Very Lazy Veggie Lasagna

I got really excited when I saw Tofutti ricotta at the grocery store, so we spur of the moment had lasagna for dinner. It’s homemade as opposed to frozen…but I used packaged noodles and a spaghetti sauce we really like. I also just kind of threw in whatever veggies we had, next time I’ll add more. While I was making it, I was afraid it wouldn’t be saucy enough, but in the end one jar of sauce was good for 3 layers. I started this an hour and a half in advance, but it’s super simple and 45 minutes of that is baking.

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Ingredients:

  • lasagna noodles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • veggies..I used 3 handfuls of fresh spinach, fresh mushrooms, half a bag of frozen kale, and some frozen peppers
  • ricotta (I used Tofutti brand)
  • 1 or 2 jars of spaghetti sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375.

Cook lasagna noodles according to the package.

Heat the oil and garlic on medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in veggies. Reduce to low heat and cover. Let cook while noodles are cooking approx 10-12 minutes.

Mix ricotta into the veggies. Salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, in a 9x13in pan, put a thin layer of sauce, a layer of 4 noodles, the ricotta & veggie mixture, and another layer of sauce. Continue layering this way, noodles, ricotta, sauce, etc. Ending with sauce on top. I got 3 full layers with the above ingredients.

I sprinkled some salt, garlic, and nutritional yeast on top.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

 

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Frozen veggies.

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Cooked veggies.

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Veggies mixed with the ricotta.

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First layer of sauce, then noodles.

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Thin layer of ricotta.

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Then sauce.

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3 layers assembled.

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A sprinkle of nutritional yeast for an extra cheesy flavor plus a little b12.

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Fresh out of the oven.

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All done.

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Totally delicious.

Review: Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook

 

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I love libraries so much. I love testing out books (and dvds) and then buying the ones I love. I have a horrible habit of buying books and reading them once (or only reading half of them), or having buyers remorse when I can’t get into them. It’s taken me almost 2 years of living here before I actually went to the local library (I’ve been getting digital books for a while now), and now I’m there a few times a week.

I was browsing the cookbooks the other day and stumbled upon Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your Bod. I’ve heard of the Skinny Bitch franchise, but the profanity kind of turned me off, not because I’m offended by it, but it seemed like it was trying too hard to be “cool”. I know, I’m judging a book by it’s cover.

I paged through the book, and it was between SB or The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude, and this one won me over. What I loved about SB is that the recipes are simple and don’t require crazy expensive ingredients. I skimmed the into part of the book since I didn’t really need any convincing the a whole foods vegan diet is optimal.

So far I’ve made:

Pumpkin Pecan Banana Bread

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I doubled the recipe, since I had double the pumpkin and didn’t want to toss the rest.DSC_0765cr

Bread…and muffins, and mini muffins, and donuts.DSC_0769cr

I left out the pecans because we didn’t have any.

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Did I mention donuts…

Spicy Vegetable Curry

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Could have been a tiny bit spicier, but the flavor was great.

Breakfast Bake

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Came out good. I used Daiya mozzarella instead of cheddar because it’s what I had. Probably would’ve been good without it too.

Asian Macaroni and Cheese

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I love the cauliflower in here and how simple the “cheesy” sauce was.
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I didn’t taste the Asian flavors, but it was a great mac ‘n cheese, and I was never a huge mac ‘n cheese fan to begin with.

Coconut Banana French Toast

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This was so good! It wasn’t crispy, but the inside was like a banana custard, it didn’t need any syrup (agave in our house).DSC_0806cr

I over indulged with this one and ate WAY too much.

What I like:

  • Simple recipes. The only new thing I purchased was White Miso Paste, and I used it in multiple recipes.
  • Food tastes good.
  • Hearty recipes.
  • Healthy, without seeming like “health food”.

 

Not my favorite:

  • Some recipes have a lot of sugar. They recommend using sugars other than regular white processed sugar, but sugar is still sugar and I try to avoid it.
  • Also, some recipes are high in fat. I’m not afraid of healthy fats, but I was a little ashamed of the amount of oil in the Pumpkin Bread…especially because it was so good, I ate WAY more than 1 or 2 servings.
  • The servings seem a little off, even for me. I don’t eat huge portions, but I doubled most of the things I made, just so I’d be sure I had enough for all of us.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic cookbook. It focuses on whole, healthy recipes that are simple and hearty. It’s a vegan cookbook without making you think you’re missing something or that you have to buy weird fake ingredients.

Review: Sunkissed Vox Box

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Hello everyone! I’m excited review my fourth Influenster Vox Box.

This box contained:

  • Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream
  • Goody Ribbon Elastics
  • SinfulShine SinfulColors Nail Polish
  • Dr. Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles

 

Vox Box

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream

I’m absolutely in love with my usual moisturizer, Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. It’s the only product that I always splurge on because it’s not at all greasy, and leaves your skin feeling super smooth. I’ve really wanted to try BB Cream, since everyone raves that they are like miracle creams, since they moisturize, are tinted, and have sunscreen in them, I’ve just been hesitant to swap out my beloved moisturizing gel.

I’ve been using this cream for about 2 weeks now and it’s been great. One thing I really like about it is the sheer color. I have a hard time wearing any concealers because I haven’t found one that covers well without feeling caked on. This isn’t so much a heavy duty concealer, but it’s just tinted enough to hide small blemishes. I tend to stay away from products with fragrance, but the light floral scent that this has isn’t bad. This cream isn’t quiet as light as my normal gel moisturizer, but it’s way lighter than any facial sunscreen I’ve ever used, so that’s a huge plus. I like wearing a light sunscreen on my face but HATE the greasy feeling. This is perfect for that. I was a little nervous I might have breakouts using this, but so far so good. I like to keep my products super simple, and I think this might become a regular. My love affair with my Clinique gel is still going strong, but I’ll definitely add this BB Cream in the mix.

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Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics

My hair is just getting long enough to put in a ponytail, and these are pretty cool. I wasn’t sure if they would hold well, but they work just as well as my usual black elastic band. I haven’t done any weird hairstyles, but if I ever do braided pigtails or something, I’d definitely pick up another set to have matching ribbons. I think they’d be cool if you’re in school and have a pride week, and can match your school colors. Okay, that was a little dorky…

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Sinful Shine

Another brand I’m totally loyal to is Zoya for nail polish. I love that they are free of the 5 harmful chemicals most nail polishes have (toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, and camphor), and are totally vegan…but they’re also 8 bucks a pop (although there are always specials). This Sinful Shine nail polish is only sold at Walgreen’s, and they are priced at $2.99.

My first thought was that I wasn’t thrilled with the color, Alfresco. It’s a warm periwinkle type blue, and it’s really pretty, but it just doesn’t go well with my skin tone. It’s also way off from the color card that they sent me, so if you’re picking a shade, make sure you do it in person.

I love nail polish so I was still excited to try it. I used a base coat (Zoya), applied two coats of SinfulShine, and no top coat (since it’s supposed to be super shiny, I didn’t want to put anything on top of it). I’ve been using it for about a month and it’s one of the longest wearing nail polish I’ve ever used. I had it on my finger nails for an entire week with no chips, and I’ve had it on my toe nails for two weeks, and again no chips. I also like the way it looks, shiny-ness wise. I’m still not hip on the color, but overall it works really, really well.

It says on the bottle that it is Toluene, formaldehyde & DBP free, so that’s awesome. I’m not sure if it’s vegan (most beauty companies test on animals, and I try to go out of my way to use companies that don’t), I cannot find any info about animal testing or if the “Gel” tech is gelatin…I sure hope not because at $3 a bottle, plus it works really well, this stuff rocks.

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Right after applying. (I don’t know why I’m hitchhiking…with man wrists…)IMAG1468

After a full 7 days…new nail growth but incredibly NO CHIPS

Dr. Scholls High Heel Insoles

I haven’t been wearing heels much lately for two reasons…one, it’s summer and I live in flip flops and two, my really comfy heels broke and the new pair I got aren’t broken in yet. I debated putting these in my ballet flats because I actually wear those all the time, plus my chiropractor just recommended I have some sort of insole (and literally the same day these were in my mailbox). I decided to put them in my heels in an effort to make my heels more wearable, and it kind of works. When I first put them, it made my shoes feel tighter until I adjusted them a bit. Maybe I haven’t worn them enough yet, but I haven’t noticed a huge difference. Once it starts getting colder outside, I’ll test these out a lot more and see if I can tell the difference.

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Influenster is a program that sends out products for you to try based on your personality/lifestyle/etc. You can sign up here.