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Meal Idea Monday Guest Post: Veggie Lasagna

9 Sep
Veggie Lasagna From The Copycat Kitchen

Veggie Lasagna From The Copycat Kitchen

Happy Monday, everyone! It’s a beautiful, cool, rainy day here… which makes me one happy girl! We welcome the rain here in Arizona. 🙂

Today I have a wonderful guest post for you written by a new friend of mine. Her name is Pauline, and she has a blog called The Copycat Kitchen. I know you will enjoy her meal idea, as well as any others that she brings to our Food Tidings community in the future!  Have a great day, and be someone’s reason to smile today! is an amazing website that my church has been using for years.  I have used it several times to schedule meals for a friend who just had a baby, or another going through an illness.  It blesses me to know that it is blessing them!  I love that makes it so easy to see what is being brought so that everyone doesn’t bring the same meal!

This recipe is called “Chunky Vegetable Lasagna.”  It’s a meal that everyone likes…who doesn’t like vegetables smothered in cheese?!  It uses 3 different cheeses and a pesto garlic-cream sauce.  Whenever possible I made quick work of the prep work by using my Cuisinart food processor to chop/slice the veggies or grate cheese (all different blades).  This was originally posted on my food blog where I like to recreate healthy versions of everyone’s favorite meals and desserts:

12 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
3 cups broccoli, chopped (I used 3 cups zucchini because I didn’t have broccoli)
3 large carrots, coarsely shredded (about 2 cups)
2 cups tomatoes diced, drained (or 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes drained)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup Pesto (you can buy in store or make your own easily)
1/4 tsp salt (I use unrefined pink Himalayan sea salt)
1 container Ricotta cheese (15 oz)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (*I like to grate my own in my food processor or by hand because any time you buy grated cheese it contains toxic preservatives and anti-caking agents–all not good for you)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1/8 cup dried)
1 large egg (free range, pastured, organic fed is best!)
3 tbsp butter (never margarine! It is 1 molecule away from being plastic!)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 cups milk (grass fed is best)
3 cups mozzarella cheese (12 oz), shredded (*see above notes about grating your own cheese)

1) Cook and drain noodles according to directions.
2) Mix broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, Pesto and salt. (large bowl in picture)
3) Mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, and egg (medium bowl in picture)
4) Melt butter in 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Cook garlic in butter about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is golden brown. Stir in flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring CONSTANTLY (or it will burn!) until mixture is smooth and bubbly, remove from heat. Stir in milk. Put back on the burner and heat to boiling, again stirring CONSTANTLY (or it will burn!) Boil and stir 1 minute.
5) Heat oven to 350 degrees.
6) Place 3 noodles in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.
Spread half the cheese mixture over noodles.
Top with 3 noodles, spread with half the veggie mixture
Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Top with 3 noodles; spread remaining cheese mixture.
Top with 3 noodles; spread evenly the remaining veggie mixture.
Pour milk/butter sauce evenly over the top.
Sprinkle with remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
7) Bake uncovered 35-40 min or until hot in center. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting

Makes 8 (big) servings, 540 calories each


Meal Idea Monday: Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs

26 Aug

Well, it’s that time again- how does Monday keep on happening so quickly? Anyone else feel that way? Lately, time seems to be flying.

I, for one, am ready for the summer to be over here in Arizona. We’re almost through August, so that’s a good thing. But really, it’s not until like Halloween that things start to cool down for us. Halloween is my mental marker… if I can make it to the end of October, I’m golden…. and much cooler! Which I know, to many of you that sounds CRAZY since the cool weather and even cold weather comes WAY before the end of October…. 🙂

Seeing that it’s still summer here, I’m thinking grill still. So, here’s a fabulous meal idea that comes from Annie’s Eats. Love that site! It’s for Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs. She serves them with tzatziki sauce as well, and boy just looking at them is making my mouth water.

I’m bringing dinner to some good friends of ours whose wife is battling cancer, and these may be the answer to my “what in the world will I bring them?” question that I always have just before I bring a dinner. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true! I never know what to bring. Yes, I know- if I’m the one doing all these Meal Idea Mondays, it shouldn’t be a problem right?! True, it shouldn’t be a problem. But alas, I still hem and haw until the day before or even the day of about wanting to bring the “perfect” meal.

The truth is… any meal I bring that I make with love is the perfect meal! I’m telling myself this as much as I’m telling anyone who is reading. Grateful to have written this post to be reminded that it’s not about what you bring, it’s that you’re bringing it at all. It’s the love and support that the food shows when you walk up to the door, knock, hand over the food and give them a great big hug. That right there is what this is all about.

Have a fantastic week.


Meal Idea Monday: White Chicken Enchiladas

22 Jul
White Chicken Enchiladas. Image from

White Chicken Enchiladas. Image from

Every Sunday, my family has a tradition of getting together for dinner and spending time together. My sister Julie hosted last night, and she made a delicious dinner for us! It was a recipe she found on Pinterest (SUCH a fun site with amazing ideas… I just love browsing pinterest and pinning so many things that I guess if I’m being honest I most likely won’t ever try… but STILL fun to dream and plan! :)). Anyways, it’s for White Chicken Enchiladas from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen. 

Verdict? They were AWESOME!!! We ate them with black beans and chips and salsa… it was a meal fit for kings. So this was a pinterest success, and I would recommend anyone bringing these enchiladas over to a friend. Plus they will freeze well, too! Thank you, Julie for the awesome dinner last night!

-Lisa 🙂


Meal Idea Monday: Orange Chicken and Rice

17 Sep

Trader Joe’s Ming’s Mandarin Orange Chicken… Image from

Hello there! I hope everyone is doing well on this wonderful Monday! I have what I think is a great meal idea for you. It’s super, super easy… and delicious too!

I recently discovered this meal while shopping at Trader Joe’s, and decided to try it out on our family. And the beautiful thing is that they loved it! It’s Ming’s Mandarin Orange Chicken, and then I made some jasmine rice and broccoli to go with it. The other amazing thing is that a bag of the chicken is only $4.99, and our family could do one bag… but two is better so we have some leftovers.

My sweet sister had a precious baby two weeks ago, and I was signed up to bring her dinner tonight. I decided to bring them this orange chicken, rice, and broccoli. It was SO easy to make (it comes frozen, and you bake it in the oven for 16-18 minutes on 400 degrees), and I felt totally great giving it to them because I know it tastes wonderful. It was good on our budget as well, probably totalling about $7 for the whole meal.

So that’s my really, really easy (so easy you’ll feel like you’re cheating!) meal idea to bring others this week. So what are you waiting for? Head over to your nearest Trader Joe’s, and get yourself a few bags of Ming’s Mandarin Orange Chicken!

Have a fantastic week, and be sure to share many smiles with others! 🙂

Meal Idea Monday: Beef Stroganoff

14 May

Beef Stroganoff: Image from

Today’s recipe for Beef Stroganoff comes to you from one of our favorite websites, Simply Recipes. It is a gluten free recipe (as long as you serve it over gluten free pasta, potatoes, or rice.) I don’t know about you, but I’m meeting more and more people who are going gluten free. There are many benefits!

We just received word from my husband’s endocrinologist that his bloodwork showed that his hyperthyroid is almost completely back to normal (praise the Lord!), but he does show signs of possible celiac disease. Now he will see a GI Dr. to find out if that’s what’s up.

Sooo, it looks like the next step may be for our family to go gluten free. I’m a little nervous about it, because it seems hard. But that’s because I’ve never done it, and I don’t even know where to begin. But the good news is that with the technology we have, there are a TON of amazing resources online to help on our gluten free adventure!

CLICK HERE for the link to the ingredients and directions for Simply Recipe’s Beef Stroganoff. Enjoy!

Meal Idea Monday: Introducing What’s Cookin, Chicago? and TONS of freezer meal ideas!

6 Feb

Image from What's Cookin, Chicago? blog

Good morning, my Food Tidings friends! It’s a beautiful Monday, and I have a great new resource for you!

I was at a dear friends’ house the other day, and in her fridge I noticed a large ziploc bag with a few chicken breasts, and a smaller ziploc inside the larger one with some kind of marinade in it. There were directions on the bag as far as how to add the marinade and cook the chicken. It was AWESOME, and it just reinforced the idea that freezer meals are such a fantastic idea!

I saw that as a wonderful idea for bringing a meal to someone. Sometimes people end up getting too much food brought to them, and I know they don’t want any of it going to waste. So how great would it be to bring a meal like the one I saw, in a ziploc bag with directions on it, and it could be used either that day, or frozen for when they’re ready for it?!

So with that in mind, here is a great resource for you guys. It’s a link I found on one of my favorite sites, Pinterest. You just gotta love pinterest! This link that I had pinned comes from a really wonderful blog called What’s Cookin, Chicago?, and it has a whole bunch of freezer meal ideas. What a great “go to” link when trying to find that perfect meal to bring someone!

One of the meals from that link that looked very delicious was for Asian Salmon, and here’s the link for that. Enjoy, and have a great week!!