a happy soul

how taking care of your body will allow your soul to achieve a higher level of happiness

Zucchini Lasagna

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“Eating some veggie lasagna leftovers on a day when Jack is being cranky and I haven’t showered or done anything around the house..you’re a lifesaver..and gosh this is SO good! Recipe??”

Text I received from my friend Kelsey.

I can not fully comprehend how much your life changes in that instant you become a mother or father. What I can understand is how crazy life can get even without a raising a beautiful, little human being. So raising a little human probably raises the level of craziness your life can be by a bajillion. Very scientific, I know.

My wonderful friends Kelsey and Andrew recently had a little babe by the name of Jack. When I went to visit them for the first time since they had their little one, I thought I’d bring some sort of big casserole that would feed them for a few days. This was my way of saying, “I can’t help you get more sleep but here is a bunch of food so you don’t have to cook for a week! :)”

Lasagna is really hard to mess up (knock on wood) and it’s SUPER versatile. You can use noodles or zucchini noodles, and you can use any kind combination of veggies, meats, or sauces.


Zucchini Lasagna


4 zucchini- long slices about 1/4 inch thick

1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce – Traditional

1/2 diced onion

2  diced red peppers

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

2 15 oz ricotta cheese containers

2 tsp parsley

1 bag of mozzarella cheese (16. oz)

1 lb ground turkey

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp italian seasoning

1/2 tsp garlic powder



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice the zucchini in long slices that are less than 1/4 inch thick. Lay them out on a plate and lighltly salt them. Zucchini’s hold a lot of water and the salt will help to pull out the extra moisture. Let them sit on the plate while you prepare the rest of the items.
  3. Put about a tbsp of olive oil in two pans and heat to medium to high heat.
  4. In one plan, add the onion, red peppers, 1 tsp. black pepper, and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Cook and stir frequently for about 8-10 minutes until soft and caramelized.
  5. Place the ground turkey, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. italian seasoning,  and 1/2 tsp garlic powder in the other pan. Cook until done, which is about 10-14 minutes. I try to tend to make the ground turkey as small as possible and crumbly so I’ll use my plastic spatula to cut up the bigger chunks as it’s cooking.
  6. While the veggies and turkey are cooking, in a medium sized bowl combine the ricotta cheese and the parsley. Mix well.DSC01068
  7. Let’s direct our attention back to our lovely zucchini which now look like they are sweating from a work out. You’ll want to get a few paper towels and dry all of them off before assembling the lasagna. I used about 3-4 paper towels before I got them all dry.DSC01070
  8. Let’s grab a 9X13 glass pan!
  9. Layer: sauce, zucchini, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, veggies, turkey, repeat 2-3 times. You may have to get creative with the layers. You may run out of the veggies or ricotta cheese on the third level but no worries! As long as you save mozzarella to cover the top, you are all set.
  10. Cook lasagna for 45 minutes while covered in foil. Cook for last 15-20 minutes without foil to brown the top.



Tips: Veggie lasagna can tend to be a little watery after baked near the bottom since the veggies hold a lot of water. The goal is to remove excess moisture before assembling. But I have found if some liquid does remain it’s quite flavorful and doesn’t change the texture of the lasagna.

If you are a vegetarian you can just ignore the ground turkey recipe and continue with the same recipe.

What are some of your favorite ingredients in a lasagna?

Image source: http://memegenerator.net/instance/40696726


Author: Erica Van Treese

I live an exciting, adventurous life with my husband Ben (he can take credit for the adventurous part). We live in little ol' Columbus and we just love this city! I'm an organizer with OCD (self-diagnosed). My husband turned me into a crazy water ski competitor and taught me how to jump off a 5 foot ramp going 32mph to see how far I can go, and sometimes I don't land the way I should (The whole ski community is a little coo coo, but I love them). I love pizza, and when I proclaim my love for pizza all my friends go "We know". My favorite thing is when my family and friends gather for a meal, and there is banter and wine. I love art and looking at beautiful things and I believe every item of decor in a home should have a meaning and a story behind it. I love food and exercising, but just like any other person there are days I really don't feel like going to the gym or I just rather throw in a pizza in the oven for dinner (and sometimes I do). This blog is a reflection of my love for being happy and my journey on eating right and exercising to achieve a higher level of happiness.

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