Home ยป Some things change, others stay the same…

Some things change, others stay the same…

It was FUN coming back from a 5 day “vacation” to find my garden BOOMING!

May 26th and a good 6-8 inches between my kale and romaine:

June 13th and NO room between the kale and romaine:

And tomatoes!

It was NOT fun coming down with a cold after our little trip to Columbus 🙁 I came home yesterday afternoon with the sniffles and just feeling achy and blaaah. I hate being sick! Bring on the Tylenol Cold and Air Borne! I’m now very glad I managed 3 1/2 to 4 mile runs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — yesterday was a much needed rest day.

But what’s a girl to do with all those home-grown veggies on hand? MAKE A SALAD!

Side note: Kale is a good source of Vitamin C! Helpful for my sickies!

with POM Dressing

POM Dressing

3 cups of POM Wonderful
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Simmer POM Wonderful and maple syrup over medium-low heat until approximate volume is 1/2 cup. Allow to cool. Drizzle oil into POM with a whisk, mixing vigorously and adding the oil in a slow stream. Makes 6 servings, 2 Tbsp each.

Nutrition Information (per 2 Tbsp): 169 calories; 9 g. fat; 6 mg. sodium; 22 g. carbohydrate; 1.7 g. fiber; 0 g. protein

And Mr. Prevention never tires of Buffalo Chicken Lasagna. It dawned on me, as I made this dish for the first time in a while…I don’t know where I got the recipe. If this is your recipe by chance, let me know so I can give you credit where credit is due! Hubby raves about this lasagna and requests it at least weekly. This week, I obliged.

As I was whipping up this lasagna I couldn’t help but recall how much more difficult this meal was to make the first time. It was probably one of the first recipes I made that required following directions. Crazy, right? Let’s just say that at that moment, I felt like my culinary skills (if we can even call them that) had developed leaps and bounds since starting this blog just over a year ago. Made me happy! 😀

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna from an Unknown source 🙁

12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed or shredded
3 cups Hunt’s Four Cheese Spaghetti Sauce
1 cup  mild buffalo wing sauce (low-fat! We use medium)
1 1/2 cups water
15 oz. non-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup egg substitute
9 slices 2% Pepperjack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook chicken over medium high heat for 4 minutes or until almost done. Stir in sauces and water. In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg substitute. Spray a 9X13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of pan. Arrange 4 noodles over the sauce. Spread more sauce, then a layer of ricotta mixture. Add another layer of sauce, and repeat the whole process until you end with a layer of sauce. Cover and bake 70 minutes. Uncover and place cheese slices on top, then bake for another 15 minutes uncovered. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving. Yield: 9 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 285 calories; 4 g. fat; 29 g. protein; 31 g. carbohydrate; 5 g. fiber; 41 mg. cholesterol

And we picked up miss Lily from her weekend away from mom and dad. She celebrated with a nap…

Question: Do you consider yourself a “good cook”? Is being a “good cook” important to you? Do you think that basic cooking skills are helpful in leading a healthy lifestyle?

Chef “extraordinaire” (don’t laugh!),

Share With Your Friends!


  1. June 15, 2010 / 6:41 am

    Wow! Nicole! Your garden looks awesome! I have some of that POM Wonderful in my refrigerator right now and now know what to do with it! Great Salad dressing recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. June 15, 2010 / 7:36 am

    I want your garden! Or at least access to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    What an interesting lasagna! I’ve never actually had buffalo chicken (shhh).

    Lily’s so cute! I bet she’s glad to be home. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think I’m a pretty good cook. I mean, I’d be trembling if some famous chef was eating my food and be totally paranoid that it’s disgusting or whatever, but unless people have been lying and taking second helpings to save my feelings, I know that others at least like my food. But I think that everyone should be able to at least COOK. It doesn’t have to be a complicated risotto or something, but how are you supposed to feed yourself well if you can’t cook at least one healthy meal?

    But actually, some of the cooking/baking things that scare me are involved in unhealthy cooking areas, like frying things in oil and dealing with pastries, so in some ways being bad at those things is good. ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. June 15, 2010 / 8:28 am

    YAY for gardens!!!! I have 30ish tomatoes on the vine…but ALL are still green!!! It’s driving me nuts! I want tomatoes!!!

    And yeah, I consider myself a good cook…and…it is something that’s important to me. But also, I just am the type of person who wants to be good at…everything I try. Haha.

    But…my grandma is an amazing cook, mom is a spectacular baker, and dad…well dad’s Italian. Enough said. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So…I love cooking, I love showing off my kitchen skills…all that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. June 15, 2010 / 8:46 am

    I think I’m a pretty decent cook. I love this recipe for the simple fact that you don’t have to precook the noodles!

  5. June 15, 2010 / 9:09 am

    Your garden is gorgeous! I do consider myself a ‘good’ cook, although I have made my fair share of inedible food. No one needs to be a good cook to make healthy choices. There are plenty of healthy choices of pre-made food at the grocery store and really, anyone can chop some lettuce for a salad ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. June 15, 2010 / 9:13 am

    Your garden is amazing! SO envious. I really don’t consider myself a good cook. Sometimes I throw stuff together and it’s great, other times it’s terrible. I just consider myself a ‘cook.’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. June 15, 2010 / 9:24 am

    Your garden looks wonderful!! It is really thriving!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m just simply not a cook at all. I try and sometimes I turn out some decent meals, but I just haven’t sparked that passion yet. I’m hoping I do because all the women in my family are amazing cooks and I want to be able to carry their recipes on.

  8. June 15, 2010 / 9:26 am

    I think Iโ€™m an OK cook. Iโ€™m not super adventurous and I make mistakes a lot. But Iโ€™m not horrible, and Iโ€™m trying to learn!

  9. June 15, 2010 / 9:30 am

    I consider myself a good cook, not great, but good! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. June 15, 2010 / 9:53 am

    I consider myself a good cook and I definitely think it helps me make better food choices. Knowing where you can make healthier substitutions without sacrificing the quality of the meal is definitely a helpful skill to have.

    The garden looks great, by the way!

  11. June 15, 2010 / 10:03 am

    Knowing how to cook makes living a healthy lifestyle so much easier. I’m sure it’s possible to eat well without those skills, but it’s so much harder.

    I don’t think you need to be a gourmet chef, though! I’m certainly not. Just being a little adventurous – willing to try new ingredients and spices, for example – will do!

  12. June 15, 2010 / 10:08 am

    Your garden looks wonderful and so does that lasagna. I consider myself a good cook. My Husband, family, and friends think so I’ll just take their word for it.

  13. June 15, 2010 / 10:59 am

    Okay, just a tad jealous of your garden! I need to prune my herb plants tonight, they are growing like gangbusters!

    Note to self: Make Nicole’s buffalo chicken lasagna!!

    Hope you are feeling better!

  14. June 15, 2010 / 11:50 am

    Sorry you got sick. Hope you are feeling better!

    Your garden looks AMAZING!!! There is nothing better than a salad fresh from the garden!

    I think cooking is essential when it comes to staying/getting healthy as you just never really know what you are putting in your body if you aren’t preparing it yourself. But I also think you don’t have to do complicated things. In fact, I think the most important skill is to be able to “throw together” lots of healthy, no fuss dishes. But cooking a nice meal that requires some skills is also nice once in a while. I have to admit though, it’s been a while since I made anything remotely “difficult”… ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. June 15, 2010 / 12:28 pm

    girl that recipe is AWEEESOME! DEF must make this- i love buffalo sauce!

  16. June 15, 2010 / 12:31 pm

    When I find myself a beau, he will need to cook or at least not expect me to :).

  17. June 15, 2010 / 1:02 pm

    I’d say that i’m a pretty good cook. Most of the time recipe following doesn’t need to happen but I wouldn’t consider myself a pro chef at all. I need to make that lasagna for my man!

  18. June 15, 2010 / 1:41 pm

    Your garden looks great!!!!!!
    I’m an “ok” cook, LOL.
    I definitely think having a basic knowledge for cooking helps with healthy eating habits!

  19. June 15, 2010 / 1:46 pm

    I envy your garden, mine is miserable with the lack of sun and drowning due to non stop rain ๐Ÿ™

    I will definitely have to try that recipe my husband would die for it!

    I do consider myself a good cook and I do think it really helps with healthy living. It’s when I take a break from cooking that I feel sluggish and gain weight.

  20. June 15, 2010 / 2:24 pm

    Congratulations on your garden! It looks beautiful! Its been fun watching it grow ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have gotten much braver int he kitchen since I started blogging. So many good ideas floating around the blog world!

  21. June 15, 2010 / 2:28 pm

    WOW!!! I can’t wait for our garden to look like that!! The kale is the only thing that is really blooming fast, other than the acorn squash and pumpkin. I can’t wait to have the ability to make my own salad with it, or cook it and do something neat. I do not consider myself a great chef, but I do consider myself an innovative chef! I’m always trying new things and mixing crazy ingredients. I love it.

    I hope you’re feeling better!

  22. June 15, 2010 / 3:23 pm

    Your garden looks awesome!! I can’t believe how much its grown!

    I consider myself to be a pretty decent cook. My boyfriend will tell you I’m gifted, but he doesn’t seem to have tastebuds so his opinion doesn’t count!

  23. June 15, 2010 / 3:43 pm

    lily is adorable! and your lasagna looks amazing nicole! lulu is the small pup and pepsi is my black lab ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. June 15, 2010 / 3:47 pm

    So jealous your tomatoes are in! I love using POM for salad dressing…probably my favorite use for it, other than cocktails!

  25. June 15, 2010 / 4:20 pm

    Wow, your garden is gorgeous — congrats! That lasagna sounds amazing, Buffalo Chicken anything is a huge hit in my house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I hopt you’re feeling better soon!

  26. June 15, 2010 / 6:33 pm

    The garden looks awesome! All your hard work is paying off.
    I definitely think some basic cooking skills are helpful in leading a healthy life. I think the more I cook, the better I get as a cook!

  27. June 15, 2010 / 8:13 pm

    Awww I was telling my friend about Lily the other day! =) she is such a cutie.

    The garden looks fabulous!!!! Great job honey.

  28. June 15, 2010 / 9:21 pm

    Whoa! That’s a huge difference in your garden!

  29. June 15, 2010 / 11:03 pm

    I am super jealous of your garden! It looks amazing!
    I definitely don’t consider myself a good cook. I am trying to work on that, of course.

  30. June 16, 2010 / 7:07 am

    Your garden is gorgeous! And that lasagna — I think if I make it for my boyfriend he will be the happiest person in the world ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. June 16, 2010 / 8:40 am

    Wow–amazing how fast garden’s grow! I am so glad you are going to get crop from all your hard work! ๐Ÿ™‚ And that lasagna? I neeeeed to try it like ASAP!

  32. June 16, 2010 / 2:47 pm

    Your garden looks wonderful. Living in the cold northwest, mine is not quite so mature as yours yet but the spinach salads have been wonderful.

    I look forward to your posts and get many ideas from them. Healthful cooking and foods are high on my priority lists in my household. Heart disease runs high and dictates my cooking styles.

    Going to try lasagna tonight, buffalo sounds yummy, though I use no fat cream cheese in place of ricotta and organic goat cheese on top to cut down fats. Pom dressing sounds yummy too, saving that recipe for another day.

    Thanks for sharing..

  33. June 17, 2010 / 11:25 am

    If you rarely cook can you consider yourself a cook? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lasagna looks great! Starting to recoup the costs of starting up the garden finally?!

  34. June 17, 2010 / 10:10 pm

    I am definitely not a good cook, but my husband is! I wish I was. I need to try that POM dressing. I have POM and nothing to do with it.

    Isn’t crazy how fast the gardens grow? Ours is going like crazy.

    Hope you are feeling better!

  35. December 8, 2010 / 1:06 am

    Yummm! I love buffalo everything. I need to “re”make this recipe for one and find a way to mix in some blue cheese. and maybe some spinach and other yummy veggies. Stay tuned. ๐Ÿ™‚

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