I like a good lasagna, and I tend to always make the usual traditional lasagna with ground grassed beef and cheese. This time, I wanted to try to re-create a roasted vegetable lasagna that was made for us by a friend when our son was born. I didn't have a recipe, so I loosely followed one I found on the Taste of Home website, and it turned out really great! We ended up freezing most of this because we knew we wouldn't have any opportunities to eat leftovers in the following days, so we have a future dinner or two waiting for us in the freezer!
To save some time, you can roast the vegetables ahead of time and toss them in the fridge until you are ready to assemble your lasagna.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Makes ~9 servings
1 medium-sized organic eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
8 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 small organic zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise
2 organic red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch slices lengthwise
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
15oz organic ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated organic parmesan cheese
1 organic free-range egg
26oz jar organic marinara sauce
12 lasagna noodles
8oz organic mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 Tbsp fresh organic basil, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 2 baking pans with olive oil. Place eggplant and mushrooms in a mixing bowl, and zucchini and red peppers in another mixing bowl. Combine olive oil and garlic powder and pour half of mixture in each bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix until vegetables are evenly coated. Place eggplant and mushrooms on one baking pan, and zucchini and red peppers on the other.
2. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, turning vegetables over halfway through. Remove eggplant and mushrooms. Roast zucchini and peppers for an additional 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles as directed on package.
3. In small mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan and egg. Mix until evenly combined.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
5. Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce in a 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with 4 lasagna noodles, followed by half of ricotta cheese mixture, half of vegetables, a third of remaining marinara sauce, and a third of the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with half of fresh basil. Repeat layers and top with remaining 4 noodles, pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese.
6. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
(Recipe adapted from tasteofhome.com)
What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Eggplant provides fiber, B vitamins and folate. Mushrooms are an excellent source of minerals selenium and potassium as well vitamins riboflavin, and niacin, and are the only item you will find in the produce section that supplies some vitamin D! zucchini is a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C and folate. Bell peppers are one of the best food sources of vitamins A and C. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL), raise good cholesterol (HDL), and aid in blood sugar control. Ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses are all excellent sources of protein and calcium. Jarred tomato products contain more bioavailable lycopene compared with fresh tomatoes, and are high in vitamin C.
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