Getting Your 5 A Day Is Easy With This Healthy Vegetarian Lasagna
The secret is out. One of the biggest food trends for 2013 is using vegetables and eating healthy with a twist of Cucina Nouva (Nouvelle Cuisine). What better way to satisfy your foodie taste for what is new by incorporating vegetables in a hot ‘serve it in one dish’ recipe?
As a member of the Recipe Redux Challenge I rose to this month’s calling: to inspire a healthy one pot recipe using one of the latest food trends as the main flux.
What better way to feel cozy and warm with a hot ‘have it all’ lasagna? En plus, (even more), to be innovative with the type of vegetables in the dish and flexible on how you want to make your trendy lasagna?
This vegetable and healthy food trend is a good bite in the right direction.
This Lasagna Is Creative Enough to Fit in Your Lifestyle
I adore Italy and everything revolving around Cucina Italiana (Italian Cooking). The idea of using Italian cuisine as the base for this cook it all in one pot no brainer.
Lasagna is flexible:
- You can make it ahead of time
- You can spend a lot of time preparing lasagna, or prepare this dish using the easier route (as this recipe shows you the quick version)
- It is comfort food
- It is an adaptable recipe so you can use your favorite green vegetables and personal tomato sauce if desired
- It is healthy when served with a green salad or light first course
Growing Up In New Jersey Helps To Understand How Important Lasagna Is
New Jersey has a large Italian population with a large amount of Italian restaurants per square mile! Lasagne is a dish deeply infused with family traditions and ingredients. I am not from Italy, but I have been around the lasagna arena long enough to know how to make a decent dish. This recipe is my adapted, need to make in a hurry but still tastes like good comfort food recipe.
I could do better if I had more time. I could make my own tomato sauce instead of using canned. I could gently boil the lasagna noodles ahead of time and layer wet noodles as each layer instead of using dry noodles.
Making lasagna is an art. But feeding four hungry kids on a week night with healthy food is also art.
This recipe is a compromise of easy to make and tastes good too. But feel free to use your own tomato sauce in place of canned and boil your lasagna noodles. If you have the time, why not? The main thing is to do it.
Ingredients for Three Layer Trendy Vegetarian Lasagna
- 16 ounces of grated mozzarella cheese
- 16 ounces of ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 28 ounces of chopped Italian tomatoes
- 12 no boil lasagna noodles
- 1 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
- 1 medium-sized zucchini, grated
- 2 big handfuls (about 4 cups) of baby spinach
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- dried basil, oregano or Herbs de Provence
- freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
My Short Cut Way To Make Your Trendy Vegetarian Three Layer Lasagna
Take out a lasagna pan or Pyrex long pan and lay half the tomatoes on the bottom of the pan.
Layer the uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the tomatoes as you see in the picture.
Prepare The Trendy Vegetables
Here is where you can be creative. I used mushrooms, spinach, zucchini. You can use three vegetables that you want to put in your lasagna. I would suggest using at least two of the three vegetables as green ones. Some other vegetables you could substitute for the ones I used are: kale, broccoli rabe or sweet peas (and your ideas?)
Only two of my kids like mushrooms. I do not think that fungi (mushrooms) should be forced on kids to eat. However, I love mushrooms and I added them to the recipe but only added them to one side of the lasagna layers (see picture below).
Add the olive oil to a pan, and heat oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add garlic and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms when garlic is sauteed and cook mushrooms for 5 minutes more, until they are soft.
Mix the ricotta filling well until all the ingredients are homogenized.
Turn off heat of mushrooms.
Using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms from pan, keeping oil in pan and mushrooms place aside to use in the lasagna.
When the green vegetables are ready, reheat the oil over medium heat and add green vegetables to the pan.
Continue to sauté vegetables until soft, another five minutes.
On two-thirds of the lasagna there is two vegetables, on one-third there is all three vegetables.
At the top of the layer, place the other half of the tomatoes.