Inspired Recipe: Quinoa Lasagna

I love getting a new canvas. It’s so fresh and clean, not a speck on it. You wonder what will come of it. What will you paint? What colors will you use? How many revisions will it take until it’s just the way you want it? How long will you spend on it? I feel the same way when I find a new recipe. Something about starting from scratch, touching something that has been untouched by you until now. It’s even more exhilarating when you improvise a little to make it your own. That first bite is a mixture of agony and excitement.

And then…it’s delicious! And other people enjoy it, too!

This is what happened when I made the quinoa lasagna inspired by MJ and the Hungryman at my aunt’s last week. When I lived with my aunt a long, long time ago, I was always amazed and a little perplexed by all of the healthy food she ate. Now that I’m on my healthy journey, it’s fun to share these recipes with her – as she is part of a very small group of people I know who truly appreciate the whacky, healthy recipes I attempt.

I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures because we were busy visiting and eating. Actually, I only got one picture.

IMG_1404

The original recipe called for this:

  • 3 cups diced sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce or prepared pasta sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

This is what we did:

  • 3 diced Russet potatoes – because that’s what we had
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli – again, what we had
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce or prepared pasta sauce
  • 2 cups of cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • A few slices of pepper jack cheese – it’s what we had, and I put pepper jack on everything so this is no surprise

Next time, I would like to make my own pasta sauce. I can’t even comprehend making my own cheese yet, so if that ever comes, it will be much later in life.

Have you ever improvised a recipe you found? How did it turn out? Success, or total failure? The next time you find a recipe that you haven’t tried due to lack of ingredients, see if you can sub in what you have. You can Google substitutions for just about everything and if you are trying to make your favorite recipe a little more healthy, you can consult The Gracious Pantry. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google + and Twitter for more healthy inspiration!

Recipe finds

I made a goal this week to make at least one thing completely from scratch. Then, I saw Greatist‘s Monday prompt to make a recipe I’ve never done before, or to try a new ingredient. So, I set out to find a recipe that would fit both challenges. Where else would I go but Pinterest?

Recipe I tried:

IMG_1239 copyI found this recipe all over when I searched for “healthy cookies,” but it’s super mysterious and elusive so I couldn’t figure out who originally wrote it. So if anyone knows, please pass it on to me! I used this photo from the batch I made today and then I added the recipe. I was a little worried to try them out but they ended up surprisingly good! I suppose I fibbed a little on my goal since I didn’t make my own almond milk or apple sauce, but they are as close as I’m going to get for now.

Recipe I want to try:

Photo from MJ and the Hungryman

Photo from MJ and the Hungryman

Now, this is something I am pretty excited about! This sweet potato lasagna from MJ and the Hungryman looks absolutely delicious, and not too bad for you, either. All real, whole ingredients and I love anything that has the word lasagna in it. If I can get this past my family, I can do anything!

Are there any recipes you look forward to experimenting with? I dare you to find a new recipe online from a site you haven’t used before and see what you get out of it. Share your experience and the link in the comments and on social media with the hashtag #makestuff.

Gettin Fit: Old Clothes Challenge

Baby, it’s cold outside. And when it’s cold outside…a few things start happening. We skip a couple days of shaving (ok, maybe that’s just me), we wear more and more clothes and…we suddenly forget about our diets and go buckwild for all the comfort food our stomachs can handle! I don’t what it is, but the minute it gets cold – I immediately want a grilled cheese and a cookie.

Since I’m a little under a month away from my deadline to reach my goal weight (I have 13 lbs to go, and it needs to be gone by Nov 12 – my birthday), I can’t let the cold weather come in between me and my old clothes. I found a few recipes that will help keep us all on track with staying healthy and fit. And of course, there is pumpkin involved.

Image belongs to MJ and Hungryman

Image belongs to MJ and Hungryman

Pumpkin and kale lasagna roll-ups from MJ and Hungryman – This is exactly why I love roundups. I found this recipe through a healthy pumpkin roundup on Greatist, which led me to a site I never visited before – MJ and Hungryman. They posted this recipe on another site I didn’t know about until now – Healthy Aperture – a healthy food photo sharing site run by dieticians. So if you don’t believe in the power of roundups, it’s time to start believing!

Image belongs to Love & Lemons

Image belongs to Love & Lemons

kale stem pesto from Love & Lemons – If you are all about the kale, or if you happen to have some leftover from making those awesome lasagna roll-ups, then check out this recipe. Now, I will have to admit – I made a spinach pesto before and I gagged. It was horrible. My poor food victims sat and ate it as politely as possible until I finally told me they could stop. We ended up flooding the pasta with store-bought sauce, which defeated the whole purpose of making my own sauce. So, I’m going to give this recipe a try and hopefully it will turn out better than my spinach pesto!

Image belongs to Elana's Pantry

Image belongs to Elana’s Pantry

How to Roast Butternut Squash from Elana’s Pantry – A little while ago, my boyfriend’s aunt was nice enough to give us a big ol winter squash from her garden. I’ve been meaning to look up recipes with winter squash in them but I keep forgetting! Then I saw this recipe from Elana’s Pantry…just what I needed! Elana said that you can use any winter squash with this recipe so I’m going to try it on my winter squash with some pasta tonight. YUM!

I’m looking for some cool fitness blogs to follow, aside from my favorites: Greatist, DoYouYoga and Fitness Blender. I’m looking for fitness bloggers that are all about home workouts, and if they do yoga, then that is a bonus! Please share any health and fitness blogs you follow so I can check them out!

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for more health and fitness inspiration and join my challenge by using the hashtag #oldclotheschallenge on your posts. Let’s make this holiday season a healthy one! Go team!