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Valentine's Day, a day meant for love.

There are all these romantic notions associated with February 14, but as parents, we know not to get our hopes up. You won't find me in a red dress with heels on. Instead, I will be celebrating this day of love as an entire family. I will be wearing my favorite slippers and cooking up a storm with my family. My hot Valentine's date can wait until after February 14 when the wait-times aren't as long and bouquets of roses are cheaper.

Cooking with your children can bring messes and frustrations (trust me, I know!)  but it can also bring laughing, giggling, and so much joy. Keep those kiddos involved in the kitchen and pretty soon they will know their way around the kitchen like Julia Child.

My 11 year old started helping me as soon as she could walk and now she can prepare an entire meal herself. She enjoys spending her weekends baking cookies and whipping up cakes from scratch. The messes and frustrations eventually pay off in the form of a delicious dinner prepared together, as a family.

Since Valentine's day falls smack-dab in the middle of the week this year, use it as a day to share some time in the kitchen together. Weeknights can be pretty hectic so go ahead and prepare this ahead of time if it works better for your schedule.

Lasagna Roll Ups are a fun variation on the traditional sheet pan lasagna. The variations are endless. These are filled with turkey sausage and spinach but you could do mushrooms, chicken, ground beef, red sauce, alfredo, or pesto. I love that you can easily cater it to your family's tastes. Add a salad and store bought garlic bread and TADA you have yourself a date night worthy dinner for the whole family.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Ingredients

  • 12-15 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 - 15 ounce container low fat ricotta
  • 1 - 8 ounce package shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped finely
  • 1 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 32 ounces of your favorite pasta sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and then ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain, and run cool water over them so they won't stick together.
  3. Combine ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, egg, Parmesan, and chopped spinach, together in a medium bowl and mix well.
  4. In a large skillet brown turkey sausage until no longer pink, drain on a paper towel.
  5. Mix together browned sausage and 1 cup pasta sauce.
  6. On the counter or a large baking sheet lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dried. Take a few large tablespoons of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over each noodle.
  7. Next, spread a few large tablespoons of the meat sauce over the ricotta.
  8. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
  9. Pour remaining sauce over the noodles.
  10. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese over all the lasagna rolls.
  11. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is really melty.

**If cooking from frozen increase baking time to 60 minutes.

Jamie Gates

Parent Blogger and Recipe Creator

Jamie is the creator, recipe developer, and photographer behind The Kitchenarium. She is a wife, mother to four, coffee drinker, cookie baker, PTA/PTO mom, and a modern Tupperware lady. Jamie first started publishing recipes online in 2007. When she's not working Jamie enjoys hosting all day brunch parties, hiking with her family, trying a new-to-her local restaurant, or binge reading a new book. ...

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