Creamy Chicken Florentine Lasagna, And Learning To Find The Joy In The Process

Chicken Florentine Lasagna |

A comforting, nourishing and delectable recipe that is worth preparing and sharing is often one that has at least a small handful of steps that need to be followed, or a couple of components that need to be prepared before everyone can gleefully dig in and finally enjoy the finished edible masterpiece.

And when one knows about and prepares themselves for the bit of elbow grease that will be needed during the cooking process, one can then more joyfully enter into the whole experience of making a meal from scratch, and then luxuriating in the pleasure of the end result.

Chicken Florentine Lasagna |

It reminds me a lot of life, and how each and every day brings a new “component”, or a step in the process, that needs to be fulfilled in order to bring depth and ultimately completion to a life one day.

It’s this process of living, with all of its ups and downs, stresses and joys, pains and pleasures, that makes for a complete existence; it offers potential for a sweet finish, one chock-full of many experiences to reflect upon and scrutinize.

And that seems like the life that we’d all like to have.

Chicken Florentine Lasagna |

When the going gets tough, or when the days just simply make one feel boxed in, or like it’s a challenge to even hear one’s own voice and thoughts, then skipping ahead to what one imagines as that glorious day when all things magically come together and fall into place is so utterly tempting.

And I should know.

There are days when I find myself overwhelmed with a dour attitude towards so much of what I see around me, or even towards my own self and what I feel I lack internally as a human being, that I’d rather just skip ahead to the “good parts”, and take a rest from what seems like a daily grind.

Chicken Florentine Lasagna |

But then the question arises, what in the world would then create that “good part” if not the totality of the process—both positive and negative, easy and difficult?

Like it or not, certain criteria must be met in life before growth and ascension of the spirit can take place, and it cannot be glossed over or avoided.

There is a marvelous process to life, one that has built into it a pace and a need for all experiences, and it must be experienced in order for one to enjoy the pleasure of the taste of a life well-lived and full of wisdom.

Chicken Florentine Lasagna |

Just as a recipe for a rich lasagna cannot do without the components of sauce; or of the ingredients for the filling; or of layering; or of finally baking to a golden-brown and cheesy gorgeousness, the human life experience cannot be one of understanding and fulfillment without the entire process of living and all of its various colors and experiences.

It’s in the moments of peace that a certain clarity can be found; a clarity that whispers to me to enjoy the process, and to try to not rush through it.

It whispers that the best flavor can only be found in fully tasting and experiencing each “component”—each step in my process, and not by looking for the “out” and breezing on through it all as quickly and with as little discomfort as possible. That there is, indeed, something to be said for the heartaches, for the misunderstandings, for the losses, for the gains, for the connectivity, for the conversations, for the closeness, as well as for the gaps.

Chicken Florentine Lasagna |

All of these are really nothing more that the elements found in life that are like the components that make up the process of a finished meal.

All add flavor, all add something unique and special, if we can just see it and bear it somehow.

So whether we enter our kitchens to prepare a scrumptious and gooey lasagna that requires a handful of steps and elements to be prepared before we can finally sit down at the table to partake of it; or whether it’s the day to day living complete with everything that we need to experience in order to make our life whole, I wonder if we could learn to just simply find the joy in the process in order that we all may be able to, one day, taste the full flavor of the finished product, and say that it is good.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


{ 44 comments… add one }

  • Debbie August 14, 2014, 7:43 am

    I know what my family is having for supper this weekend. This looks fabulous. Thank YOU for sharing. Btw, this is my first comment ever on any recipe I have seen!

    • The Cozy Apron August 14, 2014, 1:22 pm

      And what an honor for me, in that case, Debbie! I am so very excited that you are planning on preparing this recipe this weekend for your family—and I hope you not only enjoy eating it, but preparing it, as well! Thanks for sharing.

  • What a beautifully written post. With so many of us just hurrying through the process of getting a meal on the table (or a blog posted). It’s nice to remember our passion for the process. Thanks for sharing.
    P.s. Your lasagna looks fantastic and your pics are fabulous!

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me August 16, 2014, 10:05 pm

    I just love what you said here, Ingrid, about the joy in the process. So appropriate for many things in life, not only cooking!
    Recipe looks pretty amazing, too!

    • The Cozy Apron August 17, 2014, 7:55 pm

      Absolutely, Lisa! So happy to have you stop by—thanks for your kind words!

  • Michelle August 17, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Find joy in the process. It’s no coincidence I came upon this today. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the recipe as much as I have the message. Well Written.

    • The Cozy Apron August 17, 2014, 7:54 pm

      Michelle, so glad you came upon this—and you’re right; nothing is a coincidence. (Sounds like it was something I like to call a “wink”.) Thank you for your comments, and may you, indeed, find the joy in your process and in the recipe, as well!

  • Roseanne V. Sabol August 22, 2014, 1:36 pm

    What a beautifully written message, Ingrid. These thoughts resonate with me very deeply. Although in the bustle of every day life I don’t always remember to do this, when I am preparing a meal, my intention is to infuse the ingredients and my actions with energy and love from my heart. I believe it makes a difference.
    Thanks, again, for your words and thoughts. May all be well with you.

    • The Cozy Apron August 23, 2014, 7:58 am

      Roseanne, what a lovely and personal comment you have left—thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections with me! It certainly sounds like you have the perfect intentions when you’re cooking, and the love from your heart surely does make a difference; it makes ALL the difference. May you be well!

  • Liz August 23, 2014, 10:34 am

    Thank you Ingrid for the nice recipe.

    • The Cozy Apron August 24, 2014, 9:49 am

      Thank you for stopping by to say “hello”, Liz! I always love and appreciate that! :-)

  • Rebekah August 31, 2014, 2:23 pm

    Looks delicious! I’ll be trying this one too. For a quick substitute (I’m always looking for those since I have 3 kids all 4 years and under), I would like to use the crumbled bacon from Costco… how many oz or cups would you say 12 slices of bacon makes??

    • The Cozy Apron August 31, 2014, 5:07 pm

      Hi Rebekah, totally understandable to want to save some time! I would say about 1/3 of a cup would be good. I hope you all enjoy this lasagna! :-)

  • Kathy St. Clair September 19, 2014, 5:23 am

    This is the ultimate comfort food! It was a huge hit at my dinner party last night. I substituted proscuitto for the bacon but kept everything else the same.

    • The Cozy Apron September 19, 2014, 8:29 am

      Hi Kathy, that’s so wonderful! How exciting. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the folks at your dinner party (the prosciutto was a great “sub-in”, by the way), and thanks for taking a moment to share your experience with me!

  • Lisa O'Brien September 23, 2014, 1:17 pm

    This looks wonderful!! I can’t wait to make it tonight. Do you think that alfredo sauce would be a good substitute for the garlic sauce? I have 4 kids under 4 and can’t take too much time!

    • The Cozy Apron September 23, 2014, 1:50 pm

      Hi Lisa, absolutely! If that can save you some much needed time, by all means. This lasagna will still be delicious; and who knows, perhaps some day you’ll find a bit of extra time, and try this sauce. It’s a great make-ahead item which can save you some time that way, too.

  • Hanna October 1, 2014, 11:17 am

    I’m an au pair and I made this for my family tonight. It was increeeedible; thank you so much! I even put a photo on my blog :) -H

    • The Cozy Apron October 1, 2014, 3:38 pm

      Hi Hanna, what an awesome thing! I’m totally tickled that you prepared this, and that you all enjoyed it. Your family is lucky to have you, and thank you for sharing the recipe with them!

  • Barb M December 1, 2014, 6:48 pm

    Ingrid, I love what you have written here about this recipe, and life! I saw your recipe weeks ago, and was determined to prepare it on the weekend, for dinner during the week. I ran out of time this past weekend. So, on this Monday night, when I got home from work, I proceeded to prepare this dinner, with lots of preparation steps. 2-1/2 hours later, the lasagna was finally in the oven! I sat down to read your comments about how important each section of the process is to the finished product. I recently decided that when I bake Christmas cookies, I need to enjoy, and not rush through the process. That is important also, with each dinner that I prepare. Thank you for reminding me that each step of the process is an important part of the final result.

    • The Cozy Apron December 2, 2014, 2:43 pm

      Barb, I so very much appreciate your comments! I understand that sometimes my recipes can be a little time consuming, or involve a number of steps; but I always hope that when folks try them out, they’ll enjoy them that much more because they’re from scratch. I’m so touched that you got what you did from my post, as well; I always try to write about what I, myself, need to stay conscious of. I hope you enjoy every bit of your holidays and your holiday cookie baking! :-)

  • Wade August 25, 2015, 11:04 am

    I guess I’m a year late on this delicious recipe, however it was a hit with my family last night.

    • The Cozy Apron August 28, 2015, 4:58 pm

      Haha! Well, Wade, as the saying goes, “Better late than never”, right? So glad you enjoyed! :-)

  • Yvonne September 13, 2015, 2:27 pm

    I just got done making this lasagna, so excited because it looks so delicious. I have a lot of sauce left over, how long does the sauce stay good for in the fridge? Can it be frozen?

    • The Cozy Apron September 13, 2015, 3:59 pm

      Hi Yvonne! Yes, you can freeze the sauce. I have done that, then when I wanted to use it again, I let it thaw in the fridge for a couple of days, then heated it up. Hope you enjoy!

  • Paul October 2, 2015, 11:54 am

    I’d would rather use whole milk, is 1% just for calories?

    • The Cozy Apron October 4, 2015, 1:26 pm

      Hi Paul! Great question. Go all out and use the whole milk, if you’d prefer! I did use the 1% to “save” a little on calories (sort of), lol! The thing I find is that I don’t miss the extra fat in the milk as I’m using real butter and lots of cheese in the recipe; and I, personally, like to lighten things up so they’re not too, too rich tasting for me. :-) Hope you enjoy!!

  • Mandi October 25, 2015, 8:06 am

    This sounds amazing! I’d love to make ahead, refrigerate, and use for a dinner party a day later (I’ve done this with a red sauce lasagna in the past). Have you tried this with this recipe before? I’m wondering how it would hold up.

    • The Cozy Apron October 25, 2015, 11:01 am

      Mandi, you can absolutely make this ahead! Just make sure to allow the sauce to cool before you assemble the lasagna and place it into the fridge. :-) Hope you enjoy!

  • Noelle December 23, 2015, 9:48 am

    Sounds so good. Making it Christmas eve. One question: how do I use chicken broth instead of the base? Thanks. Happy holidays. :-)

    • The Cozy Apron December 23, 2015, 3:22 pm

      Hi Noelle, I’m glad you asked this question! You actually really can’t substitute chicken broth for the base. See, the chicken base is a really concentrated item (has almost a paste-like consistency), and I use it in the sauce as a little bit of extra flavor. Broth wouldn’t give you the same result, as it is liquid and not concentrated in flavor. If you don’t have base (or can’t find it, or don’t want to buy it), then just skip it, and add a touch more salt/pepper in, as needed. I hope that helps, and I hope you enjoy this as a Christmas Eve dinner! I’m honored you’re making it! Happy Holidays to you, too!

  • Jake February 10, 2016, 9:25 am

    I am thinking about making this for Valentines day because my girlfriend loves lasagna and I think she would like chicken florentine. Would a beginner level cook be able to make this dish and make it look nice?

    Thank you for your assistance. The recipe and pictures look way too delicious!

    • The Cozy Apron February 11, 2016, 3:42 pm

      Jake, it is so awesome that you’re considering preparing this for your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day! How cool! I totally believe you could do an amazing job with this recipe, even if you are a beginner. Here’s what I’d suggest: if you can, do some prep the day ahead (especially since V-Day is on the weekend—totally helps!); prepare the Creamy Garlic Sauce and let it cool so you have that totally in the bag for the day of. Also, cook you chicken and crisp your bacon the day before, too; this way, you’ll pretty much have all the components ready to just assemble and bake off (you can reheat the sauce and the chicken to warm it up before assembling). It’s all about planning ahead a little, and not rushing the day of. It’ll help you be less stressed, and enjoy your process and put the LOVE into it that I know you really want to! I hope this helps, and that this is a success for you!! :-)

      • Jake February 15, 2016, 5:24 pm

        It turned out great and we both loved it. The best park is that we now have delicious leftovers for days. Thanks so much for the recipe and the help

        • The Cozy Apron February 15, 2016, 5:39 pm

          Jake I’m really glad you came back to share your experience with me; over the weekend I was thinking about whether you chose to try this recipe out for your special dinner or not, and I’m so excited you did! Was hoping it would turn out well for you, and I really appreciate being able to know that it did. (I had the feeling that it would yield a lot if just the two of you were eating, though, lol!) Thanks for sharing with me! :-)

  • cindy March 17, 2016, 10:20 am

    Instead of using garlic press (don’t have one) can you use the minced garlic in a jar and how much would you use? Does it not get runny from uncooked spinach?

    • The Cozy Apron March 17, 2016, 3:51 pm

      Hi Cindy, I’m going to guess and say about 2 teaspoons of the jarred, minced garlic; but if you happen to have fresh cloves, you could always mince them finely with a knife, as well. (I just prefer the flavor of fresh garlic to the jarred, but it’ll also do.) And no, the sauce doesn’t get runny from the spinach because the leaves just sort of wilt and soften into the sauce as it bakes; you’d run into that more if it were frozen spinach with the excess water. :-)

  • rocco March 23, 2016, 1:49 pm

    I work in the food industry I was at work and saw this recipe in right away I went and started buying the ingredients to cook it for dinner tonight thank you for your recipe I want to something different thank you again Rocco

  • cindy March 26, 2016, 8:14 am

    Hi Cozy Apron!!! Thank you so much for answering me back! I am very impressed! Love your site! We are making this dish for my husbands “Brother/Sister” party! We will buy the real garlic just sounds better! Very excited to make dish, (we love to make delicious food and have it get great response from family!) This sounds and looks so good! Will let you know how it turns out, we are doing the prep work the day before, you just rock!!!

    • The Cozy Apron March 26, 2016, 8:33 am

      Aw…Cindy, you sweetheart! :-) I will be sending good vibes your way so that this recipe turns out a success for you guys for the gathering—there’s no way you can fail with the great attitude you have in regards to the preparation, as any time one makes something with love and good intention to share something special with loved ones, it’s already infused with deliciousness. And doing your prep the day before is perfect—I would recommend it just so you have less stress! Please do let me know how things turn out—I’d love to hear! (Glad you’re using the real garlic, too. 😉 )

  • Briana April 27, 2016, 10:08 am

    Is the chicken just fried & diced up?

    • The Cozy Apron April 28, 2016, 4:57 pm

      Hi Briana, I just seared the chicken off in a pan for a few minutes, rather than frying it; and then, diced it up! :-)

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