August 31, 2011

Veggie Lasagna Recipe

I apologize for the lack of photos on this one. Sometimes I make up recipes out of necessity from whatever I have available, and sometimes they work. This was one I thought might not work, so I have no before or during pictures.  This isn't the original box of veggies--it's my next one.

First, I have been getting these awesome boxes of veggies from a local farm. My last box was huge, and I had a lot of veggies to use up in a hurry before the next one arrived. Looking in the box, I saw 4 baby eggplants, a green bell pepper, a green (maybe) anaheim pepper, an onion, and a WHOLE LOT of tomatoes. From my own garden, I have a ton of tomatoes and one lone red bell pepper. What to do with all of it? So, here's what I did.

Vegetable Lasagna
4 baby (asian?) eggplants*
3 various peppers*
1 onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons sea salt

I diced all the veggies except the onion (used the food processor so it was smaller pieces), and mixed them with the olive oil, lemon juice and salt while I prepared other parts. After they had "marinated" for a bit, I put a little olive oil in a large skillet, threw in the onion and sauteed till it was translucent. Then I added the other veggie mixture in with the onion and sauteed for 5 minutes or so. Set aside.

*your vegetables can vary based on personal preference or what you have on hand. I think mushrooms would also be great in this.

Cheese Mixture:
1 cup cottage cheese**
1 cup plain greek yogurt**
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup dried parsley

Mix these all together, set aside.

**or two cups of cottage cheese or ricotta.

Tomato sauce:
Approximately 8-10 tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon sea salt
cracked black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in big cooking pot, then add in sliced or pressed garlic until it smells good (a few minutes, don't burn it!) Cut tomatoes in quarters, and throw in the pot, seeds and all. Mash with fork or potato masher. Cook on medium high for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Throw in a handful of fresh basil (12 leaves, more or less.) When the 10 minutes is up, use immersion blender to puree everything.

To put it all together:
  1. Use about 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish.
  2. Layer UNCOOKED lasagna noodles.
  3. 1 cup veggie mixture.
  4. 1 cup cheese mixture.
  5. 1 cup of sauce.
  6. Repeat layers.
  7. Top with remaining sauce, then 1-2 cups of shredded mozzerella, depending on your family preference.
  8. Cover with foil, bake at 375* for 45 minutes, removing foil for the last 15 minutes to brown cheese.

Now, don't go thinking this is difficult or even time consuming.  I had the veggies cooking in the skillet while the tomatoes cooked on the back burner.  I mixed the cheese mixture in between stirring.  I think the hardest part was cutting everything up, but I got help with that part.  This took around 30 minutes to put together.

You don't have to make your sauce from scratch.  I did it because I had a million tomatoes to use up, but you could just as easily make this with a large jar of sauce.  For another way to use up lots of veggies, check out my stuffed with veggies bell peppers, or click on the easy recipes tag to see other recipes I've posted.

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