“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”~ Roman philosopher Cicero

Research has shown that gratitude improves emotional and physical health, and it can strengthen relationships and communities. Research also shows that writing down what you are grateful for can enhance one’s happiness. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for my wonderful, loving family, my supportive and caring friends and my health.

Most Thanksgiving’s are spent at my cousin’s house. It is a beautiful tradition; all the family around a big table catching up with news of friends and family who couldn’t be there and surrounded by incredible amounts of delicious food. One of my favorite dishes to bring is a gluten free turkey sausage lasagna.


• 1 ½ lb Italian sausage, casing removed (I used turkey, but you could use pork or chicken and either hot or mild Italian depending on your taste)

• 1 red onion

• 3 tsp. chopped garlic

• 1 15 oz can pizza sauce

• 1/2 c roasted red peppers

• 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

• bunch of fresh basil or pesto

• 1 small butternut squash

• (if you are ok with cheese, top off the lasagna with ¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese)

Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a saute pan crumble the sausage and brown it, along with the onions & garlic.


While that’s going, cut the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Where the squash starts to turn bulbous, cut it in 1/2, width-wise. Split those two halves in half, lengthwise. This will make it much easier to cut into planks. Pull out the seeds. Slice the squash into the aforementioned planks.

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Make the sauce by pureeing the pizza sauce, red peppers, olive oil and basil.

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Using a 10×8 or 9×9 oven safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add the squash, trying not to overlap the pieces, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up…trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna.


Bake for 45 minutes. You’re looking for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Right out of the oven, the lasagna may by liquidy, let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy