I would just like to start off by saying that I lOVE lasagna. Unfortunately, it usually is a heavy, greasy mush of meats, oily sauce, fatty cheese, and slimy noodles. Not to say that I wouldn’t eat a greasy slice of lasagna on the right occasion, but these days I would much rather have a delicious piece of lasagna full of fresh vegies. More delicious, less guilt.
As you can imagine, there are a ton of recipe for veggie lasagna on line. However, I didn’t love any of the recipes I found, so I decided to make my own concoction.
The day I made this I stayed home sick from work, so I didn’t really feel up for making a pasta sauce from scratch. Instead, I used two jars of organic store bought pasta sauce. I’m sure it would’ve been even better with homemade sauce, but if you don’t have time to make the sauce before hand, then a store bought sauce works great too.
I sautéd each vegetable separately in the onion/garlic mixture to pre-cook them a bit, and to add extra flavor. I sautéd them in separate batches to keep each vegetable separated until layering.
I only used 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese because we accidently bought the full fat version and I didn’t want to load up the meal with a ton of cheese…. I may have used more ricotta though, if we had the low fat kind…
Next time, I think I’ll add mushrooms and perhaps use spinach instead of the chard and kale.
- 2 jars of organic pasta sauce (I used the organic brand in portabello and marinara flavors)
- 4 medium zucchinis
- 1 med-large size eggplant
- 1 big red onion
- 1 bunch fresh basil, washed, stems removed
- About ¼ cup of fresh chopped garlic (about 5-6 large cloves)
- About 2 cups of fresh broccoli
- 1 bunch dinosaur kale
- 1 bunch red chard
- Low fat mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
- 1 box of whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1.) Start by prepping all of your veggies. Wash broccoli, zucchini, chard and kale. Chop up broccoli into small bite sized pieces.
2.) Slice off the ends of zucchini & eggplant and then slice them into long, flat pieces from top to bottom
3.) Remove the hard stem from the kale and chard and tear into small pieces.
4.) Chop onion and garlic into small pieces
5.) Grate mozzarella & parmesan and set aside in fridge until later
5.5) Wash and chop basil
6.) Get a big pot of water on the stove to boil, and preheat oven to 400*
7.) Open 2 jars of sauce and pour them into a saucepan over low heat
8.) In a large pan or wok (as I used), add 2 tbs of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic over med-high heat until they become fragrant and the onion becomes shiny and translucent. Add salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.
9.) Using the same pan, add back about ½ cup of the garlic/onion/oil mix, heat over med-high heat and add the broccoli. Sauté for about 2 minutes. You just want to get the broccoli hot and coated in the mixture. Remove the broccoli and set aside.
9.5) Using the same pan, add back about ½ cup of the garlic/onion/oil mix, heat over med-high heat and add the eggplant. Sauté for about 2 minutes, until eggplant softens.
10.) Using the same pan, add back about ½ cup of the garlic/onion/oil mix, heat over med-high heat and add the zucchini. Sauté for about 2 minutes until the zucchini is hot and coated in the mixture. Remove the zucchini and set aside.
11.) Using the same pan, add the remaining onion/garlic/oil mix back to the pan and add the chard and kale and sauté over med high heat until the greens are soft and coated in the mix. Remove from pan and set aside.
12.) In a med sized mixing bowl, add ¼ cup ricotta cheese and ¼ cup of parmesan to the chard/kale mix. Add a bit of salt and pepper.
13.) Boil the noodles in salted water for about 7 minutes or until the noodles are flexible but still a bit firm (aldente). Lay the noodles out on a tray with wax paper to keep them from sticking together into a big ball. Spray with non stick olive oil spray.
14.) Spray the inside of a deep baking dish with nonstick olive oil spray. Take about 1 cup of sauce and spread it all over the bottom of the dish.
15.) Take one noodle at a time and lay it inside the baking dish, making sure to overlap each noodle so that there is a solid wall of noodles on the bottom. Make a noodle “collar” on the sides of the baking dish, so that the entire inside of the baking dish is completely covered in noodles.
16.) Layer the eggplant along the bottom
17.) Cover the eggplant with some sauce, then layer the broccoli on top of that.
18.) Cover the broccoli layer with a layer of mozzarella cheese
19.) Cover the that with a layer of noodles
20.) Cover the noodles with the kale, ricotta combo & sprinkle the fresh basil leaves
21.) Layer the zucchini on top of that
22.) Cover with sauce and the remaining mozzarella cheese
23.) Put the baking dish on top of a baking sheet and place in the oven . (the baking sheet is there to catch any overflow from the lasagna so your oven doesn’t get destroyed.) Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Serve with a nice green salad.
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