Puttin' on The Mitts: Memories of Mom
Because of my new lifestyle, I've been following many different people on Instagram who are on a weight loss journey similar to mine.
One of the common denominators I've found with many of them is a keto or low-carb lifestyle.
Cut Da Carb flatbread, found only online so far, has been a popular food item and with all of the Instagram pictures of recipes using these deliciously thin flatbreads, I knew I had to try them. And with Mother's Day just around the corner, this was the perfect time.
You see, my mom was a huge fan of lasagna but she very rarely made it because my dad didn't like it. He always complained about the texture of the noodles. My mom, on the other hand, liked lasagna so much, she was even happy with the frozen kind.
This summer will be five years since my mom passed away. There isn't a day that goes by I don't think of her, but as I was preparing this dish, I smiled the entire time. Many memories of my mom cooking in her kitchen came to mind.
I miss talking to her about cooking, asking her questions or tips on how to make something new. I have a few of her handwritten recipes stored in my grandmother's recipe box. I will cherish them forever as they are amongst my most prized possessions. Maybe one day, this Low Carb Lasagna Roll-Up recipe will be one of my daughter's favorites.
Happy Mother's Day to all!
LOW CARB LASAGNA ROLL-UPS
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 14.5-ounce can of no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 24-ounce jar lower sodium spaghetti sauce
- 1 pound Italian seasoned lean ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 15-ounce container low fat ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- 1 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 Cut Da Carb flatbreads
Brown the ground turkey, onion, mushrooms and garlic together, cooking thoroughly.
Drain excess fat if necessary.
Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and diced tomatoes. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and Romano cheese.
Lay out one flatbread on a piece of aluminum foil.
Spread half of the ricotta and Romano mixture over the entire flatbread.
Take a second flatbread and lay it on top of the other flatbread, leaving a few inches of the bottom flatbread exposed on one end so the cheese mixture can serve as a type of sealer for the lasagna roll-up.
Add a layer of the meat sauce mixture to the top flatbread.
Roll the flatbreads into a log, making sure you are rolling toward the end with the cheese mixture exposed.
The cheese will act as a "glue" to keep your log rolled up and stuck together.
Repeat with the remaining two flatbreads.
There should be about half of the meat sauce mixture left.
Roll them up into the aluminum foil and refrigerate for an hour to allow the ingredients to set.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch cake pan with cooking spray.
Spread a couple of spoonfuls of meat mixture in the bottom of the pan.
Unwrap the lasagna logs and slice each one into four roll-ups for a total of eight roll-ups.
Place the roll-ups on top of the meat mixture in the pan.
Add whatever remaining sauce is left to the roll-ups.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top roll-ups with mozzarella cheese and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Keep in mind reduced-fat cheese doesn't completely melt like regular cheese does.
Makes 8 servings for approximately 455 calories per serving.
I grew up loving chicken prepared in a number of ways.
It was a staple in our home, our go-to protein source and endlessly adaptable. Long a popular meat in nearly every cuisine on the planet, chicken overtook beef as the most consumed meat in the United States in 2014, the first time in 100 years, according to online news source Priceonomics.
I recently watched the Netflix original series "Ugly Delicious," in which an entire episode was devoted to fried chicken. In that episode, chef David Chang has a conversation about chickens, during which the bird is described as being put on Earth to be eaten. Paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin's ode to beer, television writer David Simon said, "Chicken is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Chicken—chicken Parmesan in particular—is a way I can show my own mom I love her and want her to be happy on Mother's Day. It's one of her favorite dishes, both to cook and eat. Although this is certainly my own version with a few twists thrown in, it's an ode to my mom, really, who fostered creativity within me and never squelched my desire to try new things and be different.
Here, I've baked the chicken rather than fried it and stuffed it with cheesy, herby goodness, serving it alongside a chunky sauce made from fresh ingredients.
Not sure what to get Mom for the big day? Why not cook her favorite dish, with a few of your own updates? Or maybe cook a lower-cal but still delicious Italian feast, brought to you by The Mitts!
No matter what you do, we hope you have a happy Mother's Day with the ones you love.
STUFFED CHICKEN PARMESAN
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 4 4-ounce chicken breasts
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, pearls or slices
- 8 large fresh basil leaves
- 6 tablespoons Parmesan, Parmesan-Romano blend, or four-cheese blend, divided, plus more to finish
- 1/2 cup flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Chopped parsley to finish
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
Add the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the oregano, thyme and bay leaves to the onions and garlic, stirring for about 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes to the pan and reduce heat to low.
Simmer for about 20 minutes, season with salt to taste and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees and cover a plastic cutting board with plastic wrap and lay the chicken breasts on it.
Place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken breasts. NOTE: Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, you might want to butterfly cut them in half lengthwise first before pounding them until an even thinness is achieved.
On top of each breast, place two large basil leaves (or enough to cover the breast), 1/2-ounce of mozzarella and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan or other cheese blend.
Roll the breasts lengthwise, leaving them to rest on the opening, or use toothpicks to seal them.
Cover the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with about two-thirds of the sauce, reserving rest of sauce for serving.
On three plates, place the flour mixture, egg and breadcrumbs mixed with 2 tablespoons Parmesan/blend.
One by one, dip the rolled chicken breasts into the flour, egg and breadcrumbs and place in the baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered, before sprinkling some more Parmesan/blend across the chicken breasts.
Bake for 10 minutes more, or until the chicken breasts are 165 degrees.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with some reserved sauce.