Sunday, July 28, 2013

Of Imagination and Lasagna

My girls love pretend play and have great imaginations.  They are always "being" someone and it changes so frequently that I usually hear Middle asking, "Are we still playing ___?  Who are we being?  I forget."  I overheard a conversation between them today and thought I'd share some snippets:  

Middle:  My name is Friendy Friend.  My superpowers are running and dancing.
Big:  Well, my superpower is being a fairy mermaid.  Wait, a fairy mermaid princess.
Middle:  Mom, your superpower can be firing things and freezing things.

later . . . 

Big:  Ok.  You be a dog.  I'll be Rapunzel.  With the short hair.  And you're my dog and you live in the tower but you can talk.
Middle:  Woof woof!

I also read a book recently that I highly recommend:  Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.  It's narrated by an imaginary friend and I thought it was creative, heartwarming, and an easy read - perfect for summer vacation!  I liked thinking about my imaginary friend as a child and Big's imaginary friends (they're all in a club together and Big is the leader) and what they'd write.  

Now, onto the food.  You know that I like lasagna and I've made lasagna stacks, cheater lasagna, and other variations.  Years ago, these lasagna rolls were in regular rotation but somewhere along the way, I forgot about them and misplaced the recipe.  A couple of weeks ago, I found the recipe by searching Cooking Light online and made it again.  They were yummy & easy - just like I had remembered!

You can play around with the filling (add meat, sub other veggies for the mushrooms) and can make a homemade sauce if you're so inclined.  

Lasagna Rolls (serves 4)
adapted from Cooking Light

8 uncooked lasagna noodles (traditional - not the no boil ones)
4 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 8oz package presliced mushrooms
6 oz baby spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1-2 cups marinara sauce

Cook noodles according to package directions (omitting salt and fat if included).  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Saut√© for about 5 minutes or until the onion is tender.  Add the spinach and saute another minute or two until the spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat and stir in  1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of the basil, salt, and red pepper flakes.

Place noodles on a flat surface.  Spread 1/4 cup filling over each noodle.  Roll up noodles, jelly roll fashion, starting with the short side.  Lightly spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray and spread a little marinara in the bottom.  Place the rolls seam side down on the marinara sauce.  Pour a little sauce over each roll, sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese (about 1 T per roll).  Put the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the rolls are thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with the remaining basil before serving.  (serving size = 2 rolls = appx. 400 cal).


  1. I had an imaginary friend. Her name was Cynthia. Alas, it didn't last. Book and lasagna rolls look good!

  2. I will have to read the book. Will it bring back memories of Jare?

    1. Yes! It made me think of him . . . I don't remember exactly when he disappeared.