And so, another round of Parents Need to Eat Too classes comes to an end.
Today’s class was devoted to Nap-Time Cooking, one of the techniques I found most helpful when I was a new mom. I’m a few years past that now (Harry gave up naps before he turned three, the little bugger), so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve forgotten exactly how hard it is to have anything resembling an organized life when there’s a baby around. To wit: This morning’s class was scheduled to start at 9:30. At 9:28, the phone rings. C is running late, but on her way. At 9:36, call #2: N is also running late, but she’ll be here around 10. No word from the other moms. Eventually, at 9:50 the first student shows up, not one of the callers—she and her daughter were coming from downtown Manhattan, plus she’s pregnant, so slack is cut without hesitation. At 10 I call mom #4, and discover she’s completely forgotten about the class.
If this were anything other than a group of new moms, I might be peeved. But then I think back to my own early days of motherhood, and just how impossible it seemed to ever get anywhere when I’d promised to arrive. Getting Harry to his doctor’s appointments involved herculean feats and more than a few tears (mine, most often).
By the time class was over and the last mom had packed up her dinner along with her baby, my kitchen was speckled with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella and I had this to show for it:
It’s an unbaked Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, ready to pop in the oven an hour before dinnertime. Oh my.
I also had a sizable tub of leftover part-skim ricotta cheese—Stephen and I decided it wasn’t worth the extra points (3 per serving!), so I left it out of our tray, and since mom #4 was a no-show I had her quantity, too. If you’re a regular reader here you know cheese ain’t my thing, so this didn’t thrill me. But waste doesn’t thrill me either, so I set about finding something to make with ricotta that a) didn’t actually taste like ricotta, and b) fit nicely into my Weight Watching life.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present Pumpkin-Ricotta Gingersnap Pie. It takes about ten minutes to throw together and tastes like Thanksgiving, but it’s only four points for a big ol’ slice. Bigger than the slice below, which is more of a three-pointer. Yeah, baby.
Now, friends, please help me figure out how to use up the rest of this ricotta. What are your favorite uses for it? Bonus points if they fit requirements a) and b), as listed above.
Pumpkin-Ricotta Gingersnap Pie
WW: 4 points per serving
One 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups part-skim ricotta
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup gingersnap crumbs (from about 6 regular gingersnaps—I put 20 Trader Joe’s Ginger Cat Cookies in a zipper-lock bag and crushed them with a rolling pin)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a pie plate with cooking spray and set aside. Go watch TV for 10 minutes before proceeding, to give the oven time to come up to heat (this pie comes together really fast).
In a large bowl, whisk together everything but the gingersnap crumbs. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate, and sprinkle the crumbs over the top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool before serving, or it’ll fall apart.
Refrigerate the leftovers. This has the added benefit of turning the pie into a refreshing warm-weather treat.