Amazing Brunch @ Norma's & The Easiest Lasagna Recipe!

We had a great weekend getting caught up on our lives and were lucky enough to have brunch with two of our favorite people, Charlie and Katie. The newly engaged couple graced us with their presence for brunch while they were visiting NYC. We decided to try Norma's in Le Parker Meridien Hotel and were overwhelmed with how good the food was. Hands down, this was the best breakfast/brunch Tyler and I have had and highly recommend it if you live in NYC or you're visiting. It's more expensive than your average brunch spot, but worth every single penny. The portions are large and each bite is tastier than the first. Here are a few pictures from brunch:
 Eggs Benedict over Artichoke Hearts
 Huevos Rancheros
Papaya Mango Crepe

For dinner tonight, we tried a new take on lasagna. One of Tyler's favorite dishes is lasagna and surprisingly, I've never made it for him. I think I've never given it a whirl because it takes a while and always seems like more work than it's worth for a week night dinner. However, I found this lighter and easier version of lasagna and was pleasantly surprised. It's much "healthier" than regular lasagna as it doesn't have meat and has a fraction of the amount of cheese. The best part is the recipe takes 20 minutes to cook, which makes this recipe perfect for week night dinners! We paired this with salad and garlic bread.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • About 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds & fully cooked
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (dried or fresh)
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add noodles to skillet and stir into the mixture well. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Stir in parsley.  Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick. ***Note, it took longer for the noodles to cook. When I make this again, I will cook the noodles for 2-3 minutes ahead of time and then finish them off in the sauce as the directions indicate.
  3. Serve immediately with additional basil or parsley.

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