Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 143: Lasagna Roll Ups

I know the calender says May 24th.  I know because I checked it...twice.  Mother nature thinks it says Feb. 24th.  That is the only way that it could be snowing on May 24th.  What the heck!?!? 

Okay, now that my complaining is out of the way, lets get down to business.  I am really not liking the switch to Kingsford charcoal.  As I was cooking last night, I did everything exactly the same way I always do.  Used the same number of coals and placed them the same way on my oven.  I was set up in my garage, using charcoal that had been stored in my house.  I started the coals and put them on the oven when they were about 1/3 grey and red hot.  But they couldn't even keep at the proper temperature for 30 minutes.  How does anyone cook with these things?  What a pain to have to replace coals every 15 minutes.  I'm trying them again because I thought it was just inexperience that was the problem when I had my temper tantrum a few months back.  But now I'm starting to think that Kingsford really is the problem.  Now, I'm trying to be objective.  I've only been using them again for a few days, so I'm still trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.  And I told myself I would use 2 bags before I make any real judgements.  All I can say is that right now, things aren't looking good for Kingsford.  I think I will shoot the company an email and see what they have to say.  Please remember, I'm not passing judgement...yet.  I really am trying to give Kingsford a fair shake, but I'm afraid the frustration is leaking through---especially when we didn't eat until after 7 pm because I had to start more coals!

But enough about that!  Today's recipe is a mixture of several that I found.  Its really just a different presentation for lasagna.  Have you ever served lasagna to company and had it slide all over and turn into a mess before you can get it on the plate?  This recipe will solve that problem.  I like it because it's easier to get a nice looking serving, especially when you have company, like I do!

Lasagna Roll Ups
12" dutch oven

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. Spaghetti sauce


2 c. cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 Tbsp. parsley
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
Frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
9 lasagna noodles (cooked)
1-1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

In your dutch oven,over about 22 coals, cook ground beef, onion and garlic until the beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the pan. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remove half of the meat sauce from the DO and set aside. In a bowl combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, spinach, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, and salt and pepper. Spread a little of the cheese mixture evenly over each lasagna noodle.

Roll up and place seam side down in rows in the DO. Top with remaining sauce. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, using 18 coals on top and 9 on the bottom.  About 5 minutes before the dish is finished cooking top with remaining shredded mozzarella cheese. Return to heat and cook until cheese has melted. 

The Finished Product

The Review

I liked these.  They taste exactly like lasagna, but the presentation is nice.  Everyone gets their own little roll up.  They are easy to serve and look harder to make than they are.  The spinach was a nice touch if I do say so myself.  They were filling, and my kids thought they were fun.  We give these a B+.


  1. Toni:

    I wish I could help you,but I have been using Kingsford for 25 years. I tried Sams once and did not like it, and went back to Kingsford. I fell your frustration, but don't have an answer for you. You use what works for you. Keep up the good work. You are doing a great serve, we all love you for it.

  2. One of your posts describes the Sam's Choice coals as being twice as big as the Kingsford. If you been using the same number of coals, before and after the switch, I would think you would have had higher heat throughout the cook with the Sam's.

    I have never used the Sam's and am still working on the multiple bags of K I purchased around this time last year. Reading from the rumor mill, I understand that K has "improved" their blue/white bag formula again since my last purchase. A 15 minute burn life is not what I would consider an improvement! Maybe I should buy a bag or two of the latest offering of K to see how I like it before I run out of my current supply and have to re-stock.

    I may have to do a comparison of brands, myself. Thanks for bringing it up!

    Your lasagna roll-ups look really good! I would be willing to wait to get a meal like that.

    Big John

  3. Toni,
    Have you tried the Dinwiddie ring method instead of counting the number of coals? I find it is a lot easier to do and I get better results from it. I also don't use Kingsford unless I can not get the Sam's Chice from Wallyworld. I like the bigger coals from Sam's and they do last longer . Keep it up....really look forward to reading your post each day.

  4. Doug-I'm experimenting with the Dinwiddie method a little bit. It's kind of confusing, and it is hard to know exactly how many coals to prepare, but I can see how it would work really well. I think I'll work on it more and see if I can't get kingsford to work using that method. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one having problems with kingsford.

  5. I just saw a blue/white bag of K in the store today. "Burns faster and longer"
    Contradiction of terms, I would think! LOL!

    Can't wait to see the response you get from K!

    Big john


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