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Gluten Free Vegetarian Lasagna

img_2479We do eat gluten in our house, but a lot of my friends and my kid’s friends do not, so I wanted to have a recipe for something we could all enjoy. I found gluten free rice pasta by a company called DeBole’s at our store and honestly I cannot tell the difference. I only buy oven ready lasagna noodles, and DeBole’s came through. Does anybody boil lasagna noodles first these days? I would never make the dish.

1 box gluten free lasagna, oven ready

2 jars marinara sauce, or 4-6 cups of homemade sauce

2T olive oil

1 large zucchini, sliced

1 large squash, sliced

5-6 portobello mushrooms, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

2 c fresh spinach

1 1/2 large cartons cottage cheese

3/4 c parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1/4 jar pesto (small jar)

8 0z mozzarella

Place olive oil in a skillet and heat it up. Add the sliced and chopped vegetables and allow to cook 5-10 minutes, enough to become soft. Set aside.

Mix together the cottage cheese, parmesan, eggs and pesto in a large bowl. Set aside.

Pour 1/4 jar of marinara sauce into 9×13 pan. Place one layer of noodles over the sauce. Pour 1/2 of the cheese mixture onto the sauce and spread over the whole pan.  Scatter 1/2 of the cooked vegetables over the cheese mixture. Top with all the spinach. Repeat layers, ending with vegetables on top. Pour the second jar of marinara sauce over the top and spread it to seal the whole pan. Top with the mozzarella and any remaining parmesan cheese.

Refrigerate for up to 2 days and bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, then uncovered for 30 minutes. If baking immediately, reduce uncovered time to 15 minutes. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.





Baked Breakfast Greens


I found this recipe on Vodka& and my family loves it so much we have had it several times in the last couple of weeks. It’s very flexible, I add more veggies than the recipe calls for, but it works!

Baked Breakfast Greens

1/4 c diced onion

4 oz mushrooms (my addition)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tomato, chopped (my addition)

2T olive oil

1/2 t paprika

salt and pepper to taste

2 c kale

2 c spinach

4 eggs

2-4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium, add onions (and mushrooms) and saute 3-5 minutes. Add garlic (and tomatoes) and saute another minute and season with paprika and salt and pepper.

Add the greens and cook until wilted, then crack the eggs directly on top of greens. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and place the skillet into the oven. Allow to bake 10-12 minutes, until the egg whites are firm.




Southern Sweet Potato Casserole



This is a Thanksgiving staple in our home, but we also have it for Easter with ham every year. It’s simple enough, one of the few recipes I got straight from my grandmother. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!


Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

3 c sweet potatoes, cooked, mashed

1 c sugar (I cut this in half now)

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

1/3 c milk


1 c brown sugar

1/2 c butter

1/3 c flour

1 c chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients except topping, mix until blended and pour into 13×9 baking dish. Sprinkle topping over potatoes and bake for 25-30 minutes 350 degrees. Serves 10-12.


Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowl


We have 35 people coming over for dinner tonight, so I needed a good, solid lunch today! We had some leftover roasted vegetables and also some orzo in the fridge, so I combined the two and added some cooked farro, chopped pecans and feta and poured a little roasted garlic dressing over the top. The only thing I would have added is fresh tomatoes, but it was so good that I didn’t take the time to bother. Time to get back to work!

Eggplant Parmesan


I found this recipe in my latest Bon Appetit magazine, looked through the ingredients and determined I only needed to purchase eggplants and went for it! Unfortunately, I didn’t read the recipe closely and the whole thing took close to three hours to get to the table. Halfway through the job, I decided it wasn’t worth it….until my family LOVED it. That sounds about right….

Eggplant Parmesan

Marinara Sauce of your choice (I had some homemade sauce ready to go)

4 lb eggplants (I used two good sized), peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/2″ thick

3 c panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 t oregano

1 t black pepper

1 1/ c grated parmesan, divided

1 1/3  flour

5 large eggs

1 1/3 c olive oil

1/2 c chopped fresh basil

6 oz mozzarella, grated

8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

Lightly season the eggplant slices with salt and place in a single layer on several layers of paper towels inside a rimmed cookie sheet. Continue topping layer with more eggplant slices and paper towels and put something heavy on top for an hour to pull the moisture out of the eggplants. This is important because it gives the eggplant a creamy texture when baked.

Meanwhile, pulse panko, oregano, pepper and 3/4 c parmesan in a food processor until finely ground. Place in a shallow bowl. Place flour in another shallow bowl and eggs in a third bowl. Dredge each eggplant slice into the flour, then dip into the egg and finally into the panko crumb mixture. Place in a heated skillet (med high heat) with 2/ c olive oil. Cook as many eggplant slices at once as will fit into the skillet, turning once until golden brown, 3-5 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels and immediately press to absorb oil. Working in batches, repeat with remaining slices, adding the rest of the olive oil as needed. Allow to cool. It was at this point that I had decided this would be a one-time recipe!

Toss the chopped herbs, grated mozzarella and remaining parmesan into  medium bowl. Spread 1 c marinara sauce over the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan (I used two 9 inch squares), top with a layer of eggplant slices, drizzle 1 c sauce over slices and sprinkle with one third of cheese mixture. Add another layer of eggplant, 1c sauce and half of remaining cheese and repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and arrange fresh mozzarella slices over eggplant. Increase oven to 425 degrees and bake uncovered 15 minutes more. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving, topping with Italian herbs.

It’s a commitment, but like most things in life, well worth the effort. Makes 12 servings



Grilled Sweet Potato and Corn Salad


Found this recipe at my grocery store and it works! Grilled the vegetables alongside some steak and put it together quickly. We decided the leftover should be served as a panzanella – add a handful of spinach and some chunks of grilled bread. Delicious!

Grilled Sweet Potato and Corn Salad

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch chunks

1 T olive oil

1 t cumin

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

2 ears corn

3 bell peppers, chopped

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, chopped

1/4 c sliced green onions

1-2 jalapenos, chopped (I used one)

2 T cilantro, chopped

1/4 c fresh lime juice

2 oz Cotija cheese (I used feta)

Drizzle olive oil over sweet potato and place on the grill (medium heat) inside aluminum foil. Sprinkle cumin, salt and pepper on potato and grill for 6-8 minutes, along with the corn. Add peppers wrapped in foil for last 4 minutes. Remove all vegetables and allow them to cool for a few minutes.

In a bowl, combine black beans, avocado, green onions, jalapenos and cilantro. Add grilled vegetables to the mixture. Stir in lime juice and top with cheese. Serves 8-10 as a side dish, 3-4 as a main dish.



Simple Lunch

image.jpegMany days I eat a quick pb & j midday but if I take just a few extra minutes I can really treat myself. This is a perfect lunch for me. Grilled every vegetable I could find in the fridge, then mixed in some farro and orzo I had prepared earlier. Those grains take a half hour to cook, so I make 3 cups of each and mix them together, then add to anything that needs substance – salad, soup, veggies. If this were dinner, I would add grilled chicken, shrimp or sirloin. I often grill too much meat for dinner so I have extra on hand, just like the grains.  Lunch can still be quick and simple, but so much better than a sandwich!

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