As a child, my mother gave me my choice of dinners on my birthday. I always… always chose lasagna. Now that I am much older, I still haven’t lost my affection for this wonderful Italian dish. In order to appease my insatiable desire for my boyhood favorite, I have come up with my lower-fat, vegetarian version. It takes a little time but is well worth the effort… and this recipe makes excellent leftovers.
1 Box (8 noodles) of whole grain lasagna noodles.
2 bunches of spinach. (washed thoroughly and chopped)
1 6 oz.. can olives chopped
1 lb chopped mushrooms
24 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces of low fat mozzarella cheese
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
15-oz can crushed tomatoes
15-oz can tomato sauce
Tomato paste to thicken (about 4 tablespoons)
1 clove crushed Garlic
1 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Basil
1 tsp Onion Powder
salt & pepper to taste
BOIL: Cook noodles as directed on package. Drain and set aside.
SAUTE: Saute mushrooms and spinach in a teaspoon or two of water. When done strain out all excess water and set aside for assembly.
HEAT: Combine all sauce ingredients in a large pot and slowly heat over low temperature. Set aside for assembly.
PREPARE: Grate cheese and set aside for assembly. To assemble, simply layer noodles, then sauce, then veggies and then cheese in a large (preferably deep dish) cassarole dish. Repeat until all ingredients are gone or until casserole dish is full.
BAKE: Bake at 375° F for 40 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Allow to slightly cool.
FINISH: Serve hot with whole wheat garlic bread & salad. This lasagna “sets up” much firmer after overnight refrigeration. It makes great leftovers… in fact it’s maybe better the second day!
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