Lately life has been a bit hectic, but that’s why it’s called life, we’re learning together. The weather has been crazy, and by crazy I mean 80’s one day and 50’s the next, and it drives all of us southerners a little nuts.. Friends, family get togethers, work, trying to fit in workouts and all the moving and getting settled just takes up a lot of our time and energy, and it can be draining. But I am SO thankful for all of those things. I want to live my life to the fullest, but sometimes we also need to step back and take a break too, which I’ve been thinking about lately. Part of which is why I am so excited and thankful to be riding again – something that can break my normal day by day activities and bring me out of the busyness and constant thinking and just focus on God’s wonderful creation. Sometimes I really believe that’s the reason He created horses, because He knew the power they could give us when we let them take hold of our hearts, bring us to a place of peace and confidence, tranquility and rest from our every day lives, and that is such an important thing. God always supplies us with what we need, that is so evident in my life, and I am SO thankful for His goodness.
Along with the recent new year I’ve had a lot of things I’ve been trying to incorporate better into my life. I had some “resolutions”, a few of which have been kept, and some that I’m still working at. But most of all I’m aiming for a lifestyle change, not a fling that works for a month and then it’s over again. Commitment. To exercising, being in God’s word and prayer at least daily, uplifting my husband and supporting him, working on this blog, getting my novel written, to name a few. One of the major things I’ve really tried to add in is inviting others I meet and come in contact with to my church, just a small step in sharing my faith, because that is what is really important in life. People. I want to be known as someone who cares about the souls of others, and not just myself and those I love. I started studying Proverb’s 31 this week, and it is so clear that the excellent wife of the passage cared about souls, her families and those she barely knows. People have an eternal destiny, things and money do not. That’s also another aim of this blog, to bring others to a saving knowledge of my Heavenly Father, and with Easter only days away, that’s been constantly on my mind – and I hope that it’s been on yours too, and if not yet, that this post will push you to think about YOUR eternal destiny, and what you will do with Jesus Christ.
Now, on to my recipe for today.
Lasagna. Who doesn’t love it? That classic, rich and delicious pasta dish that can be a complete meal all by itself. I don’t know about you, but those kinds of meals are my favorite. Today I have an amazing lasagna recipe for you, although it isn’t that authentic, red sauce and ground beef and sausage version. It’s actually meatless, but I promise you won’t miss that part one bit. This dish is a lovely mixture of alfredo, parmesan cheese, sauteed mushrooms and fresh spinach, slathered between layers of soft lasagna noodles, then baked to a golden brown perfection. This was actually my first time making lasagna of my own, in my own home. I’ve made my mom’s recipe for family functions before, but that’s not the same. I hope soon I’ll be posting that classic lasagna recipe, if I can find that perfect one 🙂 But today, enjoy this lovely, light and refreshing pasta dish that is sure to please everyone at your table.
- 1/2 Ib lasagna noodles
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 large vidalia onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 2 and 2/3 cups of veggie stock
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 3 cups of fresh spinach
- 3 and 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese, divided into thirds
- 1/4 cup of chopped parsley (optional)
- Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions until they are 5 minutes less than al dente. The noodles should have a noticeably uncooked/crunchy center, because they will cook more in the oven.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until onion begins to soften,
- Add sliced mushrooms to pan and cook until onion is translucent and mushrooms have cooked down, about 5 minutes more.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
- Add flour to saucepan to form a roux. Don’t worry if it pulls the mushrooms and onions into big clumps – you’ll break that all up when you add liquid. Cook roux for 1 minute.
- Add ¼ cup of the stock and stir vigorously to break up the chunks of roux in the pan. The stock will thicken noticeably. Add the rest of the stock slowly, stirring constantly, and stir to incorporate.
- Stir milk into sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook sauce for 10-12 minutes until it has thickened slightly.
- Add spinach to sauce and cook until spinach has wilted and cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat and add 1 and ½ cups of the parmesan cheese to the sauce. Stir until the cheese has melted. Reserve the additional 2 cups of parmesan for lasagna assembly.
- Assemble the lasagna! Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish to prevent sticking. Lay lasagna noodles down, then a layer of sauce, then a layer of parmesan cheese, then repeat until pan is full and/or you run out of noodles and sauce. Make sure to end the layering with a layer of sauce topped with parmesan cheese.
- When lasagna is assembled, you can either refrigerate or freeze it, or you can bake it immediately. Whenever you’re ready to bake, do so at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.