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 b├ęchamel 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.   .