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Sunday, January 29, 2012


I know my posting has been sparse, at best, lately; but the cooking and eating have continued around here. We still love food even though I share the love with you less often these days. I just have lost my spark for blogging.

With Christmas comes calories and all things indulgent and once the New Year dawns, we simply must lighten things up. We don't lighten things up so that we have to eat tasteless, bland "diet" food. Oh no. That would never do around here; however, we look for ways to consume fewer calories and make things healthier without compromising flavor.

When I saw the recipe for Mushroom Lasagna in the January/February issue of Cooking Light magazine, I knew that I had to give it a try. After the lasagna that I told you about here and the thousands of calories consumed in eating it and amount of money that I spent in buying the ingredients to make that dish, this lasagna had its work cut out for it.  I seriously did not know if it could even compete. 

After giving it a try tonight, I have to say that this is way more than a cheaper and lower calorie alternative. This dish can stand on its own any day. With the "meaty mushrooms"....the garlic...the fresh herbs...the "lite" yet creamy and oh so flavorful sauce, the heavy cheeses and thick bechamel sauce that were in the last lasagna were not missed in this one.   Don't let the awful photo fool you.  It definitely does not do this dish justice.  You simply must give this one a try.

I've simply got to get more colorful plates!

Mushroom Lasagna

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 cups chopped shallots (about 4)
1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 (16-ounce) package white button mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1/2 cup white wine
3 oz. cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided

1 cup broth
1 1/10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
Cooking spray
9 no-boil lasagna noodles

1/2 - 1 cup of fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil to pan along with the chopped shallots. Sauté 3 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sauté until mushrooms are browned, about 6 minutes.  Add fresh thyme and 3 chopped garlic cloves. Sauté 1 minute and stir in wine. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen up any browned bits that may be on the bottom. Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese and 1 tablespoon chives. Set aside.

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add remaining 3 garlic cloves to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add broth,  2 3/4 cups milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Combine remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.  Add flour mixture to milk mixture, and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk.

Spoon 1/2 cup sauce into an 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, and top with 3 noodles. Spread half of mushroom mixture over noodles. Cover the mushrooms with fresh baby spinach. Ladle some sauce over the top. Repeat layers, ending with remaining sauce. Sprinkle cheese over top.  Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until golden. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon chopped chives.

 I used what I had in the fridge for this recipe.  I didn't have the interesting and exotic mushrooms.  I didn't have light cream cheese.  I had chicken broth to use in place of the "reserved porcini broth".  We like cheese and I happened to have some Monterey Jack that was grated in the fridge so we added that on top along with the Parmesan Cheese.   Even with that addition, it was still much less than we normally use in a dish like this.  This recipe is so much easier and so versatile that I can see it being a great base recipe to alter and change according to what I have in the fridge.  David and I were talking about that tonight as we prepared this together.  Goat cheese would be a fantastic substitute for just about anything the cream cheese.  Chicken would be a great addition to this dish.  With or without spinach, it would still be wonderful.  This is definitely a keeper and will be a recipe that we will make again and again.  It's pure comfort food for a cold winter's evening and special enough to serve guests for dinner.  If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers (we didn't!),  they would be amazing.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I know this little blog has kind of gone by the way-side and yet you never fail to stop by and comment or send me a kind and encouraging email in response to my sporadic posts.  You are appreciated more than you know.

Have a blessed week!

This recipe is being shared here
with Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday.

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


  1. That lasagna looks absolutely fantastic! I definitely have to make this one, mushrooms and cheese, count me in!

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I love mushroom lasagne but my hubs is just so-so on the dish. He is on board with healthier eating right now so this might be my window to give it a try. He likes all the ingredients...maybe if I don't call it lasagne?

  3. Your lasagna looks fantastic, Candace. I think it's so hard to cut back on calories after all the holiday rich food, but I'm sure they aren't missed at all in this dish.

  4. this looks amazing! I love mushrooms with pasta and the sauce- yuM!

  5. I think I could LOVE this. Mushrooms are my favorite!!

  6. Does the cream cheese replace the ricotta? I used a mixture of cream cheese and ricotta in the stuffed shells I made the other day and they were pretty good. I love mushroom flavored anything, so I'm curious to try your dish!

  7. I think your photo looks good! I just love Cooking Light--I never feel like I'm eating diet food when I make their recipes and it's rare that I have one not work out. This sounds divine!

  8. I can completely sympathize with the loosing the blogging spark - I think it happens to all of us at some point. You'll get no pressure from me.. I'm just happy to see a new post from time and time. And you are killing me with all these yummy mushroom recipes... If only Chris liked them even just a little bit!! I guess I'm going to have to send him on a trip so I have an evening to cook for just myself!! :)

  9. It's SO TRUE that eating right doesn't have to be flavorless....and in fact it can even be a tad bit indulgent. This looks delicious!

  10. This looks so delicious! I so wish I had the time and desire to cook! I understand what you mean about losing your spark for blogging ~ I feel the same way. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying life!! I've been missing you!

  11. I and my husband are on a diet too! And It is really hard, especially if you have to cook for a nine year old child. But I am hanging in there. The lasagna look terrific. I am allowed to eat only once a week pasta, so I am keeping this to try!

  12. That looks so delicious. I know my husband would love this. We have a tasty mushroom jalapeno quinoa recipe that is awesome. Come over and visit

  13. Hi Candace,
    It is so good to see you out and about! Sure am glad that you made this delicious recipe to share with us, because I can't wait to try it. I as you see many possibilities. This is an awesome recipe. Hope you are having a wonderful week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  14. I love Cooking Light and have good luck with their recipes. I see you certainly had a good dish based on their lead. I love the idea of a lasagna that is not red, that has a white sauce.

  15. My boys hate mushrooms. But I think this would be a fabulous recipe to try with the girlfriends on Tuesday. I thought of you earlier tonight as they say we might get snow. Lets hope so as I think we all want to play in the white stuff. Hope you had a fabulous weekend.

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