Saturday, March 22, 2014

Eggless Spinach Lasagna

Lasagna I always associate with loads of cheese, and eggs, and in fact it is! I do not like cheese much, but S is fond of some Cheese dishes. One among them is Veggie Lasagna. My sister in law visited us once from India, and she wanted to try Lasagna. However most of the places we inquired told Lasagna has meat etc. So she could not get to taste it here. I thought may be sometime I  make lasagna at home. But never got the chance to search or make lasagna.  Nupur One Hot Stove posted a Spinach lasagna recipe last year from Cooks Country, and I was again thinking of making lasagna.  I chose to make this lasagna minus the eggs. I made lasanga with some changes, though was apprehensive how will it be without eggs.  I saw this eggless lasagna recipe on Edible Garden  and thought lasagna indeed can be made eggless. It came out well and was well binded without eggs too. My husband, stated it is good though bland and needed more spices to suit our taste buds. Please feel free to adjust the spice level per your taste. I made another lasagna recipe, and added some Indian spices to add the zing! Stay tuned for another lasagna recipe I tried and that hit the flavors!
Lasagna is a layered dish having tomato sauce sauteed with mix of vegetables (per choice), lasagna sheets, Ricotta, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese, and these layers are repeated to make 3 layers.

30 ounces frozen chopped spinach (used 20 ounces equivalent to 2 packets) and Also used sauteed mushroom (1/4 cup)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more per taste)
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (used 2 fresh tomatoes and 1 14 oz can)
6 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil (Used dried)
24 ounces (3 cups) Ricotta cheese
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (Barilla brand used 6 sheets)
12 oz (3 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded (used 2 cups)
Salt and Pepper per taste

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave spinach in covered large bowl until completely thawed, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Squeeze spinach dry, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Pulse spinach in food processor (or blender or Mixie) until ground, 8 to 10 pulses, scraping down bowl every few pulses. Wipe out large bowl with paper towels. Transfer spinach to now-empty bowl; set aside.
2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, ½ cup processed spinach, salt and pepper per taste, and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in 3 tablespoons basil; set aside.
3. Process ricotta and reserved spinach liquid in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add Parmesan, remaining 3 tablespoons basil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and process until combined. Stir ricotta mixture into remaining processed spinach.
4. Cover bottom of the baking dish with 1¼ cups  spinach-tomato sauce (use the baking sheet that you have, and adjust accordingly the number of lasagna sheets used) . Top with 2 noodles and spread one-third of ricotta mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup mozzarella and cover with 1¼ cups spinach-tomato sauce. Repeat twice, beginning with noodles and ending with sauce. Top with remaining 3 noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
5. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil sprayed with vegetable oil spray and bake until bubbling around edges, about 40 minutes. Discard foil and continue to bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.

Sending this lasagna to the SpicyTreats Love2Bake weekly event.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Eggless Chocolate Biscotti

I tried chocolate biscotti for the first time when I visisted by brother's home, in US.  That time I did not know that I will be baking biscotti at home!  Biscotti in Italian means baked twice. Biscotti does not taste overly sweet, and the texture is not very soft either. This makes biscotti a perfect light and crunchy snack for tea/coffee. I googled for both eggless and regular recipes to understand how it is made. I do eggless baking though I learnt a lot about biscotti when reading about regular recipes as well.
I made chocolate biscotti following recipe from Spicy Treats. This recipe yields the perfect taste and texture chocolate biscotti. I still have to try the almond biscotti, and will post here once get to bake it. I enjoyed baking this biscotti. My daughter was the star helper helping me prepare the dough, and cut the slices.

All purpose flour   1 and 1/2 cup
Rolled Oats     1/2 cup ( Used quick cooking rolled oats and grinded them to coarse powder)
Cocoa powder   1 Tablespoon
Salt     a pinch
Baking powder   1 tsp
Baking soda  1/2 tsp
Sugar     1/2 cup
Butter (room temperature)   1/2 cup
Vanilla extract   1 tsp
Baking Chocolate  1/4 cup or 2 oz, melted (Used Ghirardelli semisweet)
Milk     2 tbsp ( add if the dough is crumble & dry)
Chocolate Chips    3 Tablespoon

Method (Please refer to SpicyTreats for pictorial steps)
Sieve together  the flour,rolled oats,cocoa powder,baking soda,baking powder,salt in a bowl. Whisk together the butter,sugar until they turn smooth.  Add in the melted chocolate,vanilla extract and give a quick stir.Now slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix everything well, if its hard to knead add milk, if its sticky, add in few flour. Lastly add chocolate chips and knead to a soft dough. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll the dough as a log and transfer it to a baking sheet lined over a baking tray. (This dough crumbles very easily, I found it easier to roll the dough on the lined baking sheet itself.) Bake the log for 15-20 minutes. Cool it for 10 minutes. With a sharp knife, slice it diagonally as 1 inch pieces or roughly to get around 15-20 pieces from the log. Bake it again for 5 minutes. Flip the biscottis and bake again for an another 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on the oven as the biscotti is baked 2nd time. This can get over baked very fast, and can spoil the crunch and crispiness. Cool it completely before storing in airtight container.

Sending this biscotti to Kids Delight event hosted by Gayathri's Cook Spot and organizer of this event Spice Your Life  Thanks Gayathri and Srivalli.