Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 2012 Daring Cooks Challenge - Cannelloni

Recipe Source: Cannelloni di magro – Manuela Zangara; Cannelloni di carne – Manuela Zangara; Cannelloni al pesto – Manuela Zangara; Cannelloni with Ricotta, Ham and Fontina from

Blog-checking lines: Manu from Manu’s Menu was our Daring Cooks lovely June hostess and has challenged us to make traditional Italian cannelloni from scratch! We were taught how to make the pasta, filling, and sauces shared with us from her own and her family’s treasured recipes!

I loved this month's challenge since I have always wanted to do a "healthy" version of cannelloni for my gym buddies. I had a great time thinking and working out the method for creating a "gym junkie friendly" recipe.

Healthy charred onion and spinach cannelloni

I made a low-fat/high-protein/low-carbohydrate version for my gym buddies who are very health conscious. I made the pasta using a large omega-3 egg, 70 gm of gluten flour, 30 gm of de-fatted soy flour and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and enough extra water to make the dough's consistency correct which made an intensely yellow-coloured and super-high protein pasta with only 14 grams of carbohydrates for the whole batch of pasta sheets. I used a pasta rolling machine to make the sheets as thin as possible giving the sheets a long rest between rollings since the very high-protein content makes stretching the sheets a longer process than if using normal plain flour. Then I made the filling with freshly cooled, cooked, chopped and drained spinach and silverbeet, charred onion rings, low-fat/no-salt ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds made into a gel with 1 cup of strong spinach and vegetable stock, balsamic glaze with tons of pepper and chilli flakes; also I made some olive oil infused wheat germ crumbs for the topping. I didn't use any béchamel sauce at all I made sure that I used plenty of greens (spinach and silverbeet), charred onion rings and the chia gel which really adds a wonderful moistness and creaminess to the dish. I only recently discovered chia seeds and how they can add a lot of flavour, moisture and creaminess to a recipe. 

I really liked the ease of this recipe and the incredibly tasty filling which was creamy and flavoursome, it went down well with my buddies, the pasta actually tasted good and its mouth feel was just fine.

A wonderful challenge thank you so much to our lovely host Manu.

I worked out the nutritional information for the dish, the recipe made enough for four servings. Per serving; energy 350 cals, fat 11.5 gm, carbs 18 gm, protein 44 gm.     


Here is the link to the challenge recipes Manu did a wonderful job on the write-up I especially like the Cannelloni di magro recipe.   .


Marcellina said...

YUM! Audax, this sounds so delicious! Ricotta and spinach - my favourite! Do you know that I have never made my own pasta when I made cannelloni? It makes all the difference, I'm sure!

Gingered Whisk said...

Delicious as always Audax!!! :) I always look forward to seeing the awesome spins to you put on each challenge. Great job!

Anula said...

Great job! Love the crumby crust on top! :) It had to be delicious.

Pozdrawiam, Anula.

P.S. Busy? Only one version of the challenge recipe - not like you at all ;)

Olga said...

Wow, it's a highly customized special-diet oriented recipe! I hope your friends appreciate all your hard work! I'm on a way of discovering chia - whole bag of it is sitting second months in a freezer and waiting for me.. Your recipe is extremely creative - congrats!

Cher Rockwell said...

Wow, you went all out, as always!
I love how you worked in all the greens to this dish.

shelley c. said...

I am so intrigued by the way you made your pasta low carb and everything healthy for your gym friends. Really well done!

Ruth Ellis said...

A brilliant creation, particularly that you were able to incorporate so many specific dietary requirements - I know how hard that can be sometimes, to come up with something that ticks the nutritional boxes, and still tastes good! This looks really tasty - fantastic.

Don't Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys! said...

Your cannelloni sound delicious AND intriguing at the same time. I will have to investigate some of your customization and try some of my own. Looks wonderful, great job!

Suz said...

Your cannelloni looks delicious, Audax! I love the crunchy topping.

Kat said...

Oh-ho! A cannelloni smackdown! Almost makes me want to join the daring cooks...