Easy, healthy, sometimes indulgent recipes


Vegetarian Lasagna with Squash and Spinach

Vegetarian Lasagna with summer squash and baby spinach that is wonderfully healthy, nutritious and makes a great make ahead meal.

vegaterian Lasagna

I originally saw this recipe in Rachel Ray magazine which an also be found here.  This dish caught my attention because I knew that my summer garden would  yield lots of zucchini and yellow squash and I am always looking for creative ways to use summer produce.  I love how easy this vegetarian lasagna is to customize and I can make this on a Sunday and have dinner for several nights.  Additionally, the large amount of basil gives the finished product such a fresh, inviting summery flavor and it makes it difficult to stop with just one serving.  Of course, you could switch up the herbs, but when it comes to gardening the one thing that always thrives for me are herbs, so for me basil is plentiful. 

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Copycat P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps

One of my favorite dishes are lettuce wraps at P.F. Changs.  If I could, I think I would eat them every night, but the restaurant itself is not close to my house or work.  So I set out to make my own and what really surprised me is that is a 15 to 20 minute weeknight dinner.  It is fairly light, highly customizable, low-carb and most importantly delicious!!!  It is really easy to double or triple the filling and make ahead allowing for a weeknight dinner to be ready in a pinch.

P.Ff Chang's Lettuce Wraps

I typically use Boston Lettuce because it happens to be my favorite lettuce because of its tenderness yet sufficient crunch. However, romaine or iceberg will work perfectly.

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Greek Salad

Lately my son’s unexplained love of olives has me craving Greek salads.  I just love the salty, vinegary, fresh flavors that are so dominant in this salad.  I also think it is a great way to get a wonderful meal on the table in about 15 minutes, only a few minutes if you are not doing a protein topping that requires cooking.

Greek SaladI usually use an organic 50/50 blend of lettuce (half spinach, half spring mix) then I top with my ingredients of choice.  This almost always includes the following: feta, tomatoes, olives (I use both green and kalamata), red onions and  fresh cucumber.
A couple of nights ago this was our dinner and we topped with pan grilled shrimp.  I seasoned the shrimp with salt, pepper, a touch of oregano and quickly seared them in a pan lightly coated with oil.  Once they cooked through, I topped them with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Other times, I may add chicken or for a vegetarian option about half a cup of garbanzo beans.
I usually dress this salad with my basic red wine vinaigrette dressing, but any favorite dressing will work.


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Spinach Lasagna Rolls

This is an old recipe for lasagna rolls that I have been making for so many years that I have lost count.  The original inspiration for this recipe actually came from the first cookbook I ever owned. I received a Pasta Light cookbook from my sister in law when I was a freshman in college.  I used that book so much that none if it is even legible, but some of the recipes I either memorized and most often used as an inspiration for a new recipe.  These rolls are an example of that inspiration.  This has all of the flavors of lasagna but it is not as heavy and it is quicker to make. These rolls work well as a make ahead meal because they can be prepped, stuffed, rolled and either frozen for later use or simply refrigerated and paired with sauce, then baked that evening. You can also use your favorite marinara recipe or use jarred sauce in place of the sauce that this recipe calls for.  I typically make my marinara in large batches and will often use that instead of what is in this recipe, but this works in a pinch because the sauce is part of the dish.  What I love about this dish is that it is so easily customizable. It can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free lasagna noodles. In this recipe, I am using whole grain lasagna noodles, but whatever you have on hand works just fine. Additionally, the ham can be omitted for an amazing meat free dish.

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Quick Weeknight Mushroom Pasta

No matter how poorly stocked my fridge may be, I always have mushrooms. Sometimes I am lucky enough to happen to have “fancy” mushrooms like porcini or shiitake, but almost always I have baby bellas or white button variety.mushroom pasta

Last Thursday I was in a particularly sad state when it comes to fresh groceries. It seems we ran out of everything; the fridge was desperately empty from long nights at work and not enough trips to the grocery store. Luckily, my trusty baby bellas were there to rescue me.  I find them to be a powerhouse ingredient that can give any simple dish a robust, meaty flavor and can make any kind of vegetarian cooking worthy of any meat dish. Other than mushrooms  I had garlic, shallots, butter, oil and pasta and along with a few basics from my pantry, it seemed enough for a quick dish. In fact, we liked this dish so much that we have already repeated it as a comforting Sunday night meal.  What I love about this particular dish, it is done by the time the pasta is done cooking.

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