Recipe of the Day

Butternut Squash Lasagna Rolls


Butternut Squash Lasagna Rolls recipe

Serves 9, Serving size 1 lasagna roll

I have such fond memories of helping my mom make lasagna as a kid. I was in charge of layering the noodles, sauce, ricotta and mozzarella. Today, my lasagna is a bit lighter than my mom’s. Rather than making it as a large tray, I prefer to make them into rolls—which I load up with vegetables—for better PORTION CONTROL. And here I swap tomato sauce for a wonderfully savory Butternut squash sauce with shallots, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.


Butternut Squash

  • 1 pound peeled butternut squash, diced
  • kosher salt

Lasagna Rolls

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package directions, cooled, and squeezed dry
  • 1 3/4 cups (15 ounces) fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 9 lasagna noodles, wheat or gluten-free, cooked
  • 9 tablespoons shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the butternut squash
Place squash in a large pot with enough water to cover the squash by 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until soft, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove butternut squash with a SLOTTED spoon and place in a blender with 1/4 cup of the liquid it was cooked in. Reserve an additional 1 cup of liquid and set aside.

For the lasanga rolls
In a medium nonstick skillet, add the oil and saut¿he shallots and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of fresh cracked pepper adding about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the reserved liquid to thin out the sauce until smooth. Stir in the parmesan cheese and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper.

Ladle about 1/2 cup of the butternut sauce into the bottom of a 9 ¿13-inch baking dish.

Put a piece of wax paper on a work surface and lay the cooked lasagna noodles out on it. Make sure the noodles are dry. Spread 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over each noodle. Carefully roll them up and put them seam side down in the baking dish. Ladle the remaining sauce over the lasagna rolls and top each with 1 tablespoon mozzarella. Tightly cover the dish with foil.

Bake until the inside is heated through and the cheese is melted, about 40 minutes.

Ravens Owner: Ray Rice Behind ESPN Article Claiming Cover-Up


Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has addressed ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” article that broke over the weekend claiming that he tried to cover up attempts to have the league go easy on Ray Rice with just a two-game suspension after learning he knocked his then-fiance unconscious in an elevator.

Addressing the media, Bisciotti said he strongly believes the sources for the ESPN article were Ray’s attorney, Ray’s agent and Ray’s friends — who gave the info to ESPN in an effort to get Ray reinstated into the NFL.

Bisciotti says the allegations in the ESPN article are false, but says he believes Ray’s team would push the false stories out because the best way to build a case for reinstatement is to “make everybody else look like they’re lying.”

“The majority of the sources are people that work for Ray,” Bisciotti said. “Almost everything in there is anonymous, but it’s clear from the subject matter that it’s Ray’s attorney, it’s Ray’s agent, it’s Ray’s friends.”

“Outside the Lines” reported Friday that Bisciotti, Ravens president Dick Cass and general MANAGER Ozzie Newsome tried to persuade NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to be lenient on Rice following his February arrest.

The Ravens released Rice earlier this month after TMZ released the second video. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely shortly after he was released by the team.

According to the OTL report, Ravens coach John Harbaugh urged team officials to cut Rice immediately after the first TMZ video, which SHOWED Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator, was released in February. The report also indicated Harbaugh went to Newsome in March and asked him to release the three players who were arrested this offseason, including Rice.

Minutes before the news conference, the Ravens issued a lengthy rebuttal to the OTL report. Included in the Ravens’ statement:

• Harbaugh said he did not recommend cutting Rice after seeing the first videotape, as OTL said he had urged his bosses. “I did not recommend cutting Ray Rice from the team after seeing the first videotape,” Harbaugh said in the statement. Newsome, in the statement, said: “Neither John nor anyone else ever recommended cutting Ray Rice before we saw the second videotape on September 8.”
• The Ravens director of security denied that he received an account of the incident “within hours” of the incident. In the statement, he said that within “a couple of days,” he asked the CASINO and the Atlantic City policy for a copy of the videotape and he was turned down. He said that, on Feb. 25, a police department official offered to view the tape and “describe what he saw.” He said the official described both of them as intoxicated, but that “the officer could not tell from the video whether Ray slapped or punched her, but Ray told me very clearly that he did not punch her.”
• Newsome said that he and Rice talked and that Rice told him he hit his then-fiancee, but that they did not “discuss details beyond that.” “I immediately focused on Ray taking responsibility and making amends,” Newsome said. “I later said Ray didn’t lie to me because he told me he hit her, and that is what the video later showed-although the video was much more violent than what I had pictured.”
• Bisciotti and Cass denied that they lobbied the judicial system in New Jersey or Goodell to go easy on Rice. “That statement is not true,” Cass said.

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti (right) and running back Ray Rice (left) hug during the Super Bowl XLVII celebration at M&T Bank Stadium

Bisciotti also addressed OTL’s report that he texted Ray Rice – one day after cutting him –  basically offering him a job down the road, a move that Rice interpreted as “hush money” and left Rice “flabbergasted.”

Bisciotti confirmed the text exchanges but said they were “told to someone and misquoted” by ESPN in the article. He then published what he says are texts in “verbatim” form.

“I did have an exchange of text messages with Ray, which he initiated,” Bisciotti said. “I felt awful about what had happened. I believed he was, at heart, a good person, that he was capable of redemption, and I wanted to tell him I would be supportive of him. Here are the texts, not as told to someone and then misquoted in the article, but verbatim.”

Those texts, per the Ravens release, read as follows:

Monday September 8, 7:44 pm

Ray: I understand the decision but I am thankful for what you have done for me and my family. Me and my wife will CONTINUE to work on us and being better but I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a chance

Steve: I’m sorry we had to do this. I still love you and believe that you will be a great husband and father If you ever need to talk just call

Tuesday September 9, 10:27 pm

Steve: I just spent two hours talking to Ozzie. It was all about you. We love you and we will always figure out a way to keep you in our lives. When you are done with football I will hire you to help me raise Great young men. I still love you!!!

Ray: I know it’s a rough time for all of us I love all of you and that will never change for life!

Steve: I will help you make it a great life indeed. I give you my WORD

Ray: That means the world to me and my family we greatly appreciate you and thank you.

At his press conference on Monday, Bisciotti addressed the idea of trying to pay off Rice.

“If I cut a guy making $6 million a year — if I’m promising him to be by his side and hire him for $100,000 a year five years from now so he can help Harry Swayne in our player development department — if that is considered worthy of him going along, I find that rather absurd because it would take him 250 years to make back the $25 million that I took away from him by cutting him.”


Pregnant Alicia Keys Goes Naked for the Greater Good

Alicia Keys has stripped naked and taken to Instagram in the interest of world peace.

The singer, 34, posted a nude photo Saturday featuring her pregnant belly painted with a white peace sign – all to back the “We Are Here” movement, dedicated to supporting a variety of social justice issues, from gun control to GAY RIGHTS.

“It’s you and me on a mission to create a kinder and more peaceful world,” she wrote. “The #WeAreHere Movement begins today.”

On Sunday, Keys spoke at the 92nd Street Y in New York City as part of the two-day Social Good Summit. There, she announced plans for the “We Are Here” movement.

“As I prepare to give birth to my new child, I can’t help but think what world I’m bringing the baby into,” she said. “We see the state of the world today and we can all feel the frustration and the desire to do something to make it better.

“We all want to do something but oftentimes we don’t feel empowered. That is why I created ‘We Are Here.’ Because it’s not about me. It’s about we.”

Added Keys: “I felt that if we could gather a group of really powerful organizations, how many people would want to come out and say ‘I believe in that,’ or ‘That’s important to me?’ People want to be awakened. So we are here to manifest and empower our community.”

The singer concluded her speech by personally pledging $1 million to the cause, urging her fans to donate as well: “I want all of us to take the ‘We Are Here’ peace pledge to support this great work.”

Keys’s second child with husband Swizz Beatz is due in December. The couple are already parents to son Egypt, 3½.


Jada Pinkett Smith Joins ‘Magic Mike’ Sequel (Watch Her Announcement)

Jada Pinkett Smith Joins Magic Mike Sequel

Jada Pinkett Smith used the SHOW that she executive produces to announce her role in the upcoming sequel to “Magic Mike.”

On today’s episode of “The Queen Latifah SHOW,” the “Gotham” star confirmed that she will indeed join star Channing Tatum in DIRECTOR Gregory Jacobs’ “Magic Mike XXL.”

“Yes, you know, Channing and Gregory and Warner Bros. really took a chance,” she told Latifah. “There was a character written for a male that they wanted to turn into a female.”

Jada said she won’t be dancing in the film. “Not one of those [characters]!” she said. “I can’t really reveal it yet, but I’m excited about it.”

Pinkett Smith joins new cast addition Amber Heard, alongside Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Alex Pettyfer and Gabriel Iglesias of the first film. It was announced last week that Matthew McConaughey won’t be a part of “XXL.”

The actress noted she’s completely comfortable with all the men on set.

“I’m used to being around beefcake like that because you know who I live with!” she joked, in reference to Will Smith. “I’m used to that kind of beefcake-ness in my environment. I can handle it!”

Watch below:

The sequel began production several weeks ago with the first film’s DIRECTOR, Steven Soderbergh, returning as editor and cinematographer (though under his pseudonyms Mary Ann Bernard and Peter Andrews, respectively).

The film hits theaters on July 1, 2015.


Bow Wow Engaged to ‘Love & Hip Hop’s’ Erica Mena

Bow Wow Engaged To Love & Hip Hop’s Erica Mena

Just six months after they began dating, Bow Wow and Erica Mena of VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop: New York” have gotten engaged.

The 27-year-old co-host of BET’s “106 & Park,” who recently announced he’d like to go by his real name Shad Moss, popped the question to Mena, and both confirmed the engagement via Instagram on Saturday, Sept. 20.

Mena, 27, was first to spill the news on Saturday while at Atlanta’s “BET Hip Hop Awards.” E! asked her about her boyfriend, and she corrected reporters, saying, “Uh …he’s actually my fiance!”

Mena reportedly first met Bow Wow when she SHOWED up on “106 & Park.” The two shared a kiss on the couch, and, well, here we are.


Cast of Tyler Perry’s ‘If Loving You is Wrong’ Breaks Down the Show (Watch)

Cast of Tyler Perry's If Loving You is Wrong Breaks Down the Show

Tyler Perry brings a diverse cast with dynamic characters with new drama “If Loving You is Wrong”

Earlier this month, the OWN network and Perry screened the hit drama at a private viewing event for the media.

Our associate, LaCora Stephens, was there to check out the hour-long drama at the OWN offices and was immensely pleased.

“This drama sizzles like none other. Tyler Perry takes drama to a sexier level!,” she enthusiastically stated.

Cast member Aiden Turner, (Brad) soap star for almost a decade, explained that the dynamic of the diverse cast and mixture of emotions is frankly a higher quality drama compared to soaps or Desperate Housewives. Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish, (Jackie) chimed in stating that “If Loving You is Wrong” will have you talking to the television. She guarantees that your emotions will get so involved, you’ll be talking, tweeting and instagraming about the SHOW.

Lead actress Edwina Findley, who portrays Kelly, prays that as viewers watch, it will be as a mirror allowing healing for both women and men in similar situations.

The first episode started off with a Bang, literally and figuratively, but that was just a scratch to the surface of what the season has to offer. LaCora says if you haven’t seen it, you must watch the beautiful chaos unfold on the OWN network every Tuesday at 9/8 c.

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