Brown rice lasagna with autumn salad

Hey! Happy Indian Food day! How’s your morning going??

So, last night was amazing!


If you’ve been reading the bloggy for a while, ya’ll know how much I adore dinner parties and usually have one each week. I LOVE having people over to wine and dine 😀 Since I was gone a month for school and then came back and went to Cali, I haven’t been able to have a dinner party in over a month! Well, Girl’s night is back 😉

For appetizers, we had:

Classic hummus and Mary’s Crack


Carrots, bell pepper and cucumber


Herbed spicy olives (from the Publizzle deli), whole wheat pita and Garlic and artichoke spread (recipe in Eat, Drink and Be Vegan)


Cheese plate (with herbed Harvarti, goat Jack cheese, creamy Chervrie goat cheese and sliced persimmon)


My appetizer plate:



For our dinner, we had:

Autumn salad


Mixed greens with sliced apples (with lemon juice so that apples wouldn’t brown), candied walnuts:

Candied Walnuts

– 1 cup raw walnuts

-1 T cinnamon

-1/2 t sea salt

-1 t vanilla extract

-1 T maple powder (ground maple sugar)

-1/4 cup agave

Toss to coat and dehydrate on mesh screens at 115* for 24-36 hours

©2009 The Fitnessista


and balsamic vinaigrette.

Butternut squash and goat cheese lasagna:


I followed this recipe from Cooking Light but changed a few things:

-used goat jack cheese instead of parmesean

-used brown rice lasagna pasta (which I was a little nervous about since I’d never used brown rice pasta before—it came out wonderfully)

-a mix of goat jack cheese and creamy goat cheese in lieu of the ricotta/egg mixture, as I wanted this meal to be cow-dairy free. I shredded 1/2 C goat jack cheese and stirred it into a bowl with an 8 oz Chevrie goat cheese, and added pepper, sea salt and a pinch of nutmeg.

– for the sauce, I did my sneaky almost-homemade sauce. I make this sauce from start to finish using only one 28-oz can of San Marzano (the best!) crushed tomatoes. Instead of doing an additional can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes (as the recipe calls for), I stir in a jar of organic marinara sauce –usually a basil and herb flavor- into the homemade sauce. It tastes amazing!

Check out all the layers:


My plate:


Then, the best part:


Raw Malted Chocolate Tarts with coconut-almond macaroon crust, chocolate mousse and Sicilian sea salt

I can’t give this recipe away because it’s on the menu at 105degrees –I received a sacred copy of the full menu and all of the recipes when I worked there in pastry- but take my word for it—it’s face rocking delicious.


(all of us could only finish half of our tarts- we were getting full and those babies are RICH!)

And of course, we had an abundant amount of THESE:


POMtinis!!!! Using this recipe 😀

Blasty with friends: Check.

Delicious food and drink: Check.

Gossip and shenanigans: Check, check.

I’d call it a successful evening 😉

Time to hit up the gym for legs with Ashley and Jeni then to PetSmart with the puppers.

See ya later with a fun interior decorating post!



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  1. Carolyn on November 4, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Those tarts look delicious!! What a fantastic spread. 🙂

  2. Sana on November 4, 2009 at 9:41 am

    That looks AMAZINGGG!! Wowzers 🙂

  3. VeggieGirl on November 4, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I’m dying to attend one of your dinner parties – you need to start a catering business! 🙂

  4. Stephanie on November 4, 2009 at 9:46 am

    That lasagna looks AH-mazing! As well as the chocolate tart. MMM, with sea salt, perfect. Great job and sounds like you gals had a blast!

  5. Diana on November 4, 2009 at 9:46 am

    My god, those tarts look AMAZING. Also, lasagna, yum. 😛

  6. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on November 4, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Girl, all of your food looks amazing! I love dinner parties, too!

  7. Jenna on November 4, 2009 at 9:49 am

    wow gina! i can’t believe you made all that food- it look great 🙂

  8. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on November 4, 2009 at 9:50 am

    GNO, or GN(In)….loooks amazing. I could have finished the choc dessert, guaranteed, girl nothing is too rich for me. I am nuts that way!

    I’ve been doing a few re-decorating shots the past few too. It’s fun to change it up!

    Love your post today…thoughtful, great recipes, great times with friends and I like the once, maybe twice, a day format. Not that you’re asking, but I like it!

    I made you some things yesterday. Dark chocolate in one. Hope it doesnt melt in the mail…

  9. jenna on November 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

    what a stunning spread of food!!! it all looks sooooooooo good and healthy!! 🙂 Can I come to your house for dinner?? 😉

  10. Rose on November 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Wow – everything looks delicious, especially the lasagna. Girls’ nights are where it’s at!

  11. Allie (Live Laugh Eat) on November 4, 2009 at 10:02 am

    You are a hostess with the mostess!! And by that I mean, you have the MOST AMAZING party food ever. I would love to be in your girlfriends’ shoes!

  12. Erica on November 4, 2009 at 10:02 am

    oh my gosh! What a freaking spread! You are the best hostess! I think the lasagna looks like the best part …but it was super hard to pick

  13. katherine on November 4, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Everything looks incredible – the salad, the cheeses, and especially the tarts! If only you could package them and send them to far away places like, say, a little apartment in NYC! 🙂

  14. molly on November 4, 2009 at 10:16 am

    this recipe looks awesome! i made something similar using only goat’s dairy recently, but i like the look of yours and want to try out brown rice pasta. yummers!

  15. Paige (Running Around Normal) on November 4, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Wowsers you really went all out!! Can I come next time?! Mahah. Sounds like you all had a blast! 🙂

  16. Abby (Abbys Vegan Eats) on November 4, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Amazing pics.. I want to come to a dinner party!!!

  17. laura dishes on November 4, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Gina, I’ve said it once (okay, 10x) and I’ll say it again… I’m dying to come to one of your dinner parties! The butternut squash lasagna + the malted chocolate tarts= HEAVEN.

  18. Lisa on November 4, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Your dinner looks fantastic! Do you go to Passage2India for lunch or dinner? Do they have specials on wed.or do you just like to go then? I went once at lunch for the buffet and it was good.

    • Fitnessista on November 4, 2009 at 11:19 am

      hey lisa,
      we usually for for dinner- no specials then but my friends and i all go to zumba and then to dinner.
      their lunch buffet is delicious!

  19. Katie on November 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I wish I was at thsi Girls Night out!

  20. rhodeygirl on November 4, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Looks like the cook, freeze, reheat worked for the lasagna?

    Everything looks so amazing and fresh!!! Yum.

    • Fitnessista on November 4, 2009 at 11:18 am

      yes, i actually cooked it halfway and left it in the fridge for a day for the flavors to meld, then re-heated and broiled it. it worked like a charm!
      thanks for your help with the lasagna 😀

  21. Sheri on November 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I love dinner parties much fun! All your food looks so amazing!

  22. brandi on November 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

    what a fun party! I can’t wait for a bigger kitchen and more storage so I can have fun party platters and serving dishes. We have no space for them!

    All the food looks awesome.

  23. K on November 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Holy cow, G$! You know how to have a dinner party! Everything looks so healthy and delicious! No lies, when I finally get my own house (in like 55 years), I’m throwing a Fitnessista inspired dinner party 🙂

  24. Amara on November 4, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Thanks so much for posting on this. I love to have dinner parties —I cater for people every month or two, but with changing recently to a more vegan diet I’ve been struggling to have people over. Thanks for showing me (again) that it’s possible to have food (for a party!)that is healthy, delicious, and beautiful.

  25. Melissa (Melissa Likes To Eat) on November 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Can I come over???? Seriously….that meal looks delicious!!! I need to move to Valdizzy. 🙂

  26. lindsey on November 4, 2009 at 11:12 am

    oh man, your girls night in puts mine to SHAME!! we have hummus and cheese, yes. . and a main dish, but somehow your presentation makes it look so amazing!

    I think I need to go to 105 degrees to work pastry just for that recipe!

  27. Lauren on November 4, 2009 at 11:28 am

    The meal looks absolutely amazing! So much fun!

  28. Kris | on November 4, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Holla! Wow…..these tarts… words can describe them. My tarts I will be posting today don’t even come close to these bad boys.
    Sounds like a wonderful evening with great friends and great food!

    Happy Humpday Doll!

  29. Julie on November 4, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    You know how to throw a dinner party girl! Everything looks amazing.

  30. allijag on November 4, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    You are a genius!!!! That lasagna sounds so unbelievably good!

  31. Fallon on November 4, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    MM I’ve been looking to make a warm, hearty pasta dish and this lasagna is singing to me!! It looks sooo good. I’m glad you girls all had a great time!

  32. Holly on November 4, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Can I please be invited to your dinner party? FABULOUS

  33. Teresa on November 4, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Everything looks amazing and I am sooo trusting you on that dessert. Looks fantastic!

    You’re dinner parties sound like so much fun! I’ve never been to a dinner party like such, and am starting to feel a little deprived. It’s sweet that cook for your friends and I’m sure the girls really appreciate it!

  34. Allison on November 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Ummm can I please come to your next dinner party??? haha… that spread looks delicious! Especially the dessert wowwww. I’m sure it was a blast! 🙂

  35. Carrie on November 4, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Yum!!!! Looks and sounds amazing!

  36. Tracey @ TropicalHappiness on November 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Wow! Everything looks amazing! What a variety!

  37. Felicia on November 4, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I love dinner parties! It’s such a great way to catch up with friends. I need to put one together soon. Everything looks delicious!

  38. Stephanie on November 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    What a lovely dinner party spread, yummmm! 🙂

  39. Chloe (Naturally Frugal) on November 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    I love how healthy everything is and it all looks mouth-wateringly delicious!

  40. Julie @savvyeats on November 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I can’t wait to graduate and move to an apartment with a bigger kitchen so that I can host dinner parties! It is my one requirement as we apartment search: a nice kitchen. 🙂

  41. Bec on November 4, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    everything looks so good Gina! You are such an impressive cook :)Hope you are having a great day!

  42. Lori on November 4, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Wow! Impressed! Your food looks delicious as everyone has already commented but really, it made my mouth water. haha!
    Thanks for the post and ideas (for future dinner parties). And your raw pies look professional! Wow! Did you learn to make them so pretty at 105 degrees or are those just refined skills? 😉


    • Fitnessista on November 4, 2009 at 5:10 pm

      thanks you! <3
      i've been able to cook (or un-cook) for a while, but everything i know about plating i learned at 105degrees

  43. Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness on November 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    What a lovely dinner party menu! I almost licked my screen, those tarts look incredible and the presentation is so elegant.
    I love your service pieces as well – may I ask what brand they are? Esp. the tower for the appetizer bowls.

  44. Whitney @ Lettuce Love on November 4, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    What wonderful eats! Delish 🙂

  45. fittingbackin on November 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    WOW all of those apps look amazing – and that lasagna?! Wow!!

  46. Gina on November 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I love all the cute serving dishes you have for the appetizers…how fun! The lasagne looks delicious, I will have to bookmark that recipe!

  47. Sarah Jayne on November 4, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW girl, I’m movin to GA and I’m comin to your dinner parties. I also second Laura- LOVE the appetizer bowl tower. I want!!

  48. Anne P on November 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Holy crap. I wish I lived near you!! That looks freaking awesome!

  49. Lauren @ Let Them Eat Lentils on November 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    WOW. I just want to recreate this entire menu, especially the lasagna and the appies!! SO impressive. Your friends are VERY lucky to know you.

    • Fitnessista on November 4, 2009 at 5:09 pm

      wow, thank you!

  50. Shelby on November 4, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    No recipe eh? Well then I’ll just have to come over so you can make me one youself! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 4, 2009 at 5:09 pm

      hahah ok- or i have an extra one in the freezer that you can fight the pilot for 😉

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