When kids help prepare healthy foods, they are more likely to eat and enjoy them! Picture this, Richmond in Spring 2018, not only was I ready to prepare healthy meals with my kids, we were going to grow the vegetables as well. We picked out seeds; eggplant, tomatoes,carrots. Gathered everything we needed for a container garden. My son, especially,took great pride in planting the seeds,watching them sprout,transferring them to the container, watering them, and picking them. The egg plant came first about 8 weeks later, grew beautifully and about 12”long. We decided to make eggplant lasagna, while I did the harder cutting, my kids did all the layering, even topped it with a basket weave in eggplant slices. We baked it, it came out to perfection.

I plated the lasagna and my son told me “I’m not eating eggplant”. What? Sure would have been nice to know that during the buying, planting, watering, picking phases. So, needless to say, preparing healthy foods with your kids doesn’t guarantee they will eat them! However, since surviving the Eggplant Fiasco of 2018, I have found many recipes I am able to make with my children that are easy, healthy, and they enjoy eating. One in particular is TRADITIONAL lasagna, cooking your own foods also allows you to make changes in the recipe to accommodate for dietary restrictions or to make healthier choices.

Traditional Lasagna

2–15 oz containers ricotta cheese 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided 2 eggs 24 ounces pasta sauce combined with 1 lb ground cooked ground meat (meat optional)*12 uncooked lasagna noodles Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and eggs in bowl; set aside.Spread 1 cup Sauce in 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Layer 4 uncooked noodles, then 1 cup sauce and 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture; repeat. Top with remaining 4 uncooked noodles and remaining sauce. Bake 1 hour covered tightly with aluminum foil. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes.Enjoy.*In case you were wondering, the Eggplant Lasagna was made the exact same way, substituting lasagna noodles with two pre-cooked slices of eggplant.Lay eggplant slices out onto baking sheets into a single layer. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven until tender, about 25 minutes, turning halfway through. Bon Appétit


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