May 23, 2013

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

  • 1 Lb. Lasagna Noodles
  • 9 oz of Raw Spinach
  • 16 oz. Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Oregano
  • 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Jar Pasta Sauce of choice

Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on box minus 2-3 minutes boil time. You want them to be slightly firmer than al dente since you will be baking this once you roll them.

In a large bowl, add the ricotta, parmesan, 1 - 1 & 1/2 cups of the shredded mozzarella, salt, pepper, egg, oregano, and garlic and stir well.  Set to the side.

In a 13″ x 9″ baking dish, place about 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom and spread to evenly coat. 

Drain the lasagna noodles in a colander and run them through with some cool water to stop the cooking process along with making them easier to work with. 

Lay out a few lasagna noodles out on a cutting board and add about 2 tablespoons of the cheese filling and spread out along each noodle.  Then roll up and place seam side down in the dish.  The 1 lb. box of noodles usually comes with about 20 noodles, and I end up with just enough filling to fill 19 of them.

Once you have them all stacked up evenly in the dish, cover them with the rest of sauce and cover with foil.  Bake in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes.  After the 40 minutes, remove the foil, sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of reserved shredded mozzarella cheese and pop back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Remove from oven, allow to set for a couple of minutes and serve. I like to serve 2 rolls over a bed of raw spinach. :) 


May 9, 2013

Do you have an interest in health and wellness? How about exercise and nutrition? Or family and relationships?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions than is the place for you!

MomStrong was founded by Anna Arsenault. Anna is a mother of four and a fitness and nutrition enthusiast who realized after having her children that finding the time or money to go to the gym and being able to produce quick and healthy meals for her family was challenging. 

She created as a place to post recipes, quick in home workouts, inspiration, and tips for getting your kids moving too! Her website includes nutrition and exercise guides (the newest addition being photos of exercises so you can make sure you're doing them correctly!).
Her hope is to be a resource and inspiration for women. She is building a support network for women dedicated to being the healthiest version of themselves. There is no judgement, only support. Anna is an inspiration to myself and countless others. Give her the chance to inspire you too!
You can follow MomStrong 
on Facebook, instagram, Twitter, Tumblr!

May 7, 2013

Parmesan Baked Tilapia

  • 4 tilapia filets
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup grated/shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pat tilapia dry (if frozen, it should be thawed first) with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Lay on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 10-12 minutes. While fish is baking, mix butter with garlic, lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
Remove fish from oven and gently flip. Spread about 1/2 tablespoons of butter mixture on the fish, and heat the broiler in your oven. Set fish under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes, or until cheese gets golden and bubbly.

Baked Avocado Salsa

1 ripe Avocado
¼ cup bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cups Chunky Salsa
Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic, cheese, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; set aside.
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. 
Divide the salsa between the two avocado halves.  
Top with bread crumb mixture. 
Place on a small baking sheet. 
Bake for 5 minutes. Serve immediately. 
Fall in love!

May 4, 2013

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie Breakfast Bars


2 cup oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup neutral oil
1 egg
1 1/2 cup milk or almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease two 4 1/2 by 8 1/2-inch loaf pans.

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Beat together the peanut butter, sugar, and oil with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then, whisk in the milk by hand – carefully, so you don’t splatter. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and fold to combine. Stir in chocolate and 1/2 cup nuts and pour the batter into the two prepared pans. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining pecans.

Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Using an offset spatula, loosen the bars from the pan and turn onto a rack to cool completely. When cool, cut each pan into 8 bars. If you want smaller servings, cut each bar in half. Store in the fridge.

Strawberry Freezer Granola Bars

Makes 20-24 bars

3/4 C peanut butter
1/3 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 large bananas, well mashed
1/3 C ground flax
3 C old fashioned rolled oats
3 C crispy/crunchy cereal
2-3 C fresh strawberries, chopped
1/2 – 1 C chocolate chips

Prepare a 9×13 pan by lining it with plastic wrap or parchment or wax paper. Or prepare two muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, mashed bananas and ground flax seed.

Mix well and add the rolled oats and cereal and stir until incorporated.

Add the strawberries and chocolate chips and gently stir them in.

Press the mixture into the 9×13 pan or divide the mixture between the muffin cups and press down well.

Once the mixture is packed well, place them in the freezer and freeze completely, 4-6 hours or overnight.

Remove from the 9×13 pan and slice into bars. Individually wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer or simply remove from the muffin tin and place in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag to store in the freezer.

-Instead of peanut butter try your favorite other nut butter such as almond butter- for nut free try sunflower seed butter.
-To make these vegan, use your favorite other liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave, etc.
-I used a crispy brown rice cereal, but it does not stay crispy after the bars are frozen. If you want some change in texture I recommend choosing a very crunchy cereal, for example grape nuts would maintain their crunch even after the bars are frozen.

Frosty No-Bake Granola Bars

Makes 12

2 large overripe bananas
1 cup oats
1/2 cup crunchy cereal
2 tbsp pure maple syrup(or any other sweetener you use)
2 tbsp peanut butter or other nut or seed butter
2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp dried cranberries or other fruit
2 – 4 tsp cocoa powder

Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Mash the bananas in a medium sized bowl.

Add wet ingredients and cocoa powder and mix well.

Add all other ingredients, mix well then press into prepared muffin tin.

Freeze at least 60 minutes before serving. Mmmmm. Perfect for summertime!

May 3, 2013

Uses for FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth has more uses than most people are aware of, if they are aware of Diatomaceous Earth at all.

For Human Consumption:

Diatomaceous Earth has been reported to absorb methyl mercury, E. coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, and drug residues. It is a natural organic colon cleanser and detoxifier. This cleansing and detoxification alone has a myriad of positive effects in the human body.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is 89% Silica.

The average human body holds approximately seven grams of silica, needing significantly more silica than even important minerals such as iron. Most people are, in fact, silica deficient. Among other things, enough silica in the body is vital enough for calcium absorbtion to allow calcium supplements to work. If Silica deficient, as is the case in the vast majority of us, calcium supplementation can even be a negative. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is an excellent natural and organic source of silica.

Other Reported Health Benefits of Silica / Diatomaceous Earth Includes Lowering Blood Pressure, Lowering Cholesterol, Osteoperosis, Weight Loss, Cosmetics, Hair, Nails, Teeth & Gums, Energy, Bacteria, Mucus, Anti-Aging, Urinary Infections, Headache.

For Pets:

When lightly rubbed into their coats and dusted in your pet's area, Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is very effective against Lice, Mites, Fleas, and Ticks on dogs, cats, and birds. Just rub gently into the pet's coat. For an Ear Mites remedy for your pets, simply rub a pinch of DE onto the skin on both sides of the ear flaps daily for a month or so to kill existing and newly hatched mites.

DE is also an effective organic wormer and will kill any worms or parasites the pets may have. When using as a daily pet food supplement or as a safe wormer, mix Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth with pet food.

Following is Recommended Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth daily doses for Dogs and Cats
as an organic wormer - (complete worming can take up to a month to be safe).. Reported great results with sore and painful hips and joints, and even a fuller, healthier shiny coat as a reg. daily supplement.

Large Cats: 1 teaspoon Kittens :1/4 teaspoon Dogs 100 lbs + : 1-2 tablespoons
Dogs 50-100lbs: 1 tablespoon Dogs Under 50 lbs: 1 teaspoon Mini dogs: 1/2 teaspoon

As pets get older, they often get sore hips and stiff, painful joints.
Diatomaceous Earth in your pet's daily diet will reduce arthritic inflamation.

For your pet's living areas, apply to moist kennel and bedding areas to reduce odors, dry the area, and stop fleas and ticks from breeding. Cat Litter-Kitty Litter: Liberally add Diatomaceous Earth to litter box to effectively control dampness and odors.

For Pest Control:

The most commonly known use for DE is for pest control. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural, organic garden pest control and household insect killer. Diatomaceous Earth kills by physical action, not chemical. It is safe for pets and people. The tiny diatoms scratch off the insect's waxy coating, and dehydrate it. DE kills spiders, roaches, silverfish, ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, bedbugs, lice, mites, earwigs, flies, fleas, box elder bugs, crabs(std), pubic and hair lice, scorpions, crickets and harmful insects. Diatomaceous Earth is used in the home, yard, animal housing, etc. Sprinkle a 2 inch wide border around the foundation of your house to stop insects from entering.

Diatomaceous Earth is safe to earthworms and beneficial micro-organisms, and is also safe to people, pets and livestock. DE organically kills garden insects on huge farm crops as well as in home gardens. Diatomaceous Earth kills aphids, white flies, beetles, loopers, mites, snails, slugs, leaf hoppers, and harmful pests. Use Diatomaceous Earth inside your home, greenhouse or outdoors on fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains and grass. Apply Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth up to and including day of harvest.

For The Home:

Enjoy the many practical and money saving benefits of Diatomaceous Earth for every day household use!

Metal Cleaner: Make a paste with Diatomaceous Earth and water to make a metal polish. Diatomaceous Earth also makes a very inexpensive soft scrub for the shower, sink and faucets.

Face Mask and Cleanser: Mix Diatomaceous Earth and water together until you have made a paste. Apply to the face with circular scrubbing motion until face is fully covered. Leave on face for approx. 2 min. and then wash off with warm water. Your face will be fully exfoliated and toned for pennies!! Mix Diatomaceous Earth with your favorite cleanser and you will have cleaner, smoother skin.

Teeth Cleaner: Sprinkle a small amount on your favorite brand of toothpaste and brush as you normally would. You will notice that your teeth look and feel "Just went to the dentist" clean.

Garage/Driveway Oil Stains: To remove oil stains from garage floor or driveway: Make sure area is dry and completely cover the stain with diatomaceous earth. Let the powder soak up the oil for 24 hours. Remove the excess with a metal spatula or paint scraper and dispose.

Refrigerator/Freezer Odors: Diatomaceous Earth can be used in the same way as baking soda to banish odors. Leave an open box or jar of DE in the refrigerator and freezer. Replace with fresh DE every week or so.

Foot Odor: For fresh smelling footware, place some DE into the ends of two knee high nylon stockings and tie a knot the top. Place the stockings inside shoes or boots. Leave until used again.

Carpet Stains: To remove stains from carpets, cover the stain with DE and lightly work into the stain. Let set for at least 2 hours and vacuum up.

Garbage Can Odor: To deodorize a garbage can with DE, sprinkle a cup or so of diatomaceous earth in the bottom of the garbage can. Not only deodorizes, but will kill any bugs and larvae that are present.

So there you go friends! An all 'round amazing thing to have on hand for a multitude of things. :)

May 1, 2013

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Okay people. This is a game changer.

I can't remember the last time I made hard boiled eggs. Why don’t I make hard boiled eggs usually? Well, the thought of getting a big old pot of water boiling, and then timing the boiling, flame on, flame off, lid on , lid off…. Bleh.

Half the time I end up timing something wrong, and end up with over cooked, hard to peel eggs.

So when I kept seeing the idea on Pinterest, of hard boiling eggs in the oven, I HAD to give it a try.

Eggs go in the oven for 30 minutes, then in a bowl of ice water to cool. That’s IT! You wanna know the BEST part? The peel practically slides off in one piece.

Here is what you do:

Preheat your oven to 325. Some of the posts I found said between 325-350. My eggs turned out perfect at 325. If you know your oven runs cooler, try out a higher temp.

PLEASE DO A TEST RUN with a couple eggs until you figure out the correct cooking temp for your oven.

Place eggs in a muffin tin to prevent them from rolling around.

Cook for 28-30 minutes.

After the 28-30 minutes, remove eggs from the oven and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. I left them in there for about 10 minutes.

That’s it! Perfect eggs every time.

(And did I mention they don't smell as bad while cooking? They don't!)