Veggierific lasagna

This is a great vegetable lasagna by Shanti Ellis, as always lasagna takes a bit of prep time, but is always worth it… If you are cooking for one, I find lasagna is a great dish to make on the weekend, and take a bit along for lunches or on busier evenings for dinner, because it always warms up well.  I can’t quite make it as she does since I’m allergic to bell pepper, but there is so much yummy stuff in here, I bet it would do just well without =)

Veggierific lasagna

(I don’t know whether this still counts as lasagna, but it’s awesome!!!)

This is considerably more time consuming that most of my other posts, but it’s just fantastic!  My neighbors, who aren’t veggie, said they were fighting over the last bite of the portion I gave them.

lasagna noodles
1 – 2 zucchini
1 – 2 portobello mushroom
1 Field Roast Italian sausage (vegan)
1 colorful bell pepper (sliced)
1 package of silken tofu, crumbled (optional)
6 spears of asparagus (woody stems removed and snapped into 2-inch pieces)
1/2 can of artichoke hearts (rinsed)
1/4 yellow or white onion (diced)
1 medium sized carrot (sliced)
3 large leaves of kale or Swiss chard (or spinach in a pinch, but it cooks much faster; so just add it raw to the lasagna and let it cook as the lasagna bakes)
olive oil
garlic
pasta sauce
16 oz. herbed ricotta or goat cheese (fresh basil, thyme, oregano, dill, pepper)
mozzarella to cover

Start with 2 square casserole dishes.  I have one that’s metal and one that’s glass, and they seemed to come out exactly the same; so don’t worry about whatever you have.

Get the herbed cheese started now so that the flavors can mingle while you’re preparing the veggies.  Place the cheese in a large bowl (if using goat cheese, let it sit out a little so that it’s easier to mix).  Cut the basil into ribbons and add.  For the thyme and oregano, just remove the leaves from the stems by lightly pinching the top and running your fingers along it.  They usually will just pop right off.  You don’t want the woody stem in your lasagna (but it can go in your broth bag in the freezer!)  Tearing the dill up by hand seems the easiest, and a few cranks of pepper should do.  Then stir and let it sit.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion for about 3 minutes.  Then add the carrots and garlic.  After about two more minutes, add the greens.  Stir occasionally.

Slice the zucchini into strips about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and then line the bottom of the pans with them.  Not only do they soak up the juices wonderfully, but it helps keep your lasagna from sticking to the bottom!

Slice the portobellos and place in a single layer directly on the zucchini slices.

 


Now place one layer of the noodles.  For the size of my pans, this was two noodles.  Don’t worry if they’re broken.  You’re going to cut them up with a fork and knife anyway.

Top that layer of noodles with some pasta sauce and then layer sliced bell pepper and “sausage.”

 

Add another layer of noodles and then the crumbled silken tofu and raw asparagus.  Just breaking it by hand into 2 to 3 inch pieces is fine.

 

 

Add another layer of noodles and the sauteed onions, garlic, carrots, and greens and also add the artichoke hearts.  They should be quartered straight out of the can.  Directly on top of this add the herbed cheese.

 

  

Add one more layer of noodles and then top with more sauce and then cover with mozzarella.    Cover with foil and place in a preheated 375 degree oven.

Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove the foil after 20 minutes to brown the cheese on top.

Done!

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