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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Veggie Treasure Lasagna

Veggie Treasure Lasagna

My husband is extra picky about lasagna! He doesn't like the thick texture of ricotta cheese so I use half ricotta and half cottage cheese and find that to be a great solution! I love throwing in colorful veggies like squash, spinach and zucchini. Lasagna is so versatile you can change it up to however you like it! Add some red pepper flakes for an added kick or throw in some carrrots and broccoli florets for even more wholesome goodness!


12 Uncooked Sheets of Barilla Rolled Flat Lasagne Noodles (these are the ONLY noodles I use! You just take them out of the box and layer them, no boiling required and they look and taste like handmade!)


1 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 14.5 oz can peeled diced tomatoes undrained
1 small can tomato paste
2 small 6.5 oz cans of plain spaghetti sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup red wine (optional-or add water in place of wine)
1 tsp Olive Oil


8 oz small curd cottage cheese
8 oz part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzerella cheese
8 oz frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1/2 tbsp parsley
1 egg
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 large zucchini sliced
1/2 large yellow squash sliced


1 cup mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
dash of parsley


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray

Pour 1 can 6.5 oz pasta sauce on bottom of pan

To make the sauce in a medium saucepan combine olive oil, onion & garlic and cook over medium heat. Once fragrant and soft, add squash and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add diced tomatoes, remaining can of tomato sauce, tomato paste, seasonings, water and/or wine and olive oil. Let simmer on low heat stirring occasionally while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling use a large bowl and place the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan, mozzerella, spinach, parsley, egg and garlic powder in the bowl. Combine ingredients until mixed well.

Slice the zucchini and squash in thin large circles.

Layer 4 noodles over sauce in pan

Layer sliced zucchini & squash over the noodles

Layer 1/2 cheese mixture over the veggies

Follow with 1 cup of sauce

Layer 4 more noodles over the sauce

Follow with remaining mixture

Top with 1 cup of sauce

Layer 4 noodles over the sauce

Top with remaining sauce

Place foil over baking dish and place in oven approx 40-45 minutes until bubbly

Remove foil from pan and top with remaining cheeses and parsley

Place dish in oven uncovered and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted

Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Makes approx 9 servings

(Note-The photos show me using a large pan - we like to make extra since we are a large family plus we pack leftovers for the next day's lunch!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Great Easy Recipe!

It's called Chicken Nugget Casserole, but it is more like an easy version of Chicken Parmesian!

With just five ingredients, tossed into a baking dish to cook for a half hour, this dish gets rave reviews from me!

I used 14 oz Tyson Chicken Nuggets, 26 oz Organic Marinera, 1/3 cup shredded parmesian and 1/3 cup mozzerella cheese and some italian seasoning.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a greased casserole dish, place frozen nuggets, then add parmesian cheese, top with sauce, then sprinkle with mozzerella and italian seasoning. Place in oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly!

Seriously, my 6 year old can make this!

I served this with a salad for dinner. It was really tasty! Definately a nice change from the naked nuggets with dipping sauce! Try it and let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hearts for Tuesday

Please visit my blog by clicking this picture to learn about Tuesday and how to send a message of strength to her family.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Free stuff from Kashi!

I love Kashi! They have great organic food that doesn't taste like cardboard. Kashi seems to be genuinely interested in keeping their products wholesome, healthy and tasting great! A while back when they were having their "Steal a cookie" campaign, I joined their website community and it wasn't long before they sent me a teaser in the mail saying I was getting a surprise from them. Their slogan was "Let's Keep It Real" on the letter. I was really excited to find out what it was, I even blogged about it on my main blog!

Just a few days ago I got this package from Kashi!!

Hmm...I wonder what is inside??

Oh goody! That Blackberry Graham bar looks SO Yummy!!

Heck Yessss! I get a FREE BOX of Kashi Soft Baked Bars!! Plus there are a TON of $2.00 off coupons! I'm supposed to share them with friends, but I am not sure I will because I want these all to myself!!

So now I really really love Kashi. Deep, faithful love. I bought a box of their Strawberry Soft Baked Bars and they were fantastic! Best of all, I can give them to my 11 month old without feeling like he is eating junk. I feel better about giving him Kashi cereal bars and crackers than I do about giving him some of those snacks designed for babies because they have so many artificial ingredients in them!

Oh and the Blackberry Graham bar? That was delectable. Yum Yum! I had to wrestle it from my husband, we were both fighting for that sucker! I ended up giving him a little piece and then I savored the rest of it. With Kashi you can taste the healthy. Does that make sense? It tastes good for you and tastes delicious at the same time!

So here is a little morsel for you! You can get your own $2.00 coupon right now! Heck you can get 10 if you want! Just print it off the Kashi site HERE!

Also you can check out their informative Ingredient Decoder! This handy little booklet gives you descriptions of many of the most popular artifical ingredients in foods today. This helps you understand what exactly you are consuming!

So get moving!! Visit KASHI now! If you want to get cool stuff from them, make sure you sign up for their community!!

I promise to post more recipes and fun stuff soon! My main blog is hogging all my foodie time!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Banana Poppers for the Finicky Baby

My 10 month old little boy, Micah is just barely cutting his first tooth, yet he seems to think he is too big for baby food. We have tried every which way to get him to eat baby food and he flat out refuses. I have been pretty creative when it comes to giving him regular food - baby style.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for any baby:

Banana Poppers

Take 1/3 cup of cereal (I use Annie's Organic Cinna Bunnies Cereal)
Place it in a ziploc baggie
Using a large wooden spoon, crush the cereal into fine crumbs
Slice a banana into small chunks, and place inside baggie
Seal baggie and shake until banana chunks are covered in crumbs

Serve and watch your baby scarf these suckers down! Micah normally feeds his food to our dogs, but the dogs go hungry when I serve him this for breakfast!

Micah Likes It!

You can also use softened peaches, cooked apple, softened pears, whatever you wish! I have also done this with soft frozen yogurt. Most cereals are packed with vitamins and whole grains so you can feel good about serving this to your baby!

I admit, I sneak a few off his plate - they really are tasty!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Great Alternative to Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It's in Fall which is my favorite season and it's a holiday to celebrate everything you are thankful for. A time to reflect on what is important in your life and spend time with good friends and family.

One of the greatest perks of Thanksgiving is EATING! It's the only time when it is a-ok to stuff yourself full and roll over to the couch for a nap...only to get up an hour later and stuff your face again!

Here is a great Pumpkin Bar Recipe! Of course I tweaked it to make this special. Never follow a recipe to the letter - make it your own and have fun!

Pumpkin Bars With Egg Nog Frosting

Pumpkin Bars


4 eggs
1 cup Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Turbinado Sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugars, oil, applesauce and pumpkin until texture is light and well mixed. Stir together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until the batter is smooth. Spread into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool completely before you add frosting.

Egg Nog Buttercream Frosting


3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tbsp egg nog
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Whisk together sugar and butter until well blended or use a mixer and mix on medium speed for approx 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and egg nog and continue mix until light and fluffy, adding more egg nog if needed depending on your preference. Sprinkle in nutmeg and stir well.

Spread over cooled pumpkin bars and add a pinch of turbinado sugar to the top of each bar if desired.

Hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family, food fun and Blessings!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Homemade Coffee Creamer

If you are like me and the millions of other folks affected by the slow economy, then I bet you have shaved some of your day to day luxuries. I used to treat myself to Starbucks coffee once or more a week. Then it changed to drinking coffee at home, to no coffee at all. Now that the weather is cold I am craving a nice warm cup 'o joe in the mornings. The funny thing is I hate the actual taste of coffee. I love the smell of it brewing but I could never drink the stuff plain. I laden it with creamer and not just plain creamer but the flavored stuff.

My two favorites are Coffee Mate Chocolate Raspberry and Pumpkin Pie Spice. It costs about $3.50 for a large container of this stuff.

Recently, I had an idea. Why not make my own creamer? I have a bunch of sweetened condensed milk in my pantry for desserts and I thought I would play around a bit.

I got out one of my Mason jars and emptied the sweetened condensed milk into it. I like the fat free version of SC milk, it makes me feel less guilty! Then I used half a tsp of pumpkin pie spice and poured 1.5 cups of 2% milk into the jar. I took some half & half, about 1/2 cup's worth and poured that in. Last, I put 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree in the jar. I took a spoon and stirred in to loosen the condensed milk a bit. Put the lid on and I shook it real well. The SC milk was still stuck to the bottom so I ran some warm water over the bottom portion for about 2 minutes and shook it until the SC milk was mixed thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.

Creamer holds up well in the jar. Chill in the fridge for up to two weeks.

This turned out even better than the Coffee Mate stuff! I'll have to play around a bit for some fun flavors, like my beloved Chocolate Raspberry. Plus it was a lot cheaper than going to the store and buying the Coffee Mate.

The best part is Coffee Mate is full of saturated fats and it has partially hydrogenated oil in it. Now I can drink my cream with a little coffee and not feel like I am giving myself a slow death by ingesting all that ickiness!

For all the eco friendly folks out there, by making your own creamer in a mason jar you save another plastic container from ending up in a landfill. Every little bit counts, right?

Try this! Let me know if you come up with any tasty variations of this coffee creamer!