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Meaty Lasagna Recipe

Happy Monday to ya! Hope your week is off to a great start. Mine was slightly better than normal because I had some awesome leftovers to look forward to during my lunch break!

IMG_3399Lasagna!!

I got semi-crafty in my kitchen yesterday afternoon, and decided that it had been far too long since I made lasagna. So I made sure to pick up some lasagna noodles while grocery shopping, and whipped this baby up!

Meaty Lasagna Recipe

IMG_3381 IMG_3384Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. ground beef (or turkey!)
  • 3/4 lb. ground Italian sausage
  • Garlic salt
  • 1 jar pasta sauce/marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 oz. container Ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tbsp. parsley (chopped if fresh)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • Salt & pepper

To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meats together in a large sauce pan.

IMG_3380Drain off extra grease, add a couple hearty sprinkles of garlic salt, marinara sauce, and water. Let this meaty sauce mixture simmer on low while you prepare the cheese mixture. Stir it occasionally and don’t let it stick!

IMG_3382In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parsley, 2 eggs, and salt and pepper (around 2 tsp. of each).

IMG_3385Avoid the urge to taste this cheesy concoction – there’s lots of raw egg in there! Now you can start layering the lasagna into a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Turn off the heat to the meat sauce if you haven’t already. Begin by pouring about 1 cup meat sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.

IMG_3387Next place 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise on top of the sauce followed by adding 1/2 of the cheesy mixture on top of the noodles, spread evenly.

IMG_3388It’ll look kinda like that! Now do the sauce, noodle, cheese layers one more time. On top of the last layer of cheese add one more layer of noodles followed by the remaining pasta sauce.

IMG_3389Mmm look at those layers!

Once everything is spread evenly, layer the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese over the top.

IMG_3392Now cover the top with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. OR you can cover it and refrigerate it for a few hours until you’re ready to start baking – this is what I did! After it bakes for 45 minutes, remove the foil and let it continue baking for an additional 10 minutes. Don’t overbake it because your noodles will start to get mushy!

IMG_3394And voila! After those final 10 minutes, you are all done! And your house should be smelling mighty fine. 🙂

IMG_3395Yummo! Nick and I both had seconds….and yes, I took my Lactaid to help my tummy digest ALL the dairy!

IMG_3397And now we have leftovers for days. I love it! It will make lunch prep super fast and easy for the week..or maybe the first part of the week at least.

Well now I hope I’ve inspired you to make a semi-homemade lasagna for your family in the near future. It took less than 30 minutes to put together and was a big hit!

Have a great evening! Nighty night. 🙂

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Hearty Vegetable Soup

Hello there! It’s been a weird Thursday for sure. I forgot to publish the post I wrote up last night for yesterday, so I just did that when I logged in tonight. Oops! Confusing, I know. Sorry. 🙂

BUT, the weirdest part of my day happened around noon while I was at work. The day started our normally:  I got in a nice 5 mile run, got myself to work on time, and had my normal breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit. But around noon, I started feeling horrible. I was sick to my stomach and feeling light-headed and dizzy. I stuck around the office as long as possible before I headed home for an early lunch.

I drove home like a mad woman and got sick immediately after I walked in the door. I called into the office and put myself to bed for the rest of the afternoon. I slept for about 2.5 hours between getting up to drag myself to the bathroom. TMI? Maybe. But it was the weirdest thing and came out of nowhere! I’m guessing it was from something I ate for breakfast. Anyways, I’m still a little sick feeling tonight, but I’m just being lazy around the house and eating Cheerios to help my body recoup.

And what could be more fitting for getting over sickness than a healthy homemade soup?!

Hearty Veggie SoupI threw this recipe together last night for Nick and I’s dinner, and I have tons of leftovers which is perfect for my upset tummy tonight. Here ya go!

Hearty Vegetable Soup Recipe

photo(120)Ingredients:

  • 4 cups V8 Tomato Juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 bag or 1 can corn
  • 1 can beets
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes

photo(115)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced onions
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic salt
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of All Spice

Begin by adding the 4 cups of V8 juice and 4 cups of water to a large stock pot on medium-high heat.

photo(117)Put in the 3 bouillon cubes to dissolve in the mixture as it heats up. While they are dissolving, wash and cut up your potatoes and carrots into bite-size pieces.

photo(119) photo(118)Add these veggies into the pot and stir well. These go in first as they will take the longest to cook!

Next you can add in the minced garlic and the rest of your vegetables: the corn, green beans, beets, tomatoes. Drain off most of the liquid from your canned veggies before adding them in. Mix well.

photo(116)Lastly, add all your spices: the minced onions, garlic salt, parsley, salt & pepper, cayenne pepper, and all spice. For the last 2 spices – the cayenne pepper and all spice – you really only need a dash or pinch of each. A little goes a long way! Stir the soup well and kick the heat up to bring it to boil.

photo(113)Once the soup is at a good rolling boil, turn the heat down to keep it simmering, cover it, and let it cook for around 40 minutes. Stir often to make sure it’s still simmering and not sticking to the bottom of the pot. It’s important to keep that slight boil to cook those potatoes and carrots all the way through! You’ll know the soup is ready to eat when the large potato chunks are soft.

photo(112)Look at all those pretty vegetables! Even though this soup was meat-free, it was hearty and filled up our bellies!

photo(111)And this huge pot held enough to make around 10 servings. Meaning lots of leftovers for my lunches during this chilly time of year!

photo(109)Guess which one is mine and which is Nick’s??

photo(107)Try out this soup recipe soon for a healthy and filling dinner. It takes just around 5 minutes to throw together, and if you’re really strapped for time, try to put it in the Crock Pot for around 3-4 hours. This will be my next experiment!

Hope you’ve had a great Thursday, everyone. Fingers crossed that I feel back to normal tomorrow. Stay healthy out there!

Banana & Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

So it happened. I found a NEW favorite way to prepare my overnight oats!

BPBBanana & Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp PB2 powdered peanut butter (unprepared)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Banana Creme sugar-free pudding mix (unprepared)
  • Dash of vanilla extract and cinnamon to taste
  • Fresh banana for topping

Combine the oats, chia seeds, powdered peanut butter, and dry pudding mix in a sealable bowl. Stir in the almond milk (or milk of your choice!) until all the dry ingredients are well blended. If you choose to use regular peanut butter instead of a powdered variety, mix it in after the milk. Now mix in the vanilla and cinnamon if you wish! Cover tightly and let the mixture sit in the fridge overnight. If oats are too thick, add a splash of more milk before eating!

photo(78)It should look something like this in the morning! Add a sliced banana on top for a little extra banana kick if you like.

photo(76)Yum!! This mix is my favorite yet. It tasted like a heavenly dessert in my breakfast bowl! The fresh banana on top really added a lot of flavor and texture. The only thing that might make this a tad better?? Chocolate. But the strong peanut butter taste was more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

photo(73)This morning I ate these delicious oats at my desk with lots of hot pumpkin-flavored coffee on the side. It was a great start to my work day!

Hope you’ve had a great Hump day! Give these overnight oats a try – and I’ll see you tomorrow!