Do you ever have those weeks when you are just NOT MOTIVATED to do anything??? You have this big to-do list, but you would really rather just grab a pint of ice cream, sit down on the couch, and binge watch The Office until it’s time to go to bed? Myyyyyy liiiife these past few weeks.
It’s a weird phase, though, because I am totally fine while I’m at work – productive, energized, into it. It’s when I get home that I’m like…nahhhhh, I’m good. Ima just chill. Isn’t that strange? Maybe it’s not that strange. I just feel like it takes so much energy to actually force myself to do the things I need to do when I get home from work. Like work out, clean (CLEAAANNN), do laundry (laundry…???), take the dogs out, etc…
So what ends up happening? I just basically just don’t do some of this stuff. Some of it I’ll suck it up and do, but some of it – i.e. cleaning and laundry – I’m just like “It’s probs fine for another day.” And then guess what happens? The “day” turns into a week, and I have to climb over laundry to blow dry my hair and put makeup on. BLAARRFFFGGGG << my exasperated noise.
I have a theory as to why this is happening to me right now…
Seth is coming home in a month. ONE MONTH! Uno montho (<< what 10 years of Spanish class got me, whatuupppp). Isn’t that craziness?? Anyway, when Seth is home, he helps me so much with all this stuff. When the house gets messy, we clean it together. When the dogs need to go out, we switch off or do it together. When I cook, he cleans the kitchen. Our marriage definitely isn’t the “woman cooks and cleans, man brings home the bacon” situation (zero judgement, of course, if that is your marriage – it’s not better or worse, just different). He helps out just as much as I do with that kind of stuff. Well, not the cooking. But that’s just because I’m obsessed with cooking. GASP coming from the person who is a career food blogger.
Anyyyywho, I feel like since his homecoming is SO SOON, I’m starting to get antsy doing all this stuff by myself. Before, I knew it was months and months until he came home, so my mind was in “Get over it – let’s be a boss and get this stuff done” mode. And now it’s in “Oh my gosh, so close to having help again” mode and “Don’t want to dooooo allllll of this myself anymmooorreee” mode. Can we take a second to observe how whiny I’m being? I am fully aware of this, and you should be fully aware that I am using you, lovely readers, as an outlet to be whiny. Apologies. I shall stop now.
You know what I need during a tiring time like this? And what you need during your exhausting days? And your busy weeks? THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
It’s like lasagna. But it’s healthy. Allow me to repeat what I just said. IT’S LIKE LASAGNA, BUT IT’S HEALTHY. Yes. Healthy lasagna. Cue the music that plays when your dreams come true.
So, how is this anything like lasagna, you may ask? Well, I will tell you. It has every single thing that a wonderful, gooey, cheesy, decadent lasagna has, except throw those lasagna noodles away (HA – not really, just put them back into your pantry for later), and get out that brown rice.
Just like lasagna, you make a meat sauce (with an easy shortcut [more on that later]). Just like lasagna, you add mozzarella and ricotta. Unlike lasagna, you don’t have to spend a good twenty minutes assembling. Unlike lasagna, you don’t have to bake it for a million hours. Unlike lasagna, you have super healthy brown rice instead of those pasta noodles.
The result? A cheesy, meaty, saucy, satisfying, deeee-licoius bowl of yumminess. Let’s talk about the details here:
- The sauce – you start by browning turkey sausage in a little bit of olive oil. Remove that to a plate and try not to eat half of it while the veggies cook. Throw your onions and garlic in the same pan and cook for a few minutes. Add the sausage back in. Then (here comes the shortcut) add a few cups of jarred marinara sauce. AHHHHH. It’s okay for food bloggers to use jarred and canned ingredients right? We’re going to go wiiiittthhh…yes. Throw some Italian spices in there and simmer for about ten minutes. So really what you are doing is taking jarred marinara sauce and amping that goodness up with your other ingredients. The result? Marinara on fleek.
- The brown rice – I use the quick cooking stuff because I like quick and easy meals. And legit brown rice takes approximately…hmm…FOREVER. Really it’s like 45 minutes, but come on…that’s a while. Once I tried the quick stuff, I was hooked. If you aren’t a fan, go legit and use the “real” brown rice. A tip here – cook the rice in chicken or veggie stock if you have it. The stock adds extra flavor to your rice, meaning extra flavor in your finished lasagna skillet.
- The cheese – mozzarella. Ricotta. Heaven. Have you guys noticed how gooey and stringy mozzarella gets when it melts??? I LOVE THAT. It’s one of my favorite cheeses to use just because of its meltability (word? It is now).
- The topping – sliced basil. Simple, but adds a delicious note of freshness that I think is very necessary!
And that’s it, people. Super simple, quick, and healthy. Who doesn’t want to indulge in lasagna and feel awesome afterwards?? No one. The correct answer is no one.
Have a fantastic week, friends!
For you 21 Day Fix people, here are your container amounts:
- 1 yellow container (rice)
- 1 red container (sausage)
- 1 blue container (cheeeessseee)
- 1/4 green container (onions)
- 1/2 purple container (marinara)
- 1 teaspoon (olive oil)
*The seasonings and basil are “free”*
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Brown Rice Lasagna Skillet
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 2 cups COOKED brown rice (I use the quick cooking kind – cook in chicken or veggie stock if you have it)
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 large onion (1 heaping cup diced)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups jarred marinara sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- Basil leaves, sliced (for topping at the end)
- In a large skillet over medium high/high heat, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- Add your turkey sausage, removed from their casings. Season with salt and pepper, break up into small pieces with a spoon, and brown. Once browned, remove to a plate and set aside
- In the same pan, add 2 more teaspoons of olive oil and your onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper
- Cook for a few minutes until onions have softened
- Add your turkey sausage back in with the veggies, and season with your oregano and Italian seasoning. Stir together until combined
- Add your marinara sauce
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Add your rice (make sure your rice is seasoned with salt and pepper – if your rice is bland, your whole dish will turn out slightly bland) and stir until fully combined
- In this next step, you can do one of two things: 1. Add your ricotta and mozzarella, stir together until combined, and serve just like that. 2. Sprinkle your mozzarella on top, broil in the oven for a few minutes until melted, pull out of the oven, and add dollops of ricotta cheese before serving. Both will end up tasting the same – the second option just looks prettier!
- Serve with sliced basil sprinkled over top
*Nutrition information may vary based on what brand of marinara sauce you use – my brand was around 100 calories per 1/2 cup*
This recipe is gluten free
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more easy, healthy comfort food recipes for those busy weeks? Check these out: