Veggie Lover’s Lasagna

Okay, let’s be honest; the very of essence of lasagna (meat + cheese + pasta) isn’t necessarily “healthy” for you. I’m not much of a chef, and it’s been hard to lose those last 15lbs. of baby weight. But don’t dismay, this easy recipe merges traditional lasagna with some spinach and veggies, and replaces some of the essentials with lighter alternatives– and it’s husband approved! It’s great because you can make it once, freeze it, and have delicious lunch for days! Because when it comes to mama cooking every meal… aint’ nobody got time for that! Happy cooking and bon appétit mamacita!

xoxo,

    – RACHEL

TIME: 1 1/2 hours

SERVES: 8

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 

– 2 tbs. olive oil

– 1 medium onion, finely chopped

– 3 cloves garlic, minced

– 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced

– 1 squash, cut in small pieces

– 1 zucchini, cut in small pieces

– 1 head of broccoli, cut in small pieces

– 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce

– 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes crushed by hand, with juice

– 1 6-oz. can tomato paste

– 1 tsp. salt

– 1 tsp. dried oregano

– 1/2 tsp. dried basil

– 1/2 c. (vegetable stock) or low-sodium chicken stock

– 1 egg

– 1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, as much moisture squeezed out as possible

– 1 c. (part skim) ricotta cheese

– 1/2 c. grated (low-fat) parmesan cheese

– 1/2 lb. (whole grain) lasagna noodles, cooked until firm, drained

– 1 lb. (reduced fat) mozzarella cheese, grated

STEP-BY-STEP DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat 1 tbs. of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic until they begin to soften.

2. Add the mushrooms, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and continue to sauté gently until the broccoli is slightly softened and the mushrooms lose most of their moisture, about 5-10 minutes more.

3. Stir in the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and liquid, tomato paste, salt, oregano, basil, and veggie/ chicken stock. Simmer 15 minutes.

4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the egg and combine with the spinach, ricotta, parmesan, and remaining tbs. of oil.

* If you plan to freeze the lasagna, line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil, with enough foil hanging over each edge to cover the top.

6. To assemble, pour half of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan. Lay down half of the noodles in a single layer.

7. Spread the entire spinach mixture over the noodles, and then sprinkle with half of the mozzarella.

8. Top with another layer of noodles, then sauce, and finish with mozzarella.

9. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

*NOTES: 
To freeze: Wrap the foil around the entire top of lasagna and cool in the refrigerator. Freeze overnight and remove from the serving dish, then cover with an additional layer of plastic wrap.
To reheat: Thaw slightly in the refrigerator, and remove all foil and plastic wrap, placing the lasagna in the original dish. Thaw completely, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

 

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