Zesty Vegetable Lasagna


Total Time: 2:10
Cook: 1:30
Level: Moderate
Serves: 15



2½ cup ricotta cheese
1 cup pecorino romano cheese
3 clove garlic
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 large Egg
1 tsp. salt, pepper, crushed red pepper
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. cremini mushrooms
1 large onion
2 red and yellow bell peppers
12 oz. fresh baby spinach
4½ cup marinara sauce
1 lb. no-boil lasagna noodles
1½ lb. fresh mozzarella cheese


Make the fillings: Combine the ricotta & Pecorino Romano cheeses, garlic, herbs, & egg with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt & pepper & the crushed red pepper in a bowl & set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms & cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onions, & peppers & cook until slightly softened, about 4 more minutes. Add the spinach & remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Toss & cook until spinach is wilted & tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Assemble the lasagna: Heat oven to 350 degrees F°. Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce into a deep-dish lasagna pan. Layer 5 lasagna noodles over the sauce. Top with half of the cooked vegetables & a third of the mozzarella. Layer with 5 more noodles & spread half the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with 1 cup of sauce & add another layer of noodles. Add the remaining vegetables, another third of the mozzarella, & a layer of noodles. Spread on the remaining ricotta mixture, 1 cup of sauce, & the last layer of noodles. Add the remaining sauce and mozzarella.

Cover with foil & bake until bubbly (about 1 hour & 20 minutes). Let the lasagna cool slightly before serving.

✴Timesaver: Make penne with vegetables: Toss 1/2 cup of the ricotta with 1 pound of cooked penne. Stir in the sautéed vegetables & serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

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Chester Bennington, Linkin Park, and Suicide



Recently, things have been insane. My depression is off the charts and I know that my feeling super sick isn’t helping at all.

One thing that has rocked my world is the death of Chester Bennington. I know that I am not the only saddened Linkin Park fan out there but naturally, their influence on my personal life is what is on my mind.

The whole band is amazing, but Chester was the lead singer and “front man,” so naturally all eyes are on him.


Linkin Park has played a major role in my life since the truly entered the scene back in 2000 (even though they formed together in 1996). Honestly, they got me through high school, hands down. I wouldn’t have made it through without them. I remember my senior year alone, I listened to “Numb” every-single-day.

There is so much irony in Chester’s death. He was the lead singer of a band that kept me from taking my own life and now, Chester took his life. He put himself out there. He put his demons on display for everyone and slayed them. He let me know that I wasn’t alone and that there are others out there who understand me and the things I was dealing with and continue to deal with.

He’s always been a huge inspiration for me and a reason why I put myself out there. He’s a huge reason why I feel comfortable putting my demons and secrets and incredibly painful experiences up front and center.

I’m not afraid to let people know I’ve been sexually abused, I’ve been in domestically violent relationships, I have no relationship with my family, and so much more. I’m not afraid to say, I battle depression, anxiety, PTSD and again, so much more.

It’s okay to NOT be okay and Linkin Park has helped me deal with a lot of that.


Knowing that Chester is gone is heartbreaking. When I heard the news, I seriously felt my heart stop and then drop. I can only imagine what his family, friends, and bandmates are going through. I’m only a fan and I’m crushed.

For those who don’t understand depression, I urge you to educate yourself. You may see warning signs in people you know and be able to help in ways you never thought possible.

It’s terrible and it can’t always be controlled with medication, therapy, a mixture of both…it’s a monster. It’s a beast and it can one hundred percent take over making you feel completely helpless. Suicide is something that has crossed my mind MANY, MANY times. It’s crosses depressed people’s mind all the time. When depression takes over, it’s scary and as someone who deals with depression every-single-day, sometimes I don’t realize just how bad off I am.

Even though I’ve contemplated suicide, planned it out, and was ready to leave this world but I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to die. However, I didn’t want to live anymore either. Thats where cutting came in. It changed the internal pain up external and helped me refocus.

It’s still earth shattering. He saved so many but we couldn’t save him.



Linkin Park Honor Chester Bennington’s Fearlessness and Big Heart in Emotional Letter: ‘You Touched So Many Lives’

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Detox Water


I make delicious water! Nom, nom!

Easy peasy

Lemon, lime, cucumber, ice & water.

Cut the slices thin. Mix all together. I personally like mine super cold & to let it sit in the fridge over night.


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Skillet Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta With Broccoli




Prep Time: 15 MINS
Cook Time: 15-20 MINS


1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cubed
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon oil
4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Zest of two lemons, about 1 tablespoons
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons, use the same ones you just zested)
12 ounces penne pasta
2-3 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
3/4 cup milk1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel & season well with salt & pepper. Heat the oil in a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is hot & rippling. Add the chicken & saute, stirring frequently, until the chicken is browned & cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate, keeping as much oil/liquid in the skillet as possible. Keep the skillet on medium heat & add another teaspoon of oil if needed (I usually don’t but you’ll want to keep an especially close eye on the garlic).

Add the garlic & basil & stir constantly for about 30 seconds. Add the water, broth, lemon juice & pasta. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer & cook, stirring occasionally just to keep the pasta from sticking, for 10-12 minutes until the pasta is tender – it will cook for a few more minutes in the next step. There will be a bit of liquid left in the skillet; that’s okay.

Add the broccoli & lemon zest. Cover & cook for 2-3 minutes until the broccoli is bright green & tender. While the broccoli is cooking, whisk together the milk & cornstarch. Uncover the skillet & stir in the milk mixture along with the Parmesan cheese & reserved chicken. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 1-2 minutes. Season with additional salt & pepper & serve.


If you want to give a burst of fresh lemon flavor, squeeze an additional 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice into the skillet pasta right before serving.


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