Zucchini Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

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I’m so happy today to be partnering with Undeniably Dairy and sharing this super easy and yummy lasagna roll recipe. You can find out more information like sustainability, facts and myths on the Dairy Good website.

When I was a kid, we lived right down the road from a small dairy farm. My dad’s good friend worked at the farm and another one of his friends owned the farm. We used to go at least twice a week.

I have such fond memories of that farm. My dad took me there often to learn just where our milk came from. I learned how the cows were milked, how the machinery worked and all the sanitation procedures. I also learned the process of how they took care of the cattle, and how they kept them happy and healthy.

As you can imagine, I grew up loving all things dairy. And I still do! My family loves dairy products, and I manage to incorporate dairy products in so many types of recipes. Dairy is the basis for our breakfast yogurt smoothies or cheesy grits and eggs and cheese on our lunch sandwiches. Yogurt or cheese make the perfect afternoon snack for me and the kids. And our dinners almost always include some type of cheese, butter or milk.

When I think of using dairy in recipes, it also makes me think of homemade. Just think, almost all of our baked goods contain dairy. And so do our yummy breakfast goodies like waffles, quiche or sausage gravy and biscuits. Dairy filled recipes are delicious, special and always made with love.

One of my favorite things about homemade dairy filled recipes is that they bring us together as a family. It’s usually a special dish but doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as a yogurt breakfast smoothie or a cheesy lunch panini. No matter what the dish is, though, they have the tendency to bring us together around the dinner table.

And dinner conversations are so important for families, especially now, when our lives are filled with so much distraction. We have an endless supply of information and entertainment right in our smartphones, our televisions and computers. It’s not always easy to get the kids to put down their devices, but a quality, wholesome meal can help encourage a device-free dinner!

The goodness of real dairy products can help bring us together as families and even as communities. There’s nothing more special than sharing good food. You can discuss your differences, share your feelings, and listen while others share their thoughts and views too. Good food like real dairy can really help open up thoughtful and real, meaningful conversation between families, friends and neighbors.

And the men and women that provide that dairy for us through their farms are incredibly important. Knowing a dairy family first hand growing up as a kid, I saw all the hard work and dedication it takes to run a dairy farm. And most importantly the genuine love for the animals that dairy farmers have. These farmers care for their cows so much and do everything they can to keep them as happy and healthy as possible, because well-cared-for cows produce the most milk!

Today’s technology has been able to further improve the care of dairy cattle through exceptional animal care, sustainable nutrition, and a better, fresher product. Dairy farmers also really care about preserving natural resources like the land, air, and water to create a sustainable future. In fact, one gallon of milk today is produced with 90 percent less land, 65 percent less water, and a 63 percent smaller carbon footprint than in 1944.

Dairy farms recycle the water they use 3 to 5 times and even recycle the nutrients in cow manure in a variety of ways, including using it as a fertilizer for crops and even converting it into energy via a methane digester.

Another cool thing is it’s likely you live near a dairy farm! There are nearly 42,000 farms in the U.S., and of those, 97% are family owned and operated. They provide jobs to the community in addition to donating to local schools and civic groups. The dairy industry works hard to ensure that products are fresh, real, and locally-sourced.  Their practices exemplify the farm-to-table movement.

And the best thing is dairy is so wholesome for us and is packed with protein, carbohydrates and important vitamins and minerals. I make sure my kids have the recommended amount of dairy servings everyday. It takes just three servings. And these products aren’t hard to find; they are right in the dairy aisle and budget friendly too.

Dairy comes in so many varieties too, perfect for so many individuals from low sodium options to non-fat and lactose free. Real dairy contains more naturally-occurring nutrients. This is what I love. And milk has just 2 added ingredients – vitamin D, and vitamin A.

And now for this yummy dairy filled lasagna roll recipe! To start this recipe, I just saute some fresh spinach and grated zucchini together. The basil is for later as a garnish.

The next thing to do is add the cooked and drained spinach and zucchini to a large bowl with some ricotta, salt and pepper. Then I cook some lasagna noodles, drain them and start to fill them.

Next, you just spread some of the filling on a  lasagna noodle.

And then roll it up like so.

This is what you have.

Then you will be placing these on a greased casserole dish.

Next, you can make or buy prepared Alfredo sauce (I’ve included a recipe below) and spoon it over the rolls.

Then top with some freshly sliced mozzarella.

And don’t forget the Parmesan!

Then just bake until golden brown and bubbly and garnish with some fresh basil.

And that’s it! This recipe makes 8 – 10 rolls. You can easily double or triple the recipe though for a crowd! This recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser for the whole family.

Be sure to find out more information like sustainability, facts and myths on the Dairy Good website.

Zucchini Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

For the lasagna rolls:

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 8 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

For the Alfredo sauce:

  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 - 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

Directions:

For the lasagna rolls:

Sauté spinach until wilted in 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add salt and pepper. Place in strainer to drain. Add zucchini to skillet and sauté with 1 teaspoon olive oil until tender. Season with salt and pepper. When done, place in strainer to drain.

Let vegetables cool and squeeze in strainer to remove excess moisture. Add vegetables to a large bowl with ricotta cheese. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Heat oven to 350°. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles. Take each noodle and spread spinach and zucchini filling over noodle and then roll up. Place lasagna roll in greased 9 x 11 casserole dish. Continue rolling up lasagna rolls until all are done.

Spoon Alfredo sauce over lasagna rolls and top with a slice of fresh mozzarella and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350° for 18 - 22 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

For the Alfredo sauce:

Add milk and cream cheese to a large skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until cream cheese has melted in the milk and sauce is creamy.

Add salt, pepper and Parmesan. Melt Parmesan in sauce.