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10 Quick And Healthy Lasagna Recipes For Busy People

10 Quick And Healthy Lasagna Recipes For Busy People

After surviving endless meetings and getting past numerous deadlines, you finally finish work at 7pm. You get on your usual bus, thinking about what to have for dinner. Ordering takeaways seems too unhealthy, but cooking seems too much hassle. Don’t be too guilt-ridden, because that’s totally understandable – just thinking about what to cook is already exhausting enough to put cooking out of our minds (trust me, I have faced this situation for so many times). But if you try making lasagna, cooking healthily after work doesn’t always have to be as tiring as it sounds.

Don’t get me wrong, we all know that lasagna is notorious for its high fat content. But if you know the right ingredients to use, lasagna is actually a perfect dinner choice. With its versatile ingredient combinations, the following 10 healthy lasagna recipes that can be ready under 60 minutes are not to be missed out on by us busy working people.

1. Healthy Zucchini Lasagna

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    This recipe calls for two main extra healthy ingredients – zucchini and gluten and grain-free pasta which is made with almond flour. Packed with high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants, zucchini is a great veggie to incorporate into your daily meal. Not only is it extremely low in calories, but it is also high in dietary fiber which will keep you full for the night. And the gluten and grain-free lasagna sheets aid weight management (a further plus point if you are on a diet!). With not many other ingredients needed, this recipe only requires you to layer all the healthy goodies several times, then bake for 20 minutes (thanks to zucchini being a quick vegetable to cook). Then voilà, your healthy, delicious dinner is served!

    2. Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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      Who says a lasagna dish always has to involve pasta? This portobello mushroom lasagna is an alternative if you wish to cut down on your carb intake. Being an excellent source of copper, this meaty fungi is not just low in saturated fat and cholesterol but also high in dietary fiber and potassium. As for the stuffed veggies, baby spinach, garlic, onion, and red bell pepper are all you’ll need for this recipe. They provide you with all the necessary nutrients you will need – Vitamin A, C, & K, manganese, biotin, you name it. Simply sauté them and then mix them with the cheese and egg. Afterwards, stuff the mushroom with the mixture and bake for around 20 minutes. Now, sit back and enjoy your flavorful yet healthy homemade dinner.

      3. 10-minute Spinach Lasagna

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        OK, so you just came home from work, you have no idea what to cook but only have some cheeses, spinach, and lasagna noodles in your fridge. There’s no need to panic – with this recipe, you can still make comforting and delicious lasagna just with these simple, classic ingredients. As you can already tell by its name, spinach is the highlight of this lasagna. This leafy green vegetable does an excellent job in preventing inflammation and it contains a huge amount of vitamin K which is important for maintaining bone health.

        Making this lasagna couldn’t be easier – simply spread the marinara sauce on the pan and then layer the cheeses and of course, the spinach. Guess what? This preparation will only take you 10 minutes! Shove the lasagna into the oven and let it do its work for 35 minutes while you relax with a glass of wine after a long day at work.

        4. Lasagna A La Asiana

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          Got bored with the usual tomato-sauce, cheesy lasagna? why not give this Asian version of lasagna a try? This recipe replaces lasagna sheets with flat rice noodle sheets, and tomato sauce with a special Asian pesto and tofu ricotta, making a lighter, healthier version of lasagna with an Asian twist. Flat rice noodles are a low-fat carb choice while the refreshing herbs and spices in the Asian pesto and tofu ricotta provide you with all the health benefits you need – reducing skin inflammation, cholesterol level and the chance of getting diarrhea. The recipes for Asian pesto as well as the tofu ricotta are also available on the website. The good thing is that these two can be prepared beforehand which means all you need to do is just to stack all the goodies together in a dish. Bake it for 20 minutes and you are good to go.

          5. Superfood Salmon Lasagna with Kale and Spinach

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            Who wouldn’t love a hearty lasagna with salmon and kale as the main ingredients, especially after a long day at work? This lasagna recipe is so packed with nutrients that our body constantly needs – vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids (which promote our cardiovascular health), vitamin D (which is essential for maintaining bone health), and vitamin K (which enhances the body’s healthy blood-clotting ability).

            Not only is this dish super healthy, but it also tastes heavenly with the home-made ricotta white sauce. To make this lasagna, boil the veggies (kale and spinach) and salmon first. Then add in the lasagna noodles and the ricotta sauce. Bake for around 25 minutes and this simple, healthy, comfort dinner is ready for you to enjoy.

            6. Lasagna Tortellini Soup

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              This recipe is the type of dinner that you will want to cook when you know you have a full day ahead. If you have a slow cooker at home, you might want to keep this recipe ready in the kitchen at all times because it is so easy to make and it tastes divine. With the extra lean ground beef (which is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids), the super tomatoey soup (which reduces the risk of heart disease and supports bone health), and the amount of seasonings that are controlled entirely by you, this lasagna soup is the perfect dinner to help you to unwind and relax after a long day at work.

              To make it, simply brown the beef first and then put all the ingredients into the slow cooker right before you head off to work. When you return, just add in the tortellini (or any kind of pasta you like, really) to cook for 15 minutes and stir in the cheese and a bowl of goodness is now ready for you.

              7. Courgette and Tomato Open Lasagna

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                Yes, another zucchini lasagna recipe! We just can’t get enough of it, can we? Not only is this because zucchini is such a super healthy food, but it is also very versatile in terms of its cooking methods. In this recipe, the zucchini is sliced into ribbons so that it can absorb the tomato sauce better. As the name of the dish suggests, this lasagna recipe requires no baking (which means no waiting is needed!) which is an extra plus point for us busy working people.

                8. No-bake Summer Lasagna with Fresh Tomato Sauce

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                  Summer is just around the corner and nothing can beat the heat more than a refreshing salad – this time incorporated with lasagna noodles and ricotta cheese. This recipes uses different types of tomatoes that the owner grows, but you can pretty much use any kinds of veggies that you like – corn, lettuce, bell pepper, onion, you name it. Do try to use veggies of different colors to get different kinds of nutrients – you know, making it all colorful is the key here.

                  Mix all the chopped veggies, boil them if necessary, then add in some olive oil and garlic as the marinade. Layer the lasagna noodles, then the ricotta cheese, and the mixed veggie salad several times. As you can already tell, not much cooking is involved which is a real time-saver for us people who always hustle to get dinner ready on time.

                  9. Quick & Healthy Gluten-Free Potato Lasagna

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                    Having a craving for potato but still want to have lasagna? In this recipe, the regular lasagna noodles are replaced by potato slices. Then they are layered with fat-free ricotta cheese and gluten-free marinara sauce. Thanks to its high concentration of vitamin B6, potatoes play a critical role in promoting cell health and in boosting our immune system. And the gluten-free marinara sauce simply adds life to the dish while its gluten-free nature calms our stomach. This recipe also calls for turkey sausage which is a healthier meat choice. Just layer everything several times and shove it in the oven for 30 minutes and the piping hot potato lasagna is ready to be served.

                    10. Mexican Black Bean Lasagna

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                      This lasagna recipe definitely incorporates healthiness into our everyday busy life. With black beans as the main ingredient of this dish, this lasagna has a Mexican twist with its use of red enchilada sauce, tortillas, jalapeños (which help with weight loss), and cilantro (which is full of vitamin K). Black beans are also fully packed with molybdenum, a nutrient that is known to be associated with increased longevity. Making this lasagna couldn’t be easier – cook the veggies (including the beans), spread the enchilada sauce on a baking dish, layer it with tortillas and the veggies. Then bake it until the top is beginning to brown, rest for 5 minutes, then your healthy Mexican dinner is ready to be gobbled down!

                      Featured photo credit: TESCO realfood via realfood.tesco.com

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                      Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                      At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                      Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                      One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                      When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                      So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                      Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                      This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                      Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                      When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                      Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                      One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                      Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                      An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                      When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                      Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                      Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                      We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                      By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                      Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                      While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                      I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                      You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                      Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                      When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                      Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                      Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                      Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                      One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                      Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                      Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                      This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                      While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                      Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                      Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                      This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                      For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                      Con #4: Unique Distractions

                      Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                      For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                      To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                      We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                      More About Working From Home

                      Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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