What? You didn’t think all the leftover mushroom cream cheese filling would disappear overnight, did you? I joked to my mom when I made that mushroom-stuffed chicken, “I just have to make this every night for the next 2 months, and we’ll get rid of this stuff!” 😛 It is good stuff….I’m not tired of it yet…but if I ever see the bottom of that container, I’m sure I will be!
Thursday’s mushroom adventure was GOOD!!!!! I made mushroom-spinach lasagna with butternut squash sauce, oh yes I did and it was as delicious as it sounds! Here’s how it went down. I sauteed some onion and fresh mushrooms, in a little olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, thyme and sage. Right at the end of cook time, I added some dried wild mushrooms (bought a GIANT jar at Costco) that I had soaked in water (save the liquid…it has great flavour!). I spread some of the mushroom cream cheese on 2 sheets of fresh whole wheat lasagna noodles (look for them in the refrigerated fresh pasta area) (I had just 2 sheets leftover from a lasagna I made a few weeks ago) and topped with a bit of fresh spinach and the sauteed mushroom mixture on one half of each sheet. To make the sauce I cooked about 1 and 1/2 cups of peeled, cubed butternut squash in salted water in the microwave until tender. I pureed it with one wedge of Laughing Cow light cheese, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and some of the reserved mushroom liquid. To assemble the lasagna, I spread a bit of the sauce on the bottom of a stoneware pan. I folded each lasagna sheet over the mushroom mixture and laid them on top of the sauce. I spread the rest of the sauce over the lasagna, and topped with 1/2 cup shredded light Italian blend cheese. I baked for 1/2 hour at 400, then let it sit in the oven for about 15 minutes (waiting for my mom to get home 🙂 ). I served with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts.
All I can say is yum, yum, yum! This meal was fabulous in and of itself…tasted far better than just something made to use up leftovers. I love cooking to use up leftovers in the fridge…I find it oddly satisfying (I’m a weirdo, I know). I just love the challenge of taking something that’s sitting in the fridge and re-inventing it in a new and exciting way…anyone with me on that?
But the mushroom madness doesn’t end there, my friends…oh no. I also used the ‘shroom-y spread on my Friday night pizza. Here’s how it went down. I did the crust my usual way, then spread it with what else…the mushroom spread! I caramelized some onion in 1/2 tsp olive oil, then used the same pan and added another 1/2 tsp oil and sauteed some button mushrooms and one mini portobello. Inspired by this recipe, I added some balsamic vinegar at the end. I also seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme. I topped the pizza crust/sauce with the onions, mushrooms, chopped light deli ham and my new cheesy crush, PC Blue Menu light Brie. I baked just until the cheese was melty. YUMMY! Once again, another mushroom winner!
My side dish? I cooked some butternut squash cubes in the microwave in salted water until tender. I cooked some kale and broccoli rabe in boiling salted water (just let it boil and then drain, I don’t like my greens overcooked). I re-used the same nonstick pan from the onions and mushrooms (all about minimizing the dishes), sprayed with a bit of nonstick spray, added the squash and greens and some leftover onions and mushrooms from the pizza, sauteed altogether with salt, pepper and thyme, and added just a splash of balsamic at the end. I forgot how much I like eating squash and greens together…it’s been a while. I always feel super healthy when I eat this combo, as I consider both to be super foods in their own right…and together? They can conquer the world! Okay…maybe not…but at least after eating them I can conquer, uh, something….sorry….I digress. Texturally, this dish was just ok…I think it’s because I didn’t add any more oil and didn’t drain the water from my veggies thoroughly enough…but it was still a satisfying side.
Although it’s not mushroom-related, the dessert that followed the pizza was also quite fabulous, so I thought I’d share :)…didn’t think you’d mind. I made an ice cream sandwich with a deep chocolate Vitatop and 1/4 cup of one of my new obsessions: President’s Choice Caramel Pecan Crunch frozen yogurt….WOW this stuff is good…I am in love! Try it if you don’t believe me…it’s like butterscotch ripple on steroids…so so yummy! And 110 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per serving? Yes please! In the Alumni Western mug (go Mustangs!) is hot chocolate. It was the perfect meal and dessert to kick off my March Break…followed by reading my entire new Food Network Magazine in one sitting on the couch in sweatpants! 😀 Yes, that’s my idea of a fun Friday night. If that makes me an old lady, then so be it.
Have you ever used leftovers to make something that turned out to be incredibly delicious? Do tell! And what’s your ideal Friday night…in or out?