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My first meat free monday dinner will be:

Squash & spinach pasta rotolo | Jamie Oliver | Food | Jamie Oliver (UK)

  • 1 butternut squash (roughly 1.2kg)
  • 1 red onion
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 500 g frozen spinach
  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 x 700 ml jar of passata
  • 6 large fresh free-range pasta sheets (roughly 15cm x 20cm each)
  • 50 g feta cheese
  • 20 g Parmesan cheese
  • Optional:
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage
Rotolo is definitely one of the more unusual pasta dishes that you'll see – many people have never eaten it before. The way I've prepared mine means it kind of feels like eating a lasagne or a cannelloni, but it looks really pretty and you get the gnarly crispy bits of pasta on the top, complemented by the softer pasta hiding underneath the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Cook the squash whole on a roasting tray for around 1 hour 30 minutes, then remove from the oven. Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the onion, put it into a medium pan on a medium-low heat with a lug of oil, the thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the frozen spinach, cover with a lid and allow to slowly cook for another 15 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated, then remove from the heat. Cut the squash in half, discard the seeds and skin, then mash up with a fork. Keeping them separate, season both the squash and spinach to perfection with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg.

Peel and finely slice the garlic, then put it into a shallow 28cm casserole pan on a medium heat with a splash of oil and fry for a couple of minutes, or until lightly golden. Pour in the passata, then add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour it into the pan. Bring to the boil, simmer for just 3 minutes, then season to perfection.

On a clean work surface, lay out the pasta sheets facing lengthways away from you. Working quickly so your pasta doesn't dry out, brush them with water, then evenly divide and spread the squash over the sheets. Sprinkle over the cooked spinach and crumble over the feta. Roll up the sheets and cut each one into 4 chunks, then place side by side in the tomato sauce. Finely grate over the Parmesan, then pick the sage leaves (if using), toss in a little oil and scatter over the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at the bottom of the oven until golden and crisp. Delicious served with a fresh green salad.
 

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@LiliRay, I love the idea of meat-free Mondays! I often do red beans and rice on Mondays (is it a New Orleans thing to make that on Monday, or is that a national thing?), but I have sausage in that. Here are three of my favorite meat-free dishes if you'd like to take a look:

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch Recipe | Cake and Allie

Healthy Mexican Sweet Potato Skins - Pinch of Yum

hummus and avocado toasts with roasted tomatoes

The last one is super duper easy to make, especially if you make the hummus ahead of time. I just make a bunch of those for dinner even though it's supposed to be an appetizer.
 

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What are your favorite healthy recipes? I'm starting to count calories again (yay.), so I need some dinner ideas.
 

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@Aspen726, Thanks!

And my favorite way to eat veggies is to drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and roast them in the oven at a high heat til it's almost charred. Squash is delicious like this, especially if you do it with garlic and onions (not sure if your little one eats onions though).
 

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@LoveLola do you eat fish?

If so a fave for us is to take a piece of fish pop it into some foil and add olive oil, cherry tomatoes, onion and feta, close the foil and bake in the oven until done. Don't forget salt and pepper and any other spices you like.

We normally serve this with salad or oven roasted potato wedges.
 

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I just made apple butter for the first time a few days ago. i have always loved apple butter but I had never made it myself. I didnt puree the apples because our blenders were not working, so it's a little chunky, lol.

(Recipe copy/pasted from browneyedbaker.com)

Apple Butter

INGREDIENTS:
6½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used a combination of Granny Smith, Fuji and Honeycrisp)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS: (I didn't follow these directions exactly but it still turned out okay).
1. Place apples in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Sprinkle over the apples and stir gently to combine. Cook on low for 10 hours.

2. Stir in vanilla extract, breaking up any large chunks of apples that remain. Cover and cook for an additional 2 hours.

3. Remove cover and use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until completely smooth. (Alternately, you could puree in batches in a food processor or regular blender.) If you want the apple butter thicker, you can continue to cook it on low with the lid of the slow cooker slightly ajar so that steam can escape.

4. Allow the mixture to cool, then spoon into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.
 

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I just made this came out really good just keep an eye on them in the oven they are very dark so its hard to see when they are done. They took about 10 to 15 rather than 10 to 18 min.

Chocolate orange cookies | BBC Good Food
 

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I'll go ahead and share my red beans and rice recipe. It's absolutely simple and it's a very authentic New Orleans style recipe. If you're not from here or have never been here, they're totally different than any red beans and rice you've ever had.

You'll need:
1 lb of dry red beans
1 white onion
1 head garlic (yep, the whole thing!)
1 lb spicy sausage OR 1 ham hock
white rice--however much you want

Yield: A BOAT LOAD. Seriously, I often make a pot on Monday, freeze half of it, and my husband and I eat on the other half for a few nights.

Ok, so you may have heard you need to soak the beans overnight. This is false. It doesn't make a darn bit of difference.

You've got to start this recipe very early in the day. The earlier the better. I have it cooking by 9am.

Directions:

Rinse your red beans in a strainer and remove any funky beans in the bunch (I usually find a couple). Put the beans in a very large pot.

Peel the entire head of garlic and chop it coarsely. Chop the entire onion coarsely. Add them to the pot.

Chop the sausage into bite size pieces and add to the pot, or add your ham hock.

Now, fill the pot to where the water level is about 1/2 inch higher than your beans/sausage (the onions and garlic will float). Sorry I don't have exact measurements. This is just how I've seen my great grandmother, grandmother, and mother do it. Eyeball it--nothing about this recipe has to be exact.

Give it a good stir and bring the water to a simmer. Cook it covered and simmering for AT LEAST 7 hours, preferably 8 or 9.

**You need to stir the beans about once an hour for the first few hours and more frequently as the beans cook and break down, because they will stick. By the last hour or two of cooking time, you need to give them a good stir every 15 minutes.

You may think it looks different than you've ever seen it before if you've never had authentic rb&r. Your beans will cook down into a thick gravy. This is what you want to see. If it's too runny for your liking, just remove the lid and let some of the liquid cook out. If they need more gravy, just add water.

Serve over rice and add Tabasco to taste.

Simple! Inexpensive! And it makes A TON of food! It's always been a family favorite.

After looking on the net at pictures of red beans and rice, I found one that has the right consistency of rice/gravy and have attached it so you know what you're going for.
 

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@KodaKeet, please let me know how it is!! I've been wanting to make zucchini bread, but I don't want to waste my time and ingredients on a recipe that's not great.
 

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An update, I made this and :eek::eek::eek::eek: OMW it's SOOOO good!!!

I had one piece, my housemate polished off the rest!!!! It was amazing!

2 notes though, add cream to the spinach (YUM) and pierce the butternut before putting it in the oven so that it doesn't explode.

And if you're a cheese fanatic, we mixed mozzarella, gouda and a hard cheese and put a serious layer on top. :thumbsup:

 
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