Baking, Comfort Food, Healthy Cooking, Italian, Italian Dishes, Italian Food, One-Pot Dishes, Pasta, Savory Dishes, Special Occasion, Spring Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetable Dishes, Vegetarian, Veggies, Winter Recipes

A lighter and healthier classic comfort food: Vegetable Lasagna

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Vegetarian Lasagna
Vegetarian Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods to indulge in during the Winter time, but as soon as Spring is approaching, I like to lighten up this classic recipe by substituting lots of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and spinach in place of the ground beef or sausage that is used in the heavier, more fat-laden traditional Lasagna recipes. It still incorporates a traditional red marinara sauce and uses lightened up cheeses to give it great flavor, but somehow I feel a little less guilty taking a big bite of this yummy dish made with fresh sautéed vegetables to satisfy my comfort food fix. Goes great paired with a green salad tossed in a light Italian dressing with a glass of light red or white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio.

A lighter and healthier approach to the classic comfort dish Lasagna

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 10-12

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods to indulge in during the Winter time, but as soon as Spring is approaching, I like to lighten up this classic recipe by substituting lots of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and spinach in place of the ground beef or sausage that is used in the heavier, more fat-laden traditional Lasagna recipes. It still incorporates a traditional red marinara sauce and uses lightened up cheeses to give it great flavor, but somehow I feel a little less guilty taking a big bite of this yummy dish made with fresh sautéed vegetables to satisfy my comfort food fix. Goes great paired with a green salad tossed in a light Italian dressing with a glass of light red or white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio.

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped fine
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped fine
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped fine
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (homemade or prepared)
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup low-fat or 2% Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves or parsley, torn for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil salted water in a large pot. Add lasagna noodles and cook according to package directions, drain, separate and set aside.
  3. Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil on low heat in a large skillet. Cook onion and garlic for three or four minutes and place into a separate bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil to skillet and cook mushrooms, zucchini, spinach and carrots about 5-10 minutes until tender and add to onion and garlic mixture. Add one cup of the marinara sauce to the vegetables and heat through.
  4. Spread one cup of the remaining marinara sauce into the bottom of a 13x9 glass greased baking dish and layer with half of the noodles, vegetables and ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with another layer of marinara sauce, noodles, vegetables and ricotta cheese, sprinkling with remaining cheeses, salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.
  5. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, cut lasagna into squares and top with fresh basil or parsley. Serve with a green salad and glass of light red wine.

Notes

Recipe can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator before baking. Can also be kept in the freezer tightly wrapped and reheated in the microwave for leftovers. For a Vegan version of the recipe: omit ricotta cheese and use Vegan soy-based cheese in place of the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/02/12/a-lighter-and-healthier-classic-comfort-food-vegetable-lasagna/

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