Veggie Loaded Lasagna Casserole one for now, one for later

How many declarations of my love of a specific food can I make before it is officially declared as sad? Oh, I get a couple more? Okay then, I LOVE LASAGNA!!!

I am fond of any pasta with cheese on it. (And then they solved the mystery of Lydia's giant rear end.)

Last week I wanted to make vegeterian lasagna. Once a week we go meatless for dinner. No fish. No meat. Nothing. I figure if I put enough cheese on it my carnivore husband won't notice. ;)

So I was busy preparing my veggie loaded lasagna when I realized I didn't have any lasagna noodles. But I had seen a recipe for lasagna casserole so I decided to just make that. Only later when moving some things around in my cabinet I found an unopened box of lasagna noodles! For real! I need some sort of pantry inventory system. Suggestions?

At any rate. The casserole turned out fantastic and I had enough to make two pans, one for now and one to freeze.

So here it is folks. YOU will be amazed. (Well, maybe not.)

I made this with several left over ingredients, including some cucumber I blended into the sauce to make it thicker (I have left this part out of the recipe. It is super optional). I also had some leftover kale from making a kale, apple and quinoa salad so I threw that in their too. 

What you'll need: (Note, this makes two pans)

16 ounce box of rotini (or ziti)

1 jar of pasta sauce

2 tomatoes that you pealed or a 12 oz. can of tomatoes

container frozen spinach

1 onion

4 carrots, grated

2 cups Kale

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 container part skim ricotta cheese (some people use cottage cheese. It turns out really good actually.)

2 cups grated mozzarella

1 egg

dried basil or oregano

Preheat your oven to 350.

Cook your pasta pretty al dente. I would say cook it for only about 6 minutes, then drain but don't rinse.


In a greased skillet cook your onions and mushrooms over a low heat. Sprinkle with some basil.

Get a sauce pan warmed up and put your sauce, tomatoes and carrots in there. Let simmer for about 10 minutes to cook the carrots slightly. You don't want them mushy, but you probably don't want them overly crunchy either.

Once your onions and mushrooms have cooked down a little bit, put the spinach and kale into the same skillet and cover.

In a bowl combine your ricotta cheese, egg and one cup mozzarella. Stir together.

Grease your casserole dish and place a smidgen of sauce in the bottom. Then place some noodles in the pan, cover with the spinach/mushroom/onion/kale mix from your skillet. Add a your ricotta cheese mixture and then stir together. Cover in sauce and cheese and bake for 20 minutes.

If you are making a pan for the freezer, skip the baking part. To bake your frozen pan later, let thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Quinoa, apple and kale salad- fancy!

I love apples. I love kale. I love quinoa. Why not put them in a salad?!?

I do love kale I have made kale chips and I have made pasta with kale. But what about just raw kale? Yup, that's good too?

Friday I made fish tacos. I wanted something to go with them and I had just purchased some kale earlier in the week to make some more kale chips. So I went to Google. (What on earth did we do before Google?)

I found a great recipe for Quinoa, apple and kale salad. But I also had a cucumber I needed so use and some Feta cheese and my husband isn't crazy about lemon juice dressing, so I needed to make it my own.

The great thing about this salad is it is pretty healthy. Quinoa is a complete protein and very filling. Kale is believed to be an anti cancer vegetable and is loaded with calcium and vitamin k and vitamin c.

What you'll need:

2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked quinoa cooked with two cups water)

4 cups kale, washed and pulled from stem

1/2 a large apple, cored and chopped

1 large cucumber, chopped (you can peel if you so desire)

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/4 cup low fat balsamic vinegar dressing.

Cook your quinoa according to the package instructions and let cool in the fridge for a couple hours.

In a bowl combine your kale, apple, cucumber and quinoa. Then drizzle with dressing and stir a little.

Sprinkle with your feta cheese and you are done.

Prosciutto and Kale with Orzo

Kale! Kale! Kale! It's not just for making chips and soup no one wants to eat. I was sure of that. I had half a bag of kale left over last week and since I am now living a waste not want not lifestyle I really didn't want it to go to waste.

So I thought and I walked around my kitchen and I pulled everything out of my cabinets and then it came to me! One of my favorite things to make is a pizza with caramelized onions and prosciutto. The salty and the sweet are incredible together.

What if I took my favorite elements of the pizza and made pasta I could throw in some baby bella mushrooms and the kale and the meaty baby bella and the bitter kale would balance each other. Right? Yes!

What you'll need:

Prosciutto a 3 0z package (I got mine on sale at Publix for $3.99)

1 medium size sweet onion

2 Roma tomatoes

4 cups Kale (it cooks down)

1 carton baby bella mushrooms (regular white button mushrooms or canned mushrooms could work too)

Garlic (duh) 3 cloves or one tbsp minced.


Get your Orzo going according to the instructions.

Heat up your oven for 350 and placed your Prosciutto in a greased cookie sheet. You will cook the Prosciutto in the oven for 8 minutes until it renders. (Becomes crispy.)

Break it into pieces and place in a serving bowl.

Heat up your skillet over a medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add your chopped onion. It will take 30 minutes to properly caramelize. (But that's not quick? I know. I didn't say this would be fast.)

Add your minced garlic once the carmelzation process seems good and almost done.

Chop up your tomatoes and place it in a bowl with the Prosciutto.

Add your kale and mushrooms to the skillet with the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. You don't want the leaves mushy.

Once your orzo is finished put it in the bowl with the Prosciutto and tomatoes.

Add the onion, Kale, mushroom mixture to the orzo and mix everything together. This is a really good mix of flavors. Believe me.

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Kale chips - so simple it hurts

Can cabbage be trendy? It can if it is Kale. I have heard much about Kale- soups, stews and chips. Chips? Yes. Chips.

People who have tried or made Kale chips rave about them. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about. And darn, they're good. It is the most easy snack you will ever make and the health bonuses are overwhelming. Kale is rich in calcium, high in vitamin K, vitamin C and beta carotene, and sulforaphane, which is believed to be an anti cancer agent. 

But bottom line, Kale is simple and better for you than a bag of Lays Potato Chips. Seriously, 25 minutes and you're done.

What you'll need:

A Bunch o' Kale

A little Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Preheat your oven to 350.

Break up the Kale like so.

Drizzle with olive oil

and sprinkle with Kosher salt.

Pop in the oven for 20 minutes and bam!

You have Kale chips. The end.