Yesterday, Saturday, was my 21st birthday. I turned 21 on the 21st and therefore it was my golden birthday as well! It was quite possibly one of the best days of my life. I know that is dramatic, but it seriously was amazing. Also, I totally remember all of it!
I just feel so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. I started off the day with a nice 9 mile run, not kidding. As I was running, I was amazed at how happy I felt that this was such a special day, but that I still felt totally the same. It was an amazing run where I just felt so happy and comfortable with who I am. I have changed a lot through the years, and now, I feel very comfortable and happy. After my run, my amazing boyfriend took me to the DMV to get my new license. Not only do I now have a real-person sideways license, but I also registered to vote! It was so exciting! Following that excursion, we met my parents, brother, and bestie, Tamara, at a restaurant for a little Brunch/Lunch. I got my favorite omelet and just continued to enjoy my day. Also, I hadn't seen Tamara in AGES and it was awesome to catch up with her. Then, it was time to really get the party started. Some of the most amazing ladies in the world, Caryn, Lauren, Anna, Katie, and Jilly, met up with me, Bri, and Tamara at my house and my brother, mom, and dad were awesome enough to drive us all downtown to our hotel for the night. We got ready to go out in the hotel and then headed to Goose Island Brewery for a fantastic dinner and my first legal drink! Of course, the waiter asked for my ID and it was really funny and exciting. I was all decked out in my goofy birthday trinkets and of course, my golden shoes for my golden birthday! Then, we headed to Lincoln Park for the bars. Everything was so fun. We drank, we danced, and then we ended the night with pizza! It was the best! I felt so happy to be surrounded by such amazing friends and I can't thank them all enough for the awesome birthday night I had because of them. Also, Brian was amazing and even danced the night away with me! I don't even know how to express my love for all of them, they are all unbelievable!
Now, it is Sunday, and it is definitely a Slow-Cooker kind of day. Which is why I am sharing a fabulous recipe for a Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna. It is the easiest comfort meal I have made in a while and it is perfect after yesterday's/early this morning's shenanigans.
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna (adapted from Betty Crocker)
1 box whole wheat, uncooked lasagna noodles
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 red peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
4 cups, or more marinara sauce
2 cups shredded, light mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
15 oz low-fat, part skim ricotta cheese
salt and pepper
1. Lightly grease your slow-cooker and prepare the vegetables. Place the veggies, without the tomatoes, in a bowl and combine.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta with the mozzarella and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Coat the bottom of the slow-cooker with some marinara sauce. Place lasagna noodles over the bottom. Break noodles to make them fit. Spread some of the cheese mixture over the noodles to coat them. Spread a few spoonfuls of the veggies over the cheese and then top with sauce and some chopped tomatoes. Place lasagna noodles on top and then repeat with the other ingredients to create the layers. Once you have 4 layers, top with the final lasagna noodles, coat with marinara/tomatoes, and then sprinkle on some extra parmesan.
4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
This recipe is featured on Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!