Category Archives: Italian

Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

We made this on a whim tonight and boy, it did not disappoint. I love a good veggie meal, and this will most certainly be added into my rotation.🙌🏼

Begin by dicing an onion and slicing 1/2lb of baby bella mushrooms. Measure out 3 cups of fresh spinach and set aside.

Warm 3tbl EVOO over medium heat and sauté a yellow onion plus a teaspoon of minced garlic together for about 3 minutes (until onions soften). Now toss in your sliced mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes. Salt and pepper to your flavor preference. 

Add in 2tbl of flour and stir quickly for 1 minute. Now add 1/4C vegetable broth and stir to combine. Now add in another 2.5C vegetable broth slowly. Add 3/4C milk and bring your pot to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Add in your spinach and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. 

Add 1.5C good shredded Parmesan. Stir until the cheese melts. 

Cook Lasagna noodles according to package minus 2 minutes. Spoon a thin amount of sauce into baking dish and layer 3 noodles. Top with mushroom mixture and top with more shredded Parmesan. Repeat twice, ending with a layer of mixture topped with cheese. 

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly. Enjoy!!

Adapted From: Life As A Strawberry

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Eggplant Parmesan


Tip of the day: Eggplant is another veggie that many folks seem to avoid. The most common complaint is that they taste bitter. Well, the simple secret to bringing out their wonderful flavor without a trace of bitterness is salt. Peel and slice your eggplant. Arrange a layer of slices in the bottom of your colander and salt HEAVILY on both sides. Now stack the remaining slices on top of each other ~ now you only need to heavily salt the top (see what I did there?!). Let those beauties sit in the colander in their salt rub for a good 30-45 minutes. Now rinse well, dry, and they are ready for your grill, oven or pan.🍆🍆🍆
Aside from eggplant lasagna, eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite dishes. It’s a bit labor intensive, but so worth it!! Once you have prepared your eggplant slices, coat each in beaten egg then Italian style breadcrumbs. I place 4-5 slices at a time in EVOO warmed to a medium heat. They take about 3 minutes per side depending on thickness. Once all of the slices have been lightly fried and placed on a paper towel lined plate, prepare your marinara as follows:

This is how golden I like mine. (I have a freezer meal business and this is a top seller. This pic is from a meal prep.)

One pot of homemade marinara (or you can use a store bought jar if you like) plus 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes and 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce. 

Layer your eggplant in a baking dish, top with marinara, then mozzarella and parmesan. Repeat. 


Finish with a healthy amount of cheese.


Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until hot and bubbly. Enjoy!

Adapted from: EatingWellSpendingLess

Eggplant Lasagna

We LOVE eggplant at my house. One of my 2 year old’s favorite things besides Eggplant Parmesan is my Eggplant Lasagna. This low carb meal can be served meatless or with the ground meat of your choice. Essentially the eggplant replaces the pasta, and the flavor goes through the roof!!The easiest way to slice the eggplant is with a mandolin, and I use the largest setting (1/4 inch). (Peel them first!)

Warm a couple tablespoons of EVOO in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté salted eggplant slices for a couple of minutes on each side until they soften. I only do a couple at a time and then place on a paper towel lined plate. Once you finish sautéing all of your eggplant, prepare the sauce of your choice. Construct just like lasagna:

Eggplant Slices ~ Ricotta ~ Sauce ~ Mozzarella ~ Shredded Parmesan ~ Repeat

Finish with a layer of eggplant topped with cheese.😋

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about an hour until browned and bubbly.☺️

We grow lots of eggplants. Most of the veggies we use come from our garden during the summer months including the eggplants I use in my freezer meals. So much fun!


Look how beautifully the eggplant slices replace boring ole lasagna noodles.


Fresh from the oven. It’s impossible not to have seconds. 🍆🍆🍆

Meatball Subs

One of my favorite indulgences (besides a great burger) is a meatball sub. These are so easy and delicious. Perfect for a game day or Sunday feast. 
Meatball Subs:
Place 1.5lbs of ground sirloin in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and add:

1 egg, beaten

3 handfuls of Italian breadcrumbs

1 finely chopped medium onion

4 cloves minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this can be omitted if your are cooking for kids or folks who don’t like spicy meatballs)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire 

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 

1/4 cup Parmesan 

Salt & pepper
Mix together with your hands but don’t over mix. Divide into 4 parts and then divide each quarter into 3 meatballs, so that you end up with 12 meatballs. 

Place on nonstick baking sheet and roast in a 450 degree oven for 12 minutes. 

Warm marinara sauce in a medium saucepan (homemade is best but store bought also works). Place meatballs in sauce and coat on all sides.


Slice some good Italian sub rolls almost in half. Later your meatballs, extra sauce, and sliced provolone inside your roll. Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and warm until cheese is melted and bubbly. 


Adapted from: Rachael Ray

Homemade Marinara

When I first decided I wanted to up my cooking game for my family, I knew I wanted to cut out store bought sauces. However, it’s actually one of the later things that I started doing. I assumed it would be super labor intensive and require more money at the grocery store. Neither of those sounded appealing. Boy was I wrong. Not only was it super easy, most of the ingredients were already in my pantry. And the difference it made in my meals…..wow. I guarantee once you start making your own sauces, you won’t be able to return to those over processed, over salted shelf varieties! A sauce most folks buy for everything from spaghetti to pizza is marinara. This can be modified based on what’s in your kitchen, but here is the basic structure:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons EVOO in a medium saucepan. Add in a small diced onion and a bit of minced garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes or so until onion is translucent.

Stir in: 28oz can crushed tomatoes, 8 oz can tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 2 bay leaves, small handfuls of chopped fresh parsley and basil. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2+ hours. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!!