Thursday, May 26, 2011

Roll With It: Lasagna Rolls

First, thanks for all of your supportive and encouraging comments on my last post.  It's funny: I remember the last time I left something, also on my own terms (though for more neutral reasons), I was driving back to the East Coast from LA, leaving my first graduate program.  It was exhiliarating, realizing that I was free.  And I felt the same way this time, practically skipping after I left the meeting where I handed over my letters.  I have to see those people one last time, and then no more.

The outpouring of support from my colleagues and faculty members has also been pretty overwhelming.  I sent an email announcing my departure to about 200 faculty members, and so many responses came back saying things like "you were the heart and soul of this program" and "this is a terrible thing for XYZ University" and "say it isn't so."  I imagine that the experience is almost like being at your own funeral, listening to the eulogy: both wonderful and awful at the same time.

At yoga class this week, my teacher talked about how when we are wobbly in our asanas, we should relax into the wobbliness, instead of trying to stiffen our posture in an attempt to balance.  In life, we don't like change and uncertainty, she said, so we resist, we become rigid.  In doing so, we make ourselves more susceptible to falling, because we can't move to catch ourselves in time.  Acceptance of imbalance in order to achieve balance seems counter-intuitive, but it's strangely effective (I tried it myself in class), and it translates well to what I should probably do now.  Life is constant change and flux; what we perceive as stasis is only imagined.

I need to be employed.  But today, I was looking at my daughter thinking how incredibly lucky I was to be here with her, right now, here, to be given the gift of this small life.

This recipe is far from gourmet (and not terribly interesting), but it's a different way of doing the same old thing, and a little more free-form than the layers we're used to.  Accept the messiness and wobbliness, and you might discover what's really good inside.

Lasagna Rolls

Half box lasagna noodles (or however many you have left: 8-10)
1 T. olive oil
1 bunch chard, spinach, or kale, chopped (you can also use 1/2 lb. frozen, defrosted and squeezed)
1 c. ricotta cheese
2/3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 c. or more pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 375.  Cook lasagna noodles, drain, and lay them flat on a plate or over the sides of a colander in order to keep them from sticking together.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the greens and cook until wilted. (If you are using the frozen greens, skip this step.)

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, half the mozzarella, egg, salt, and pepper. You can add the greens to the cheese mixture, or keep it separate – mixing them will reduce assembly time later.

Spread a spoonful of pasta sauce in the bottom of a casserole pan. Assemble the rolls by spreading a spoonful of cheese mixture, then greens (if applicable), and then pasta sauce on each pasta sheet. Avoid the temptation to overfill, as it might leak when you roll up. Leave the last inch of the pasta empty. Roll up pasta, ending with the uncovered edge. Place each roll in the casserole pan with the seam on the bottom. Continue until all noodles are rolled.

Pour remaining pasta sauce over rolls, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.
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  1. Those lasagna rolls look delicious. I'm going to have to try them out soon. Things will work out in the job arena. And I absolutely understand the feeling of freedom when you leave something that isn't right. When I left my last job it was under crazy circumstances, but I felt good about it. My boss was a bad egg.

  2. Wishing you all the best as you begin this new journey. I have no doubt life will lead you in the right direction and you're right you're blessed to be in this moment with your beautiful children. Sending love & hope you find the perfect job in the future ((hugs))

  3. Beautiful meal. Good luck with all the wobbles that are thrown at you! I'm sure you will succeed at everything because you are a good person.

  4. I love the idea of relaxing into one's wobbliness. Good luck with your life change - sounds like it's the right thing to do!

  5. what a wonderful post. I love how you find connections between work, yoga, and food. Enjoy your new baby and your work-stress-free time!


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