Julius’ first, no questions asked, words may be “all done”. Aside from dada and mama (which he says sparingly, maybe not about me or Will) he makes a number of sounds that we are just now realizing he equates to words. For instance “sssssss” (like the noise a snake makes) is the word he uses for Sheepy, his beloved stuffed animal. “Dat” and “dis” we are pretty sure equate to “what’s that” and “what’s this”. But the first set of clearly audible words he has actually understandably said? “All done”. He now says this phrase whenever he is all done with dinner, playing with a toy, brushing his teeth, etc. He is very excited that everyone he has said it to seems to actually know what he is saying.
In the opposite vein of “all done”, I was supposed to have another truffle party for Valentine’s day this year, but at the last minute I had to cancel because I came down with another exciting disease (potentially from Julius?). This whole sickness thing is getting really old – I only went in to work for one and a half days in between illnesses last week. I honestly don’t remember the last time I have had a solid week where I’ve felt disease free. The knowing response I get from long time parents when I mention this? “Don’t worry it gets better – once they go off to college and move out.” Something to look forward to?
Luckily continued days of feeling under the weather enabled me to create the EASIEST version of lasagna I have ever created. You don’t have to pre-cook or chop anything and it comes out amazingly delicious. AND it is vegetarian! Will and I have upped our vegetarian diet to 3 days a week (from 2 last year) so we’re always looking for good fast vegetarian recipes. Plus this recipe is very easy to make for a crowd (and once I host my replacement truffle making party I’ll be doing just that). You’ll need to buy the bulk spinach which comes in chunks instead of a giant 1 lb block to really avoid chopping or pre-cooking anything.
The Easiest Vegetarian Lasagna EVER
Ingredients for 6 servings
- 4 cups chopped frozen spinach (choose one that comes in chunks like this one)
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
- 4 cups pasta sauce (our favorite is Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic & Onion)
- 1 package of barilla oven ready lasagna noodles
- Take a 13″x9″ baking dish and spread 1/2 c of pasta sauce in the bottom of the dish.
- Cover with lasagna noodles, overlapping each other slightly.
- Cover completely with a layer of frozen spinach chunks – about 2 cups.
- Top with 1/2c mozzarella and 1/3c of parmesan cheese.
- Cover with half the container of ricotta cheese by taking out big dollops of ricotta and flattening them down slightly to cover the entire lasagna.
- Cover with a layer of sauce (about a cup).
- Repeat steps 2-6 for a second layer.
- Sprinkle remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese on top of the last layer and cover with aluminum foil.
- At this point you can let it sit in the fridge overnight or bake it immediately. (I tried both ways, and found they both needed the same amount of time in the oven).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before cutting and serving to let the juices absorb.