Cranberry Flans and Wild Mushroom Lasagna- Who Needs Turkey?

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We present the recipe of the week from Kelly Rossiter of Toronto: For those of you who are eschewing rather than chewing turkey for Christmas and don’t find tofurkey an appealing alternative, we would like to suggest something entirely different. Try this Wild Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna from The New Light Cooking by Anne Lindsay. This lasagna is elegant enough for company. We would also like to offer a dessert recipe for a Cranberry Yogurt Flan so you won’t miss the cranberry component of the festive dinner.Wild Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

2 bunches spinach
9 lasagna noodles
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Mushroom filling

1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
¼ tsp each salt and pepper
2 lbs fresh mushrooms (feel free to mix the types, shiitake, oyster, portabella, cremini, along with button mushrooms

Cheese Sauce

4 cups 1% milk
½ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp each salt and pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups grated part-skim mozzarella

1. Remove stems from spinach. Wash carefully. Cook spinach in just the water clinging to it until it wilts. When cool squeeze the water out of it and coarsely chop. Set aside.
2. Quickly rinse dried mushrooms in sieve under cold water to remove and grit. Place in bowl and cover with 1 cup very hot water. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes or until very soft. Reserve liquid. Chop large mushroom.
3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper for 3 minutes, stirring. Increase heat to high. Add fresh mushrooms. Cook, stirring often for 15 – 20 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated and mushrooms are golden. Stir in soaked porcini mushrooms. Set aside.
4. For cheese sauce pour one cup of milk into a saucepan. Whisking, constantly, slowly sprinkle flour over milk. Stir in remaining milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg; whisk over medium high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low; stir until thickened. Stir in mozzarella and ½ cup of reserved mushroom liquid.
5. Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling water cook lasagna noodles for about 10 minutes or until almost tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain again.
6. Line bottom of lightly greased 13 X 9 inch baking pan with 3 noodles. Top with one third of the cheese sauce. Arrange half of the mushroom filling over top. Layer with 3 lasagna noodles, half of the remaining sauce, then all of the spinach. Top with the final layer of noodles, remaining mushroom filling and remaining sauce. Sprinkle parmesan evenly over top.
7. Bake in a 375 degree F oven (190 C) oven for 45 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Make ahead: Through step 6, cover and refrigerate for up to one day. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

This lasagna has 447 calories per serving with 28 grams of protein, 6 grams of saturated fat, 60 grams of carbohydrate and 7 grams of dietary fibre.

Cranberry Yogurt Flan

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter or soft margarine
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)


2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups 1% or 2% plain yogurt
1 egg, slightly beaten
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp grated lemon or orange rind
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp icing sugar

1. In food processor or bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, egg whites and vanilla, mixing well. Press into bottom of lightly greased 10 inch spring-form pan; sprinkle evenly with cranberries.
2. Topping: in a bowl, sprinkle flour over yogurt. Add egg, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla; mix until smooth. Pour over cranberries.
3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven (180 C) for 60 to 70 minutes or until crust is golden. Serve warm or cold. Sift icing sugar over top just before serving.

Makes 12 servings

Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to one day.

Per serving: 227 calories with 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of saturated fat, 38 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of dietary fibre.

Ann Lindsay is the nutrition editor of Canadian Living Magazine, and has sold over 1.5 million cookbooks in Canada alone. Available at ::New Light Cooking