Before he met me, fiance went through a phase where he thought he was going to cook. He got some really nice cast iron pans from IKEA and some cookbooks and then realized that cooking for one is sometimes more of a pain than it’s worth. Now that we’re together, though, we use all of those things.

But I was a little confused when I pulled out “Florence Henderson’s Short-Cut Cooking” from his small stack of cookbooks.

Then I saw the key attractions: “short-cut” and the $3.99 bargain bin sticker. Ah-ha! 🙂

At any rate, Flo has some good recipes in there. Most are healthy and can be lightened up, and a few even fit our flexitarian lifestyle. After seemingly endless Easter ham leftovers, I was ready for some veggies. Enter lasagna rolls florentine.

I hit a snag, though, when I realized that the lasagna noodles wouldn’t fit in our biggest pan.

So they became mini lasagna rolls florentine. I broke the noodles in half, boiled until al dente and prepared the filling.

The spinach-ricotta mixture was weirdly pretty to me. It contained:

  • 1 10-oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, drained and thawed
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper

After the noodles were done, Flo’s recipe advises laying them out on wax paper so they don’t stick together. This was the most inconvenient part of the recipe. I used Ronzoni’s Healthy Harvest noodles with whole grains and omega-3 acids, and they were delicious!

Then you spread the mixture on each one, leaving a little room at the end, and roll it up.

After I took this photo, I realized they aren’t supposed to touch while baking, so I had to re-arrange.

Add sauce and bake!

The recipe in the book leaves a little to the imagination and suggests baking at 375 “until rolls are warm throughout.” I would recommend 20 to 25 minutes for that nice, gooey, cheesey taste.

The original recipe calls two regular size lasagna rolls a serving, and it took five mini rolls to fill up both fiance and me.

For dessert we had another Florida favorite: Strawberries! Strawberries are already in season in Florida and we scored 4 pounds for $5 at Publix yesterday.

I love strawberries, but I’ve loved them even more since reading about all of the health benefits they offer in the May issue of SELF: “Munching on vitamin C-filled foods may help stave off oral, esophageal, lung, stomach, pancreatic and colon cancers,” according to the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

Do you read a lot of health news? I do, but it can be very easy to read too much and get really, really paranoid!

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