Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Vegetable Lasagna

I created a delicious vegetarian lasagna tonight that I just can't wait to share with you!  I started out with a recipe that I found in my folder and had purchased ingredients for.  It had ground beef in it, which I already anticipated substituting or just omitting, but then I had some eggplant that needed to be used...and zucchini looked good...had a little Provolone sitting around...  You get the idea.What I ended up with was wonderful - and even good enough that our 10 and 14 year olds liked it.  Our 3 and 5 year olds didn't appreciate it quite as much.
Here's a play-by-play...scroll to the bottom if you just want the ingredients without the how-to.

I began by cooking 9 lasagna noodles according to package directions.  While that was going, I sliced a large eggplant into quarter inch slices.  Eggplant is very spongy and watery, so I sprinkled it with large grain salt and put it in a colladar over a plate to draw some of the moisture out.

After draining the pasta (slightly undercook it when adding it to a casserole), I shredded up two large zucchini and began to fry it over med-high heat with a tablespoon of coconut oil.  As that softened, I added two cans of diced tomatoes with basil and onion.

In another pan, I threw in a bit of butter with a large diced onion and some cloves of chopped garlic (much as you like) with about 2 cups of cooked black beans.  I had some on hand from earlier in the week when I cooked up a big batch to use in chili.  As the onions soften and the beans heat, I tossed in a bunch of fresh basil.  I totally need to start growing that stuff - it's pricey in the grocery. 

With all that heat going on - I took a bowl and whisked up 2 large eggs.  Gently stired in two cups of lowfat cottage cheese, a quarter cup of parmesean cheese and a little salt and pepper.  This really worked well for the "cheesy" layer of the lasagna and nobody missed the layers of cheese in between.

I put a bit of the zucchini/tomato mixture in the bottom of the 9x13 pan and put on three of the noodles.  The layers went noodles, tomato/zucchini mix, sliced eggplant, bean mix, cottage cheese, repeat.  For the third layer I did noodles, then tomato/zucchini and sprinkled with 1/2c shredded Provolone cheese and 1/4c parm.  Bake it uncovered (lots of moisture in there) for about 40 minutes at 350.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting.

Here's the recipe in proper format for your convenience.  Please try it and tell me what you think!

Andrea's Vegetable Lasagna
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 large eggplant - sliced into 1/4' slices
1tsp large grain salt
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1tsp butter
1/4c. fresh basil, chopped
2c cooked black beans
1T coconut oil
2 large zucchini, shredded
2 cans Italian style diced tomatoes
2 eggs, beaten
2c lowfat cottage cheese
1/4c parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
4oz Provolone, shredded
1/4c parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, slice eggplant and sprinkle with salt.  Add onion and garlic to pan with butter and cook until softened.  Add black beans and heat through.  Add basil at the end just to wilt.

Shred zucchini and cook over medium-high heat in coconut oil.  When somewhat reduced, add the cans of tomatoes and boil for 5 minutes.  During this time, combine eggs and cheeses with salt and pepper.

How to layer:

1/2 cup tomato/zucchini sauce
3 lasagna noodles
1/3 of remaining tomato/zucchini sauce
1/2 black beans
1/2 cottage cheese mixture
Last 3 noodles
Remainder of sauce
Provolone Cheese

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!

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