If you’re eating vegetarian, you are probably eating vegetables with a grain (rice, pasta, or bread) for dinner pretty much every night. Here is another “vegetables and pasta” recipe, except this tastes so differently than the roasted vegetable pasta. I’ve never made homemade lasagna before, but this recipe is delicious. For all you meat lovers out there, you don’t even miss the meat in it! Granted, this recipe calls for a lot of cheese (you could reduce it), so it’s not the best for you, but I used reduced fat cheeses and skim milk to try to “health” it up a bit. Make sure you have room to put this recipe together because it calls for several steps and dishes.
I also spilled boiling water up my arm while cooking the lasagna noodles, so…be careful not to do that. Thankfully I only had immediate pain and no signs of it on my arm the next day. Thank you, Universe.
From our Betty Crocker cookbook
*12 uncooked lasagna noodles
*3 cups frozen broccoli flowerets, thawed
*3 large carrots, coarsely shredded
*1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
*1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
*1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
*3/4 cup Basil Pesto
*1/4 tsp salt
*1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
*1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
*1/4 cup parsley
*1 large egg
*3 tbsp butter
*1 clove garlic, minced
*3 tbsp all-purpose flour
*2 cups milk
*3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (12 oz)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and cook/drain noodles as directed.
2. Mix broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, Basil Pesto and salt in large bowl. Mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and egg in medium bowl.
3. Melt butter over medium heat and cook garlic in butter 2 mins, stirring frequently. Stir in flour and stir constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
4. Place 3 noodles in ungreased 13 x 9-in pan. Spread half of cheese mixture over noodles. Top with 3 noodles; spread with half of vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with 3 noodles; spread with remaining cheese mixture. Top with 3 noodles; spread with remaining vegetable mixture. Pour sauce evenly over top. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake uncovered 35-40 mins. Let stand 10 mins before cutting.”
The recipe looks like it’s more complicated than it is because of the layering, but really the most difficult part for me was just having the space to have so many bowls and pots of different things. It helps to clean up as you go! This recipe makes a lot. We have had it for dinner 3 nights and still have a lot left!
Being so far away from my mother is difficult, but that doesn’t mean a phone call to her can’t cheer me up. I wish I could have spent this Mother’s Day with my own mother, but I’m glad I was able to spend it with family. We also celebrated my grandmother’s and cousin’s birthdays since they fall so close to the holiday. Lucky for us…that meant cake and ice cream!
To all the mothers out there: old and new mamas, expecting mamas, pet mamas, my mother-in-law, and my own mama…know how thankful we are for everything you do. Every day should be devoted to you!
I haven’t been eating meat for over two months (except for one slip up I was really upset about that involved me nannying a sick child and eating chicken noodle soup with her. I honestly didn’t realize I had eaten meat until two hours later, but that’s another story). I still don’t know how long I’ll keep it up, but it hasn’t proved to be too difficult thus far. It obviously limits the kinds of meals you can eat, so I’ve been trying to find some good meatless recipes that both Whitney and I will enjoy eating. I’ve made this Roasted Vegetable Pasta dish twice now, and it’s so good and so easy to make. If you reduce the amount of cheese you throw on the dish (I didn’t), it’s also healthy (because it’s just full of vegetables).
From our Betty Crocker cookbook
(note: I chopped my vegetables smaller than the recipe calls for because I don’t like huge chunks)
*1 green or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-in pieces
*1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-in pieces
*1 onion, cut into 8 wedges and separated
*2 zucchini, cut into 1-in pieces
*8 oz whole mushrooms (I cut mine in half)
*1/3 cup chopped fresh or 2 tbsp dried basil
*3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
*2 tbsp red wine vinegar (I omitted this)
*2 tsp Italian seasoning
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp pepper
*2 cups uncooked cavatappi or gemelli pasta
*2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 2-in pieces
*8 oz shredded Italian-style four-cheese blend
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F and place vegetables (excluding tomatoes) in a pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle with the basil.
2. Mix oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Pour over vegetables, and bake uncovered 25-30 mins.
3. Cook and drain pasta.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and add tomatoes and pasta to vegetable mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cheese is melted.”
There you have it! It’s super easy…all you have to do is chop up a bunch of vegetables. Maybe next time I’ll try adding some new vegetables to the mix and reducing the amount of cheese I use. I also made some garlic bread to go along with it, which is an even easier recipe.
*1/2 cup butter (I used 1/4 cup this time)
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 tbsp basil
*1 loaf Italian bread, split lengthwise
1. Combine ingredients and spread mixture evenly over cut slices of bread.
2. Broil bread 3-4 mins, or until toasted and bubbly.
I love this garlic bread and have made it several times already. So easy and DELICIOUS.
Us Texans have to stick together, so when Cinco de Mayo came around, we (along with a few of our friends from Austin) used it as an excuse to try to find some of the delicious Mexican food we’re used to back home. My husband grew up ten minutes from the border of Mexico, so he’s really particular about his Mexican food. We ended up trying Tequilas Cantina & Grill in Burbank. Unfortunately, there were only two vegetarian options on the menu (so I just got a cheese quesadilla), but everyone else loved their meals. They even have happy hour from 2pm-7pm every day, but I’m still on a search for a really great margarita in California. Our other friend Barbara was also there, but she left early, and my camera didn’t come out until after the meal (sorry Barb!).
California weather is great for just about…everything. So I love taking Kipling on walks to soak up some sunshine and view pretty plants along the way. I’m also still obsessed with our little succulent “garden” we have growing outside our front door. It makes me so happy as I leave or come home to our apartment to see the succulents growing larger and sprouting new flowers.
As promised, here is our bedroom! Most of our decor is throughout the rest of the house since that’s where people will see it. I also don’t like to clutter up a bedroom since it tends to get cluttered with other things already (like clothes). My favorite part of our bedroom is the huge sliding door mirrors. 1. because I love having a full sized mirror in the bedroom to get ready and 2. it gives the illusion that the space is much bigger. My second favorite part is our big window that goes along the length of the wall. We are all about natural light up in here.
When we originally purchased the red rug, I thought our duvet had red in it. It turns out those birds are actually a burnt orange color, but no matter, because I love the pop of red in our otherwise neutral colored room.
This is the Alice plaque I found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. One of my favorite quotes (and even a few of my lines from the play).
This is the most awkward side of our room. Since we have every other wall space in our apartment covered, we ran out of room for these. And since I “had” to hang all of them up, this is what resulted. I still want to figure out a better solution.
Dessert stand used as a jewelry stand. The top plate holds my wedding garter and hair piece.
The Alice in Wonderland figurines belonged to my mother, but she lovingly gifted them to me after I played Alice in a show.
Kipling’s “room”. She hasn’t gone to sleep in there at night since we moved here, but we still have it “just in case”. By the way, we did not plaster “LIVE ANIMAL” all over her crate…this was a lucky Craigslist find that the owners used once to ship their dog on a plane.
Our wedding vows framed. Our marriage license goes in the frame above, but I had to hand it over for now to get my passport.
Well, there ya go! It’s nothing fancy, but it’s our home. Hopefully we can continue to declutter and steadily switch out to some nicer furniture pieces. I can’t wait until the day when we have an actual house of our own. Maybe then I’ll completely start over with the decor instead of having such a hodge podge of stuff. Hope you enjoyed this little tour!
I was originally going to post our bathroom and our bedroom together, but as I haven’t gotten to snap photos of our bedroom yet, that will have to wait until next time. So for now, here are some photos of our quaint little bathroom.
I wanted to keep it clean looking (since we all know bathrooms tend to become the dirtiest places in the house), so everything is simple and color coordinated. The problem with white, especially on the floors, is they get dirty so quickly. We even have white mats (bad idea) but have them covered with teal, bath mat towels.
Our bedroom is located just to the left of this “hallway”.
This artwork finally found a “frame” and a home in the bathroom. I wanted something on the wall, but Whitney and I both felt it would be weird to have photos of people on the bathroom wall.
As you can see, our bathroom is not big (but I’ve seen smaller). I had to get creative to get shots of the bathroom without me in the photo. Luckily there is pretty drawer and cabinet space right below the sink and a medicine cabinet to store our bathroom essentials. And in case you were wondering, our bathroom “things” are from the Lenox Chirp collection.
Next up, and last but not least, our bedroom…