January 5, 2010

Veggie Lasagna


I made this masterpiece of a dish yesterday, crossing my chubby fingers that I would like it since we'd be eating it regardless for two nights in a row.  Soon my hopes would be answered ~ the savory aroma wafting to my office after being in the oven for less than 30 minutes was tantalizing, producing much mouthwatering and grins, and convincing me that I had found a winner of a recipe.

Still, I wanted to actually taste it before I gave you all my review and recommendation.  And, since lasagna happens to be hubs favorite dinner dish (besides me of course), I wanted to be able to include a non-dieter's perspective and recommendation.

Review:  First off, we BOTH loved this dish.  It had all the wonderful basil/oregano/tomato italian flavors and despite the cheeses being low fat, they were so very tasty.  The recipe called for shredded carrots, and I chopped mine instead simply because all I had were those mini carrots and didn't want to add blood from my knuckles into the recipe.  But, shredded would have been better because the carrots were still a little crunchy.  And, so was the cauliflower.  However, I quickly add that if you like crunch, chopping the carrots is a good move, adding some interesting texture to the dish.

Instead of semolina noodles, I used brown rice lasagna noodles because of their superior flavor and healthy properties, and because the package said there was no need to precook them...just lay them in the dish right out of the box. I was skeptical, but followed the instructions anyway.  The top and botton noodles were just a little chewy, so if you don't precook your noodles, make sure you add extra tomato sauce on the bottom and reserve plenty for the top...having them enveloped in moisture would've probably produced better results.  Still, not bad at all.

Do NOT skip the fire-roasted tomatoes on the top.  This was my own little adjustment to the recipe, and it added so much extra flavor.  The cheese mixture with the spinach was spectacular, absolutely perfect.

Recommendation:  Both Hubs and I HIGHLY recommend this dish whether you are dieting or not.  It is delicious, healthy and filling.  I plan to make it again for guests very soon and for sure for my two step daughters who are both into vegetarian meals.  Here's the recipe:

Vegetable Lasagna
9-12 lasagna strips (brown rice preferred)
4-6 cups mixed fresh vegetables chopped (cauliflower, shredded carrots, bell pepper, whatever you have)
1 30-32 oz. can meatless tomato sauce
1 15 ox. can fire roasted tomatoes
12 oz. low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 eggs
8 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
Italian dried herb mix to taste
2-3 cups chopped fresh spinach

1.  Boil lasagna strips to al dente (unless you are using brown rice noodles in which case just skip this step).  Drain and set aside to cool.

2.  Combine cheeses, eggs, chopped spinach, garlic and italian herb mix (1-2 tablespoons) in large bowl.

3.  In 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.  Sprinkle with italian herb mix.  Put 3 strips of lasagna noodles on top.  Then layer as follows:  1/3 cheese mixture, 1/2 of the mixed vegetables, sauce and italian herbs.  Repeat.  End with lasagna noodles, fire roasted tomatoes and cheese on top.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours or until top browns.

Can be made ahead, covered with foil and left in warm oven for several hours before serving.

Bon appetit!
Cheryl 

P.S.  This post is a part of the Fight Back Fridays where there's always some yummy reading.  Check it out.

Recipe adapted from Recipes for Life by Beth M. Ley

5 comments:

  1. This sounds quite good and the picture is beautiful!

    Ellen

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  2. @Ellen, Thanks! I'm wondering how it will freeze, so going to test it out today. Thanks for commenting too!

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  3. Do you get your ingredients at a regular grocery store or do you have to go to a specialty store, like a whole foods store? I am wondering mostly about the noodles mentioned.

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  4. @Stephanie The brown rice noodles ARE available at the regular grocery (Cub) here in Minnestoa in the natural food section. If you were to go to a whole foods store, the variety would be better, but I got the lasagna brown rice noodles right at Cub! We started eating brown rice pasta a year or so ago and have never gone back to white pasta...there is just no comparison for taste and texture. Thanks for stopping by!

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