Back on May 18th - I posted information regarding metabolism, in hopes to bring understanding in this, sometimes frustrating, area. I explained the difference between your BMR, RMR and TMR. There are different ways we can increase our metabolism in these different areas. One fantastic way to increase your RMR, or resting metabolic rate, is to increase your lean muscle tissue. If I remember correctly, it's like an additional 50 calories per lb of muscle. I know this is an area where a lot of women, particularly, get a little skittish. They are afraid of getting big and bulky. Although there are a few women out there that do grow muscle easily, for the majority of us- it's REALLY not like that. In order to look like some female body builder - you need to be on the steroids and eating/ building plan to do so. Yes - you can do it "naturally" too - but it's NOT easy. It's not going to happen on accident or unintentionally.
Now - you might be looking at your program and wondering if it's considered one that will build the muscle that you want, so you can increase your metabolism. There are tons of programs out there that are online that can help guide you - one of my favorites is Core performance. It does cost money - so if you need something cheaper, like free, you can easily come up with a muscle building program without it. Just keep in mind, heavier weight and lower reps. The risk is going too heavy and injuring muscles or joints - so be smart about it, always warm up prior to your strength training.
Increasing your metabolism is always a great goal!!! What this means is we can eat more - relax, enjoy food!!!
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Lightly brush cut sides with 1 tsp oil and place, cut sides down, onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tsp oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high. Add onions, stir and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until onions begin to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Scoop out flesh of squash into the bowl of a food processor. Add ricotta, nutmeg, egg whites and Parmesan and process until smooth. Add sage and season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and gently fold in caramelized onions.
Reserve 1/2 cup mozzarella, cover and refrigerate until needed. Assemble lasagna: Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with about 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce. Top with a single layer of lasagna noodles, overlapping slightly, then 1 cup butternut squash mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers once, starting with 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over mozzarella. Repeat layers once again. Finish with 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce, a layer of noodles, remaining butternut squash (about 1/3 cup, depending on size of squash) and remaining 1/2 cup Everyday Marinara Sauce. Cover dish with foil, place onto a baking tray and bake in oven for 45 minutes at 375°F. Remove foil, top lasagna with reserved 1/2 cup mozzarella and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove lasagna from oven and allow to rest and set for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into 12 servings. Enjoy! Lasagna can be kept frozen for up to 3 months, refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.
TIP: Try roasting the squash the evening before you put this lasagna together. The caramelized onions may also be prepared ahead of time. Prepare both in large batches and refrigerate in 1-cup servings. To use, simply drain any excess water and use as desired. By using these time-saving tips, you can whip up our veggie lasagna in about 1 hour!