Life through Lasagna Eyes

Life Through Lasagna Eyes
A journey of comfort
with a special recipe & wine pairing

Book review by: Linda Kissam
Recipe courtesy of Samantha (Sam) Kendall

Curl up, take a sip and a bite …be prepared for an emotional roller coaster

Who knew lasagna could be an inspiring metaphor for strength, love, forgiveness and triumph? Not me. But, the author of Life Through Lasagna Eyes: The Recipes For Life, Samantha (Sam) Kendall makes a great case for just that.

The author’s first book may be just 106 pages, but it is packed with hope and a clear message to anyone who has faced personal loss and heartbreak to put one foot in front of the other and ascend in the face of tragedy.

This isn’t a sad book, although it talks about some very sad things. I would call it more of a “purposeful” tale of what one does when they find themselves sucker punched with life’s incongruities.

Who do you know that is rocked by a divorce, then shattered by the death of their 18 year old daughter just a few months later?

What type of person can survive that kind of personal terror? The author is someone who has survived just that dedicating her book to anyone that has lost a loved one through violence, their families and the many lives that are touched on the journey to recovery.

The author  hopes the book will encourage anyone that has experienced loss or heartbreak to live beyond their highest pain, move forward and find purpose in personal passion. In memory of Amanda Skie Gallon, Sam’s 18 year old murdered daughter, she dedicates this book to victims of violence, their families and the many lives that are touched when such acts occur.

Author Samantha Kendall

I think you’ll enjoy this book. It reaches out to the inner core you may have forgotten you possess. It helps the reader to look beyond past and current conditions to see how recovery might take place.

It’s a step by step process…kind of like making lasagna. “Life is like lasagna – layers and layers,” says author Kendall. “The layers are filled with love, humor, joy, laughter, and tears … each serving its purpose in the recipes of life.”

You’ll receive a recipe for success from the author and a “grocery list” of inspiring things to work with and through; so in the end you have created the perfect “dish” to sustain you in your journey to reclamation.

This is an easy read.  Buy it for a friend who needs a quick pick-me-up.

Coming Up

Chef Samantha and her husband Marlon Peavy wants everyone to know they will have a new series coming up in 2019 that,” … focuses on relationships, recipes and fun.”

This newlywed couple are quite “Ouie Gouie” as they cook up fun and love in the kitchen. We knew Samantha could cook and dish out wisdom, but now we discover Marlon, her husband, is a brilliant writer and cook as well.

I can’t wait to experience Marlon’s surprise BBQ recipe along with a taste of this couples combined talents. Marlon and Samantha’s transparency about relationships and how their courage to love again is a true weather vane for all of us.

The Recipe

Samantha Kendall, a.k.a. the “Lasagna Lady” of Chicago and founder of Sam’s Gourmet Lasagna has graciously shared one of her most beloved recipes with you for this review.

“When life throws you lemon, make something delicious.”  Enjoy! -Samantha Kendall

Black Bean BBQ Chili Lasagna
Compliments of Samantha Kendall

With Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage



3 10×10 Lasagna Pasta Sheets (fresh)

4 Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (optional)

3 Tbsp. BBQ Sauce (your choice)

1½ Cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1½ Cups of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/3 Cup of cold water

Bean Mixture

1-15 oz. Can Black Beans

1-15 oz. Can of Kidney Beans

1 Pkg. Chili Seasoning

1 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard

1½ Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar

1½ Cups of BBQ Sauce

Chopped white and green onion


Preheat oven to 375

In a large bowl, gently fold all bean mixture ingredients together.  Cover and set to the side.

Fill ½ aluminum pan with 1/3 cup of cold water. Place sweet Italian sausage in pan and cover with aluminum foil. Cook in oven at 375 degrees for 1 hr. (or until done).  Carefully remove from oven and let cool under cold running water.  Cut sausage lengthwise ¼ inch thick and set to the side.

Secure 1 full size-baking pan (lasagna pan optional).

Coat the bottom of pan with 3 Tbsp. of BBQ Sauce.  Lay in one pasta sheet of lasagna (trim sides to fit pan).  From Bean Mixture, coat lasagna sheet with 1/3 of the mixture evenly.  Layer in two sausages on an angle (/) on top of bean mixture.  Spread 1½ cups of mozzarella cheese evenly to cover completely.

Repeat layer process, this time adding Cheddar Cheese.

Place the last pasta noodle on top and trim to pan size. Cover noodle with remaining bean mixture.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 18-20 min (or until cheese is melted).

Carefully remove from oven and allow cooling time.  Sprinkle chopped white and green onions on top (optional).

Double ingredients for larger pan sizes.

The Wine Pairing: Campo Viejo Tempranillo

Think deep cherry color with a rich intense aroma of ripe red fruit flavors kissed with a whisper of oak, vanilla and spice. On the plate expect this 100 % Tempranillo to burst with rich red fruit. Best served slightly chilled at 61⁰- 63⁰ F.

Buy the book here:
Life Through Lasagna Eyes
Kindle $6
Paperback $20


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