Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vegetarian Lighter Lasagna

I have been inspired by my friend Jill to try cooking more vegetarian meals. For some reason cooking vegetarian is a little intimidating to me. I think it is because I don't have many vegetarian recipes, nor have I tried too many vegetarian main dishes. I typically think pasta and soup when I think about vegetarian main dishes...but I know there are many options out there and I'm on a quest to find some good recipes to incorporate into our weekly menus. To start off, I tried a lighter lasagna recipe that Jill posted on her blog. This lasagna is delicious and simple to make. I love lasagna where you don't have to precook the noodles! What's your favorite vegetarian dish and where do you get your best vegetarian recipes? Please share your favorites...and try this recipe- you'll like it.

Lighter Lasagna, from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
This lasagna is so rich with vegetables, herbs, and wine that you'll never miss the extra cheese and fat that we're accustomed to finding in standard recipes. Serves 6-8, preparation time 40 minutes, baking time 60-70 minutes.

2 cups cubed zucchini
1 cup cubed bell peppers
1 cup chopped tomatoes
4 cups sliced mushrooms (about 12 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dry red wine (I used chicken stock)
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 recipe Tomato Wine sauce (page 350) or 3 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce
1 pound uncooked lasagna noodles (uncooked)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, salt, and wine in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, and then simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes, until all of the vegetables are tender and juicy. Stir in the basil and set aside.

Cover and cook the spinach on high heat in just the water clinging to the leaves for 3 minutes, until wilted but still bright green. Drain and chop coarsely. Combine with the cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan and set aside.

Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce evenly on the bottom of a 3-inch deep nonreactive 8 x 12-inch baking dish. Layer with 5 or 6 noodles, 1 generous cup of undrained veggies, and 1 cup of the spinach-cheese mixture. Cover with a second layer of noodles, 1 cup of sauce, 1 heaping cup of veggies, 1 cup of the spinach-cheese mixture, and a third layer of noodles. Finally, add the rest of the veggies, the remaining spinach-cheese mixture, a fourth layer of noodles, and the rest of the sauce. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the noodles are tender, about 60 minutes. Let sit at least 10 minutes before cutting.


Jill said...

I'm glad you liked the recipe! We loved it also. In fact we had the frozen portion for dinner tonight. I love reaping the benefits twice, especially with no prep work!

Eva said...

yay more vegetarian ideas! I love moosewood