

ok it’s been a while. all this time we’ve been eating nothing but salad so it’s time to catch up with a delicious lasagna. this is the same one i made for christine in order to return her apple pie container. an added bonus: this lasagna is also pretty low fat and high in nutrients. just don’t eat too much if you are lactose intolerant.

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Spinach Lasagna with Summer Vegetables

Ingredients
6-9 strips of lasagna pasta
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash
5 white mushrooms or 1 portabello cap
1 red onion
1 bag of baby spinach leaves
2-4 cloves garlic
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 medium container (8 oz) fat free ricotta cheese
1 bag of shredded low fat mozarella
olive oil
oregano
thyme
salt
pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the lasagna strips. Place the strips in at different angles so they don’t stick together. When the lasagna is soft, drain and put the strips into a container of ice water.

Slice the zucchini, squash and mushroom into thin layers. Dice the onion and garlic. In a sautee pan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add in garlic, and before the garlic browns, add the onion and mushroom. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sautee until the onion is starting to caramelize, then remove from heat.

In a sautee pan, add a thin layer of olive oil, and spread the slices of zucchini and squash around the pan. When the slices start to cook through and turn transparent, flip them and cook the other side. Add some salt and pepper to taste, as well as a sprinkling of oregano and thyme if desired. Remove from heat when the vegetables are tender.

Preheat the oven for 375. I used a thin pan that is usually used to bake bread, because i find the lasagna more interesting as a loaf. Using your fingers or a paper towel, thinly coat the bottom of the pan with a little olive oil. Cover the bottom of the pan with 2 strips of lasagna. If you are using a regular cake/casserole tray, cover with three strips.

With a spoon, spread ricotta cheese over the pasta. For our fat free ricotta, it was more like dropping spoonfuls until the bottom was covered. Above that, spread the mushroom and onion, then layer squash and zucchini. Cover that with a layer of baby spinach. Finally, pour a layer of tomato sauce over all the ingredients.

Repeat with another set of pasta, ricotta, mushroom and onion, squash and zucchini, spinach, and tomato sauce.

For the top, put a third layer of pasta and a layer of ricotta cheese. On top of that, cover with tomato sauce, then sprinkle mozarella thickly over the very top. At this point, you may have to compress everything so it fits into the baking tray, so compress using a second baking tray when you put the final layer of pasta but before the ricotta cheese is put on.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

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Total procrastination: about 1.5 hrs

A stroke of genius

1 Mar

We’re all very hungry people, but we don’t always have the time or the ingredients to make exactly what we want. Improvisation is a skill and an art perfected by MacGuyver and utilized by overworked college students too busy (or too lazy) to make the trek out to the neighborhood supermarket. What do you do when you open your refrigerator for a cup of milk and realize that you’d eaten the last of it with cereal last night? Well…

(Green Tea) Tomato Soup

Ingredients
2-3 large tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp dried crushed oregano
dill weed
salt
pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 scoops green tea ice cream*

Bring enough water to submerge all tomatoes to a boil. Put the tomatoes in for about 30 seconds, until the skin starts to wrinkle or split. Take the tomatoes out and peel off the skin, and any stems that are left. Cut the tomato into quarters, and using your fingers, remove the pulp inside along with the seeds, leaving only the flesh.
tomatoesraw

tomatoflesh

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then stir the tomatoes in the hot oil for about five minutes, until juices start to come out into the pan. Take the skillet off heat and transfer the cooked tomatoes into a blender. Blend at high speed until everything is smooth, and pour it back into the skillet. Add half of the garlic, the oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 2 minutes. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch with equal parts water until it is completely dissolved, and add to the tomato puree. Add another cup of water and stir over medium heat for another 2 minutes.

blender

Add the two scoops of green tea ice cream to the pan and stir until completely melted. Pour the soup into a bowl, sprinkle the rest of the garlic and some dill weed to garnish, and serve nom. Makes one large bowl.

greentea

* The green tea ice cream is the result of our lack of ingredients. Perhaps a cup of milk or half a cup of heavy cream would have been more appropriate. However, the green tea ice cream was the only source of dairy in my fridge, and in the end, it added a welcome sweetness that balanced out the tartness tomatoes.

soup

Grilled Cheese and Spinach Sandwiches

4 slices of whole wheat bread
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
6-7 leaves baby spinach

Arrange two slices of bread on a George Foreman grill. Alternatively, a spatula and a drop of olive oil on a hot skillet works just as well. Layer cheese thickly until slices are completely covered. Top with spinach and cover with the other slice of bread. Grill for three minutes or until you smell the toasty aroma. If using a skillet, flip the sandwiches halfway through. Dip in the tomato soup and enjoy! Makes two sandwiches.

georgeforeman

sandwich

Length of procrastination: 20-30 minutes

Ways to prolong procrastination: Complete a crossword while nomming.

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