Monday, May 2, 2011

My Husband Rocks! (or how a little portobello lasagna roll-up soothes the soul)

On April 27th, NOAA tracked a total of 312 tornadoes across the Southeastern U.S. My home, Alabama, got the brunt of it.

  • More than 200 deaths
  • Thousands of homes, businesses and government buildings destroyed
  • Billions of dollars in damage

Today, I traveled up to Hackleburg,  population 1420. So far they've confirmed 35 dead, though that number is expected to rise as crews continue to pick their way through the rubble.

The Red Cross says the town was 75% destroyed. Seventy-five percent.

Let that sink in for a moment. It will take years for this community to rebuild. And for many people (like the woman I talked to today whose neighbors all died), Hackleburg will never be the same.

Ask any journalist. Covering a disaster like this is exhausting. Emotionally. Physically. But for reporters who also have families at home (and, yes, I'm gonna say it -- especially female journalists with families at home) it's even more demanding because we can't just come home, eat a bowl of cereal, and crawl into bed.

No. We still have to think about helping with homework, driving to sports practices, and feeding the kids.

And that is why I have the best husband ever! Today, I got back into town after a particularly grueling day, to find the homework all done and this...

Portobello Lasagna Roll-Ups courtesy Food Network's Ellie Krieger.


  • 12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 3/4 pound) 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 12 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups store bought marinara sauce 
  • 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese 
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (we used fresh)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • Pinch ground nutmeg 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 
  • 3 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 2/3 cup)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the noodles al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them well and spread them out onto aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few turns of pepper, and nutmeg.

Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture onto a lasagna noodle. Top with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture, roll the noodle and place it into the baking dish.

Repeat with the remaining noodles. Spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with grated cheeses, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.

And voila!  Instant comfort food from a wonderful man.


  1. So glad you and your family were spared the damage that hit so much of your state. Stay safe!

  2. Thanks Five Bears! It's still very torn up here, with some communities getting cleaned up pretty quickly but others still looking like a war zone (big surprise, the worst off are the poorer neighborhoods). Lots of homes in my suburb still have blue tarps on roofs... but at least they have roofs.