Category Archives: parmesan cheese

Kale Lasagna

Sometimes during the weekends we like to make a dish that will last us several days.  When I saw a recipe for kale lasagna (without ricotta) I added it to our list.

As I’ve mentioned before, ricotta and I do not have a wonderful relationship.  Therefore, I try to find ways to substitute it.  Last time we made lasagna, we used tofu as the substitute- check it out here!  This time the substitute was cottage cheese.  I feel like I should have thought of that long ago, yet I didn’t.

Now, if you’re not a fan of kale- feel free to use spinach or any other greens.  Personally, I do not like meat in my lasagna.  I feel like it’s an already heavy dish- and by adding meat, it’ll give me a stronger food-coma.  Since all recipes can have some tweaking- this one is the same.  If you’re a meat lasagna fan, definitely add a layer of it somewhere in there.

This is the pre-bake picture.  I loved the contrast between the green kale, red tomatoes and white cottage cheese.  Yum!

Kale Lasagna
Adapted from: Kalyn’s Kitchen

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
10 oz crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
28oz chopped tomatoes
6 cups of kale, roughly chopped
2 cups of cottage cheese
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
box of lasagna noodles
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated

In a large pan, heat up olive oil.  Add onions and saute for about 3 minutes, or until they are soft.  Then add garlic, mushrooms, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Saute all of the ingredients for about 5 minutes.  Finally, add the tomatoes.  Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes.  Once the sauce has cooled, pour into a food processor.  Puree the sauce, depending on how smooth or chunky you would like your sauce to be.

The next step is to blanch kale.  Take a large pot and boil water.  Add the chopped kale into the boiling water for about 3 minutes.  Have a bowl of cold water ready, and once the kale is cooked add it to the cold water.  Keep the kale in the cold water for about 3 minutes, and then drain the kale.

In a separate bowl, mix together cottage cheese, beaten eggs and grated Parmesan.  Finally, add the drained kale.  Mix all of the ingredients.

Spray a 9×12 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.  Lay lasagna noodles at the bottom of the pan.  Pour a layer of the sauce onto the lasagna noodles.  Then put down a layer of the cottage cheese-kale mixture.  Finally, sprinkle 1/2 of a cup of mozzarella cheese.  Continue putting the layers until you have used up all of the ingredients.  The top layer will be lasagna noodles covered with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Preheat the over to 375°F.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 60 minutes.  Then, take off the aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes.  Let the lasagna cool for about 5-10 minutes before cutting it and serving.

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Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce

I know there hasn’t been a post on this blog in a week!  We have been cooking, but we’ve been having problems with the photography.  Our little space is fairly dark, especially now that summer is coming to an end, so until we have some new camera equipment (on the way!), it’s difficult to show off the appetizing food.  Until then, try out one of Sam’s newest recipes. 

I have to say that I’m super proud of this one.  I thought it up all on my own and it turned out great on the first try!  The subtle sweet flavor of the clams with the rich white wine sauce over pasta is absolutely delicious.  For those of you who might be a little timid about cooking seafood, this is definitely a good one to try; it’s really easy!

Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce

5 lbs, littleneck clams (should be about 50 clams)
¼ lbs pork belly, cubed (you can substitute with bacon, just not the maple kind)
½ bulb of fennel, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lbs dried linguine
1 bottle of dry white wine, room temperature (chardonnay would work great)
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (please don’t use that powdered stuff)
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper

First, rinse the clams in a colander under cool water.  Check to make sure that they are all firmly closed in their shells.  If you find any that are open or have cracked shells, throw them away.  Once they’re clean, set aside.

In a deep saucepan melt 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Then add the pork fat and cook until it begins to render a bit.  Now is a good time to start your boiling your pasta.  Next add the fennel and sauté until it becomes translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, you do not want it to burn.

Now add the clams, white wine, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and a pinch or crushed red pepper.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until all of the clams have opened their shells.  When the clams are done, remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the strained, cooked pasta in a large pot and cover to keep warm.

Uncover the white wine mixture and cook on high heat until it reduces by half.  Add ½ cup heavy cream and continue to cook until the mixture again reduces by about half.  Add the flour and whisk briskly for 1 minute.  Pour the mixture and the grated Parmesan over the pasta and clams and mix together thoroughly.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a sliced baguette.  Enjoy!

Veggie Flatbread with Cilantro Hummus

As many of you have probably noticed through  most of these posts, we don’t eat much meat here at Fifth Floor Kitchen.  Our thoughts are that if we do want to eat meat, we prefer “happy cows/chickens/etc”.  The fact that we didn’t have any meat in our fridge came in handy this weekend.  Our fridge broke!  Well, the freezer was working, but the fridge was warm.  (Yes, the beer did not get as cold.)  It’ll be completely fixed today, at 5pm, when the Refrigerator Man comes by and changes a thermostat.  I guess these are the pleasures of home ownership?  Most of the food survived, except some of the dairy products such as: milk, sour cream and some half-and-half.  But we’re back to a happy kitchen. 

This accompanied the Cucumber Gazpacho for dinner one night.  Also very simple to make, and very springy.  The original recipe called for pita bread, but while searching for it at Whole Foods I was concentrating on the “whole wheat”.  So instead I grabbed a flatbread.  (to me, these two are fairly similar- pita bread is thinner, while the flatbread is a bit thicker and softer)  I would say this was similar to a personal pizza, it’s got veggies and cheese (but could have so much  more on it).  The only exception is the “sauce” is cilantro-hummus-flavored.  So as long as you like cilantro, this is defintely worth a try.  The veggies on this don’t need to be the same, feel free to add what you like on your flatbread. 

Veggie Flatbread with Cilantro Hummus
Inspired by: Vegetarian Times

1/2 cup cilantro leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 flatbreads (or pita’s)
2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained & sliced into strips
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

To make hummus, add the cilantro and garlic into the food processor.  Turn on for about 1 minute until everything is chopped.  Then add the chickpeas, lime juice, oil and water.  Puree for 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy. 

Place the 2 flatbreads on baking sheet.  Spread each with the cilantro hummus.  Then top with peppers, mushrooms and spinach leaves.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for about 10 minutes, the flatbread should be crisp and the cheese should be melting.

Arugula Salad with Eggs & Mushrooms

When the weather starts to warm up (such as yesterday), no one wants to hang around the kitchen too much.  Or even turn on the oven.  We all want to be outside, enjoying the weather (or at least the first couple of weeks of spring and summer before the humidity skyrockets). 

Here, we turn to salads- arugula is our favorite.  There is something about it that is 100 times better than any other salad leaf.  It’s earthy, peppery, with hints of a nutty flavor.  Definitely adds a little spunk to a boring salad!

This one is a simple salad.  The mushrooms can be substituted for anything else you might have in your fridge (peppers, olives, tomatoes, tofu, zucchini).  And this is a great salad that can be a dinner on it own- very filling.  A slice of fresh bread and a glass of wine perfect the meal!

Arugula Salad with Eggs & Mushrooms
Adapted from: Easy Vegetarian

4 eggs
2 tsp butter
4 cups arugula
1 cup mushrooms
1/2 onion, chopped (shallots can also be used)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil

In a food processor, blend 1 cup of arugula, mushrooms and onion.   Crack the eggs into a bowl, mix with fork.  Pour the eggs, and the vegetable mixture into a frying pan.  Let it cook, making an omlette.  Once cooked, place on cutting board, and divide into pieces (strips or circles). 

Finally, divide the 3 cups of arugula between 2 large plates.  Add pieces of the omelette to the salad, mix.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and drizzle with olive oil.

Minestrone with Arugula

Another soup, but this one has fresh arugula, which made it that much more delicious!  I’ve never actually thought about putting arugula into soups, or pasta (as we have done here with the No-Cook Spaghetti Sauce), but it’s a great idea.  It gives the soup a different dimension.

Choosing arugula is also showing how much I cannot wait for spring…which I think is almost here.  I think everyone is ready for the warm weather, for fresh vegetables and fruits.

The Penn Quarter Farmers Market had its opening day 2 weeks ago.  Granted, it’s still the end of winter so there aren’t too many fruits or vegetables there just yet.  Although, we’ve gotten some fresh eggs both weeks.  It’s easier to get up in the morning when there are scrambled or fried eggs waiting to be made.

Minestrone with Arugula
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times Magazine

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
14-oz vegetable broth
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
3 cups of fresh arugula, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Over medium heat, cook the onion, celery and carrots until vegetables are softened.  Then, stir in tomato paste, paprika, and bay leaves.  Cook for 1 minute, making sure the vegetables are covered with the tomato paste.  Add the can of tomatoes with the juice, broth, beans, macaroni and water.  Heat to a boil, and then cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Add arugula into each soup bowl, and pour over the soup.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.