8 Mar

I’ve spent a lot of time lately trying to figure out a new balance.  Am I doing the right things?  Am I working where I should work?  How can I turn the work I do into a better extension of who I am?  Where can I find more time to write, cook, see friends, perform, exercise, read, be a better Jew, spend time with my husband?  How do I balance everything?  Can I balance everything?  How do I get all these emails written and sent?  How do I get all these bills paid?  How do I turn my life in to the beautiful picture that I’ve always hoped and dreamed that it would be?  Yeah.  Welcome to my inner monologue (panic attack). I’m stretching really hard.  I’m trying a lot of new things.  I gotta say…I’m feelin’ a little worn out.

I decided to deal with my insanity the way everyone else does.  I went to the store, got some produce and some cheese and came home to make a veggie lasagna.  What.  Isn’t that what you do when you’re stressed out?  I find that sometimes when I cook?  I find a life lesson.  Don’t make a face at your computer and call me a cheese ball.  I’m serious.  Well, except for the part where I wanted to come up with something new and exciting to make for you…and I’m much calmer now.

So I started searching through my Paula Deen recipes.  I love turning her sinful southern treats into something that might be a little closer to healthy and totally Kosh.  It took me a minute or two to find something that didn’t use a gallon of bacon fat or some other weirdness.  I thought her veggie lasagna would be perfect, since it wouldn’t require any modifications.

I was running back and forth between the recipe and my stove and the TV (I sometimes over multi-task) and happened to notice that my dog had gotten sick.  Let’s just say that the smell stopped me in my tracks.  Yeah.  I had little surprises all over the house.  Luckily she’s the cutest dog that has ever lived so I can overlook the cleaning I’ll be doing for the rest of the night.  But…I couldn’t stop.  I had pots of boiling vegetables and tomato sauce to tend to!  I made sure Sally was going to live and continued with my kitchen drama.

Once everything was prepared and in separate bowls (you’ll understand this once you’re making the lasagna) I got a little stressed out about making my layers perfectly perfect.  There’s the sauce and the noodles then the cheese then the veggies then the other cheese and the other cheese.  Are my layers right?  Does it look OK? I kept going.  I built my Kosher Lasagna and tossed her in the oven.  As I tasted my little prize I realized that I had cooked a life lesson.  Stay with me here, I promise I have a point.  There are layers and layers of things.  Maybe you have too many veggies in this one spot.  Maybe there could have been more cheese over here.  Maybe there’s a shit storm happening in your living room.  You just keep going.  You keep building.  Everything works out.  The gifts come eventually.  The important thing is to remember to tressure them when they show up.


  • 2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
  • 2 cups thinly sliced yellow squash
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cups small cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 oven-ready, “no cook,” lasagna noodles
  • 12 slices provolone cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella


Combine zucchini, squash, carrot, mushrooms, onion and peppers with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain well, and reserve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, and eggs. Stir together until smooth.

Spread 1/3 of the sauce evenly over bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish (it can be a clear one…it doesn’t have to be fancy). Place 4 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Do not overlap noodles. Spread 1/2 of cream cheese mixture over noodles. Cover cheese mixture with 1/2 the vegetable mixture, more sauce, and top evenly with 6 slices provolone cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with 4 noodles, rest of the cream cheese mixture, vegetables, sauce, and remaining cheeses. Don’t stress about the layers…you’re making a casserole…not sending a man to the moon.  Place in oven for 35 minutes or until lasagna is hot and bubbling

Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Shalom, Y’all!

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