Two lasagnas.

I've been known to get the randomest cravings- just ask my husband. He doesn't even try to make decisions about what we eat anymore because he knows that I'll only want what I want when I want it. So one day, he asked me what I wanted… and I was having a craving for vegetable lasagna. Not just any vegetable lasagna, mind you- but something similar to a kind I had once that I distinctly remember tasting sweet. (My cravings are obnoxiously specific.) I scoured the interwebs for the perfect vegetable lasagna and found this first recipe I'm sharing with you. And it was SO GOOD! I added some brown sugar and cinnamon to the sauce and it tasted exactly like what I had been craving. It was super easy to make and fed us for three days straight! You can find the recipe here.

Luscious Vegetarian Lasagna

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

8 ounces lasagna noodles

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped

1 can (12 ounces) tomato sauce

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon dried basil

Dash black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 small zucchini, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

2 cups 1% milk-fat cottage cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Parsley sprigs for garnish

Preparation:
1. Cook lasagna according to package directions; drain.

2. Place
tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, oregano, basil and black pepper in
medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low.
Simmer, uncovered, 6 to 10 minutes.

3. Heat
oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion and
garlic until onion is golden. Add zucchini, carrot, bell pepper and
mushrooms. Cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are
tender. Stir vegetables into tomato mixture; bring to a boil. (This is where I added the brown sugar and cinnamon. I just eyeballed it, but I would say about 2 tsps of brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.) Reduce
heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine cottage, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in large bowl; blend well.

5. Spoon
about 1 cup sauce in bottom of 12X8-inch baking pan. Place a layer of
noodles over sauce, then half the cheese mixture and half the remaining
sauce. Repeat layers of noodles, cheese mixture and sauce.

6. Bake lasagna 30 to 45 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

(Other vegetables can be added or substituted for the ones listed above)

Tex Mex Lasagna

The other lasagna recipe that's been a hit around the house is one I make often for guests and every time they have requested the recipe. Plus, it's vegetarian-friendly and VERY budget-friendly! I love me some green onions, so I pile those on the top for garnish- enough to have some in every bite. I found this in The Best of Cooking Light: Superfast Weeknight Dinners.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup bottled salsa (any kind and any temperature you prefer)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (14.5 oz.) can no salt-added diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can no salt-added tomato sauce
Cooking spray
6 pre-cooked lasagna noodles (I cut them to fit the pan and use the leftover to fill in the extra spaces)
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups (8 oz.) pre-shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Combine first 4 ingredients; spread 2/3 cup sauce in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; top with 1/2 cup corn and half of the beans. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese; top with 2/3 cup sauce. Repeat layers once; top with remaining 2 noodles. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with onions.

Makes 4 servings.

Let me know if you try these and how they turn out! We like them so much around here I usually buy the fixings to make them each time I go to the grocery store. Enjoy!

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