Spinach Artichoke Lasagna

TodaySpinach Artichoke Lasagna | Life Healthfully Lived is my last day of being 27 years old.  27 has been good to me, but I’m excited to see what 28 has in store.  It’s weird to think that I only have two more years of being in my 20’s.  I can remember the day I turned 20 and thinking, “Finally! I’m not a teenager anymore.  I’m an adult and I’m important.”

While I’m important at any age, I was far from being an adult.  20 is barely not a teenager and I had so much I still needed to learn.  In all honesty, I still have a lot to learn and I think that is true for any age.  Except maybe 100.  Once you hit 100, you can pretty much do whatever you want and your excuse is I made it this long I think I’m gonna be just fine. Spinach Artichoke Lasagna | Life Healthfully Lived

I decided to make you a delicious dinner for my birthday, which now that I’m typing it out sounds backwards.  You should be making me a delicious dinner for my birthday.  Jeez, you’re lazy!  Making me do all the work on my birthday!

You know how delicious spinach artichoke dip is?  That was my inspiration for this lasagna.  Instead of cheese, I used bechamel sauce and artichokes along with a layer of spinach to create a creamy and delicious filling.  This meal can come together really fast if you use a jar of tomato sauce and a box of lasagna noodles.  But if you want to make everything from scratch like I did, I promise you won’t regret the time you put in. Spinach Artichoke Lasagna | Life Healthfully Lived

This is also one of those meals that is even better the next day and makes really great leftovers for lunches throughout the week.

See?  I’m feeding you even beyond dinner.  28 is making me a giver!

Spinach Artichoke LasagnaSpinach Artichoke Lasagna | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 batch of my tomato sauce or a jar of your favorite store brand
  • 1 box of gluten free lasagna noodles (I made these from Against All Grains)
  • 3-4 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. If you are making the tomato sauce and noodles get those ready and set aside.  If you’re using boxed noodles make sure they are cooked and ready to go.
  2. To make the bechamel sauce: In a blender or food processor, grind the cashews, Italian seasonings, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp celery salt into a fine powder.  Set aside.
  3. Heat a little olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add in 2 tablespoons of the cashew powder and stir to make a paste.  Cook until the cashew powder turns golden brown.
  4. Whisk in the can of coconut milk and keep whisking to combine the paste and milk.  Whisk in the nutritional yeast and salt and pepper.  Keep cooking and whisking the milk until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your preference.
  5. Pour the sauce into a blender and add in the drained artichoke hearts.  Pulse a few times to break up the artichokes, but don’t make it completely smooth.
  6. Now it’s time to build the lasagna.  Preheat the oven to 350 and get out a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, then a layer of noodles, a layer of artichoke sauce, a layer of spinach, and a layer of tomato sauce.  Keep going until you run out of noodles and make sure you end on tomato sauce.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.  Remove from oven and uncover.  Let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before you slice and serve. Spinach Artichoke Lasagna | Life Healthfully Lived

You can make this lasagna ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven at dinner time.  I hope you have a Happy Halloween and a great weekend!

Butternut Spinach Gnudi

Butternut Spinach Gnudi

Have you ever heard of gnudi? Don’t worry I hadn’t either until a little while ago.  It’s kind of like the big brother of gnocchi (also pronounced with a silent “G”) and it’s delicious.  I saw a recipe for it in the Clean Eating magazine and at first I dismissed it as too time consuming to make.  Then I had a free Saturday and decided to see if I could tackle the gnudi.  I changed a few things, put my own spin on it and while it does take a little bit of time to put together, it isn’t as hard to make as I thought it would be.

I love the dumpling-like texture of this dish.  It’s filling but not too heavy especially topped with a fresh tomato sauce, plus it gets in all the good nutrients that come with spinach and butternut squash.

If you aren’t like me and don’t have 10 lbs of butternut squash in your freezer you can substitute canned butternut squash or pumpkin instead.  Also, make sure to leave enough time for the gnudi to rest in the refrigerator before you cook them or else they will fall apart in the hot water.

Onto the gnudi!

Butternut Spinach Gnudi- adapted from Clean Eating’s Ricotta, Spinach & Sweet Potato Gnudi

Butternut Spinach Gnudi

  • 1 cup pureed butternut squash (or canned pumpkin)
  • 6 tbsp aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1 cup cashew ricotta
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach (frozen or fresh, I used frozen and just made sure it was thawed)
  • 4 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 batch of my tomato sauce or your favorite store bought sauce (make sure to check the label!)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the 6 tbsp of aquafaba until it’s frothy.  Then whisk in the cashew ricotta, almond meal, and all the seasonings.
  2. Once that is all well combined mix in the spinach and fold in the butternut squash.  Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of the brown rice flour and stir to combine.
  3. Spread out 2 cups of the brown rice flour onto a large baking sheet.  Using your hands, form the butternut mix into medium sized balls, about the size of a golf ball.  Place the balls onto the baking sheet and repeat until all the mixture is used up.  Cover the balls with the remaining flour and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  4. Warm up your tomato sauce in a medium saucepan.  Once the balls have set, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Working in batches of 4-5 balls, gently immerse them into the boiling water and cook until they float to the top.  Remove from the water and set aside until all the gnudi is cooked.
  5. Plate a few of the gnudi and top with tomato sauce.  You can also sprinkle a little parmesan cheese or my vegan version.

Butternut Squash Gnudi

Yes it looks like a lot and it looks like it will take forever and you wonder if I think you’re an Italian grandmother who has nothing to do but make gnudi.  Trust me you can do this and it isn’t that hard.  Plus you’ll be rewarded with a delicious healthy meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds.  So give it a try, you might just surprise yourself!

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you have an awesome weekend!

Tomato Sauce

This is my go to sauce.  I make it large batches so that I have some on hand when I need a tasty and healthy tomato sauce!

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1-2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (I use no salt added)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • vegetable broth or water
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat saute onions until soft and translucent.  Add in half your minced garlic and saute another minute.

2.  Add in oregano, basil, and fennel and stir to combine.  Then add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Using a potato masher, mash the sauce a little to crush the diced tomato chunks.  Depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce add in a little or a lot of broth or water.  Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your taste

3.  Bring the sauce to a boil and lower to a simmer.  Simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


You can either use this right away or cool completely and store in clean jars in your fridge.  Enjoy!

Eggplant Lasagna

Just fair warning, this recipe will take some time to assemble.  But it is VERY worth it.  While it might not be a quick weeknight meal, you can make it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat.  It’s got a lot of flavor and a great way to get in some healthy vegetables.

Eggplant Lasagna


For the “noodles”

  • 2 medium eggplants, washed and sliced lengthwise

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the ricotta “cheese”

  • 1 cup white beans, soaked and rinsed (or one can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

1.  Slice the eggplant lengthwise into thin noodle-like slices.  Lay out onto a paper towel, sprinkle with salt and cover with another paper towel.  Let rest for 15 minutes.  If you’re cooking your own beans, cover with water bring to a boil, and then cover and lower to a simmer.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until the beans are soft.

2. Preheat oven to 350, brush the salt off the eggplant and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

3.  In a medium saucepan, saute the onion until soft.  Add in the garlic, oregano, basil, and fennel seeds.  Stir to combine then add in both cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce.  If you want a thinner sauce, add in the vegetable broth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the sauce to a boil then lower to a simmer for 15 minutes.

4.  While the sauce is simmering, place the cooked white beans into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times.  Add in the rest of the cheese ingredients and blend until smooth.

5.  Now it’s time to put everything together.  In a 9 x 13 casserole dish place a thin layer of the tomato sauce, then a layer of eggplant noodles, then a layer of cheese, and then a layer of tomato sauce.  Keep layering until you run out of ingredients.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Let it rest uncovered for 5 minutes, then cut and serve!

Whew!  I know it seems like this is a lot of work, but it is really worth it.  Make this over the weekend when you have a little more time and then have delicious leftovers for lunch during the week.  To save more time you can use jarred marinara sauce, just make sure to read the ingredient list.  Or make a few batches of these, put them in the freezer and then pull them out when you need a quick meal.  Enjoy!


Dairy Free Lasagna

I don’t eat dairy anymore, and for the most part, I really haven’t missed it all that much.  But every once in awhile, I get a hankering for something gooey, cheesy, and delicious.  Those hankerings usually lead to creative and tasty recipes.  This one is no different.  You might be thinking to yourself, “There is no way that you can have a delicious lasagna without wonderfully yummy ricotta cheese.”  And I say to you, nay nay.  You can have a delicious lasagna without wonderfully yummy ricotta.  Just ask my husband who has no problem with dairy and would love it if there were more of it in the house (there’s none).  He loved this meal and devoured second helpings.  I may have too…


Dairy Free Lasagna 


  • 1 batch of my tomato sauce, or store bought sauce (just make sure to read the ingredients!)
  • 1 package of lasagna noodles (I used brown rice to keep it gluten free but whole wheat would work well too)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 to 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic

*If you’re using my tomato sauce, you can prepare it ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.  That way you can just assemble everything.

1.  Cook noodles according to instructions on the package.  Once cooked drain and set aside to cool a little bit.  You might want to undercook your noodles just a little so they won’t turn to mush when you cook them in the oven.

2.  While the noodles are cooling, drain soaked cashews and place into a blender or food processor.  Add in water, lemon, salt, rice vinegar, italian seasoning, and garlic.  Pulse to combine everything and then let it run to smooth everything out.  You can leave it a little chunky or totally smooth, it’s your preference.

3.  Preheat oven to 375 and get out a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Line up the tomato sauce, noodles, and cashew cheese for easy assembly.  Pour a little tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan so the noodles don’t burn.  Then put a layer of noodles down, then a layer of cheese, and finally a layer of tomato sauce.  Keep layering everything until you run out of noodles.  You might have a little cheese and sauce leftover, that’s fine  You can use it to dress up another dish!

4.  Cover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and take of the aluminum foil.  Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  Take lasagna out of the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes (this helps it set so when you cut it, it doesn’t fall apart).  Cut into squares and eat up!



This lasagna tastes even better the next day once the flavors have melded and really set.  So make sure that you leave some leftovers for later!