Spring is in the Air

We were between test weeks this past week, so I have several delicious recipes to share with you this time. All of the beautiful weather has been making it difficult to study, but it’s kept me in a better mood than the winter weather, so I guess that’s a plus! So many things are going on this time of year that it makes it difficult to stay in and cook for yourself. There are festivals, crawfish boils, picnic parties, parades, concerts and who knows what else for you to enjoy. It’s important to remember not to over-eat when you attend all of these wonderful spring events. I haven’t had the chance to go to something like that since I’ve been stuck in the books lately, but I hope everyone else is enjoying all the activities. You could make your own spring event by cooking at home and enjoying the weather by eating outside. I might try that this week for a study break. Here’s what I have from this past week, hope you try one!

Spinach Pesto Lasagna
This lasagna was AWESOME! I believe I made it last Sunday night for me and my roommate, and we both loved it. It’s a veggie lasagna that uses wonton wrappers instead of your typical lasagna noodles. I didn’t ¬†compare the nutritional facts between the two, but I’m thinking that the wonton wrappers may have less carbs and calories. A serving of the lasagna was surprisingly low on calories, with only 261 calories. I think I followed the recipe pretty closely on this one. I roasted my own red bell peppers instead of buying canned or jarred ones. It’s really easy to do! All you do is slice your pepper into halves and broil them for about 5-10 minutes until the skins are a little charred. Then you place them in a paper bag or ziploc to let the skins loosen up for about 5 minutes. After that, you peel the outer skins off and slice them however you like. Using store bought pesto and ricotta cheese (make sure you get low or no fat) made the filling easy to put together also. I had leftovers the next night for dinner and had enough to pawn off to one of my friends also. I would say the recipe makes enough for four to five servings. It was also pretty filling, so a small salad is all you need to go along with it. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but I forgot to take one of the whole thing after it came out of the oven. Click here for the recipe.

Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill, and Lemon
This is a great recipe to throw together for any occasion. I think I posted a recipe with orzo a few weeks ago, but if you’ve never had it, it’s a small pasta shaped like rice. I’ve been using whole wheat, which you should do with any pasta or bread that you eat. I used dill from my herb garden that I started a few weeks ago, which was exciting to do. All of my herbs have grown several inches and look great! I did change one thing about this recipe. I used white kidney beans instead of chickpeas, because I was planning to make a salad with white beans and knew I wouldn’t use the whole can. When you’re planning to make two things that call for similar ingredients, it’s good to think about what you might be able to substitute in one so that you can cut down on cost and waste. I think it turned out great. You could easily add chicken or shrimp if you needed to make it a little more hearty. Click here for the recipe.

Herbed Shrimp and White Bean Salad

I think that I have posted this recipe before, but I’m not quite sure. I know it’s my second time to make this particular salad, but I changed several things in the recipe this time so I wanted to share it again. I like the original recipe just fine, but I had trouble finding arugula at the grocery store. Instead, I just used fresh spinach. I also didn’t use pine nuts, because I had walnuts at home already. I kept everything else the same, and added some cucumber and tomatoes that I had in the fridge. I liked it even more this time around. Salad can be such an easy thing to make your own by adding any fresh vegetables or herbs, even fruit sometimes. The dressing for this was light and fresh and all of the flavors from the herbs, nuts, and beans worked so well together. I had it for dinner, but it would probably make a great lunch as well. I think I’ll stick with the spinach next time I make it, but try it however you think you might like it and let me know what you think! I’m hungry just thinking about it! Click here for the original recipe.


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