Category Archives: Recipes

Sweet Potato Lasagna…What???

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Lasagna was one of my favorite dishes when I was growing up.  It is so wholesome, and I loved the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day and the day after that.  It was not uncommon for me to request it as my birthday dinner. 

The lasagna I made today sort of resembles the lasagna that I loved as a kid…only this recipe calls for two secret ingredients and is vegetarian.  Even though Tyler likes meat and cheese, he is looking forward to dinner tonight.  He is always up for trying something new and different! 

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Cashews and sweet potatoes!

I learned about this lasagna recipe after watching Forks Over Knives and The Engine 2 DietBy the way, I highly recommend watching this film!  It has a lot of great ideas such as using ground cashews in place of parmesan cheese.  I found the recipe online, and people are raving about it!  It took me about 45 minutes to prep the lasagna, but it is well worth it! 

Here is the lasagna after I added the smashed sweet potatoes, spinach, and sauce. 

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The lasagna is ready to go into the oven!

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After I put the lasagna in the oven and cleaned the dishes, I prepared the cashews to be sprinkled on top.

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My first batch turned out well, and my second batch turned out almost like cashew butter…oops.  Every mistake is just a lesson to be learned, right?!

Now, what you have all been waiting for…the recipe! 

Engine 2 Raise the Roof Vegetarian Lasagna

(adopted from The Engine 2 Diet)

Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package Silken Lite tofu—> I used Cannellini beans.
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 jars pasta sauce
  • 2 boxes whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained—> I used fresh spinach.
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 cup raw cashews, ground
Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan. Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl. Sauté the peppers and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl.

Drain the silken tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.

To assemble the vegetable lasagna :
Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews, and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 10 – 12 servings of sweet potato lasagna.

Dinner

I teach hot yoga on Monday nights which means that I do not get home until 8:00.  There is nothing better than having dinner ready to go when you get home late.  All I have to do is steam some green beans, and reheat the lasagna. 

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post about dinner, but I could not wait to share this recipe with you!   Are you all as excited as I am to watch The Voice tonight?  It is so good!

do you prefer meat or veggie lasagna?

have you used nuts in place of dairy?

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Timesavers

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This weekend has gone by so fast!  We ran errands, relaxed, and spent time with friends.  The weather has been perfect, and it looks like the end of next week is going to be awesome!   The Spring leagues have already started around here.  While walking around Piedmont Park this morning, we saw people playing softball, ultimate frisbee, and soccer. 

Sunday is a great day to make some meals and/or snacks for the week.  With healthy options available, there is no excuse to make unhealthy choices throughout the week, and it saves a ton time to prepare food beforehand.  I was very excited to go to TJ’s today because I was prepared with meal plans for the week.  Planning is key! 

The one part that I dislike about grocery shopping is having to clean our produce especially since produce fills up most of our cart (yay for nutrient dense foods).  A few weeks ago, I read that it is good idea to scrub your produce, and Tyler’s mom gave us a new tip today which is to soak your produce in water and white vinegar.  I tried it today, and I could not believe all of the “stuff” that came off of our fruits and veggies.  I am a believer!  Thanks, Janis! 

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Here is our beautiful produce after taking a bath in some vinegar and water and being scrubbed to death!

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After everything was clean and dry, I cut up some peppers, onion, and mushrooms and placed them in the oven to roast for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Timesaver #1!  I plan on using these in wraps this week for lunch.

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Timesaver #2 comes from a recipe I found on the Whole Foods website.   It is a recipe for Apple-Cinnamon Oat Squares.  These will be great for a quick breakfast or snack.  Tyler is always looking for an afternoon snack that has some staying power.  FYI…the squares are baking right now, and our apartment smells like apple crisp! 

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Apple-Cinnamon Oat Squares

(recipe from the Whole Foods website)

Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened almondmilk
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (not whole flax seeds)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 (about 1 pound) Pink Lady apples, cored and grated

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a foil- or parchment paper-lined 9-inch square baking pan, press down and smooth out the top and bake until firm and golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan; cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Whole Foods has a ton of recipes that are easy, healthy, and delicious! 

I have found that prepping a few things on Sunday is key to eating well throughout the week.  We never eat out during the week because we always have something good to eat at home that takes little to no time to prepare.  It is worth taking the time and effort on Saturday or Sunday to plan out your meals for the week, go to the grocery (not on an empty stomach), and then cook up a storm.  Be sure to include an assortment of plants!  In fact, I am reading a book right now called Eat For Health by Dr. Fuhrmen.  To be honest, I read the book in one day, but I keep going back to it for ideas.  Check it out!

One more thing…has anyone tried this yet???

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I need to get the oat squares out of the oven!  Happy (sunny) Sunday!

do you like to cook a few things on Sunday?

what are some of your favorite timesavers?

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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I used to love watching Mr. Rogers!   It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood, Friends.  The weather in Atlanta is perfect today!  It is 75 degrees, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky.  It is supposed to dip back down into the 50s over the weekend, but, after today, I can’t hardly wait for Spring!!!   We have heard that Atlanta really comes alive come March 1st. 

After a tough Suspension Training workout this morning with my boss (he kicked our you know what), I met a good friend from my yoga training for lunch at Café Jonah.  I was starving!  Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of my lunch, but I ordered the cod with mixed greens and a side of cauliflower made with tahini, sesame seeds, and parsley.  It was one healthy lunch!  We sat outside, soaked up some rays (I got some color on my cheeks…hehe), and had a nice chat.  We hope to keep up with our lunch dates.  Luckily, our schedules are similar, so lunch dates are easier to schedule than dinner.  It is very important to me to keep up with people that bring positive energy into my life, and Natalie is one of those people. 

Last Night

Last night, I tried a new recipe which I learned about from Dr. Andrew Weil when I was watching Dr. Oz last week.  Tyler loves really good Italian food, and I rarely make it.  Sorry, Honey!  I thought that this recipe would satisfy both of our taste buds.  This mini Mediterranean meal is loaded with heart healthy ingredients such as tuna, olive oil, capers, and whole wheat pasta.   The best part is that it is easy to make and budget friendly!  We needed something green, so I roasted some broccoli and cauliflower in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  

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Tyler said that I could have fooled him that this dish was healthy. He has requested that this meal show up once a week. Done, done, and done!

Dr. Andrew Weil’s Pasta Puttanesca with Tuna

(recipe from Dr. Andrew Weil)

Ingredients

2 (28 oz) cans Italian tomatoes, drained and crushed
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
2 tbsp capers

1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped—> I did not add these because I am just not an olive person.
3 mashed garlic cloves
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, minced
1 lb dried pasta
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 package/can of healthy pouch/canned tuna (low-mercury type)

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, red pepper flakes, capers, olives, garlic and basil. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Add the tuna to the mix. Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling water until al dente. Drain well. Toss the hot pasta with the tomato mixture. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Today

In about 45 minutes, I have my class for my wellness coach training.  I look forward to our 90 minute sessions because I always come away feeling energized.  We are already halfway through the course which is hard to believe.  Tonight, I am teaching at Yoga Samadhi.  I am hoping that the class builds up soon.  It takes a while, so I need to be patient Smile.  

It is hard to believe that it is Friday tomorrow!  We have a busy weekend ahead of us including wrapping up our taxes, but I know we will also make time for some R&R. 

Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember to make time for yourself! 

What is your favorite Italian recipe that is healthy?