This week I have three meals that will warm you from the inside out! It may be snowing where you are, but you'll be cozy and satisfied with a hearty chicken sausage lasagna, creamy vegetable pot pies, and a simple but delicious lentil and rice dish. All of these meals are even better the next day, so you'll eat well and keep toasty all week long! Enjoy!

Grocery list
1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
5 garlic cloves
1 lb. mushrooms
1 celery stalk
1 knob ginger
1 jalapeño
1 lemon
1 bag of red lentils
1 large parsnip
1 butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
4 carrots
1 yellow onion
1 leek
olive oil
1 quart vegetable broth
1/2 pint cream
1 box puff pastry
1 egg
1 package spicy chicken sausage
1 large jar marinara sauce
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box no-bake lasagna noodles


Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Chicken Sausage Lasagna
A great make-ahead dish, this lasagna reheats beautifully!

Serves 6

1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2-3 links spicy chicken sausage, sliced
1 large jar marinara sauce
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box no-bake lasagna noodles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and garlic.

3. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray, and then drizzle in about a quarter cup of the marinara sauce. Lay three lasagna noodles flat. On top of the noodles, spread a little bit of the ricotta mixture, followed by a small handful of mushrooms, sliced sausage and crumbled goat cheese. Follow with another quarter cup of sauce and top with three more noodles.

4. Repeat this process three times, ending up with a layer of noodles and the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese all over the top, followed by the rest of the goat cheese.

5. Cover pan very loosely with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Veggie Pot Pie
The ultimate in winter comfort! You'll never miss the chicken.

Serves 6

1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
1.5 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup flour
1 quart vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup cream
1 box defrosted puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato, butternut squash and parsnip cubes and simmer until just tender (about 10-15 minutes). Drain and set veggies aside.

2. In another large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes until tender. Then, add the carrots and mushrooms and continue to saute for another 10 minutes until carrots are tender. Sprinkle with the flour and mix until combined.

3. Add the vegetable stock and cream and raise the heat to high. Add salt, pepper and oregano and bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously until very thick.

4. Add cooked root veggies to the pot and season additionally to taste.

5. Preheat oven to 425. Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface.

6. Pour filling into a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Drape pastry over the top and brush with beaten egg.

7. Bake pot pie for 10 minutes then lightly cover with tin foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until pastry is deep golden brown and puffy. Serve immediately.


Spicy Red Lentils and Rice
A quick and healthy meal that's as simple as it is delicious!

Serves 4

1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
juice and zest of one lemon
1 1/4 cups red lentils
3 cups water (more or less depending on desired consistency)
1 tsp. salt
white or brown rice, cooked

1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions. Saute for about eight minutes, until tender and beginning to caramelize. Then, add garlic, carrots, celery, ginger, lemon zest, and jalapeño. Saute for another six minutes, until veggies just start to soften and become tender.

2. Add lentils, water, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until lentils are tender and thick. Stir in the lemon juice. You might need to add a little more water at the end.

3. Serve lentils over rice.