Meatless Monday

Don’t worry. I’m not going to regale you with a weekly Meatless Monday post. But today I tried a new recipe and it didn’t seem right to not share it with you.

In my quest to get back into shape I’ve been trying to find interesting ways to eat and maybe expand my horizons. I saw on The Pioneer Woman’s blog that she did a vegetarian lasagna and I was intrigued. As I read through her list of ingredients I could practically feel my nose wrinkle up at the texture issues that I was sure to have. I did a Google search for vegetable lasagna and the recipes from All Recipes dot com and Food Network dot com resulted in the same basic recipe. The sauces varied from one site to another. The vegetables used varied from one site to another. And the method of putting it all together…you guessed it…varied from one site to another. But the overall consensus was the same. Get crazy. Use whatever vegetables you want.

As I was putting this together I began thinking that as much as I’d like to think this is a “health food” because it’s meat free, I am not so disillusioned. The amount of cheese that I put in it (along with its accompanying fat content) pretty much negates the healthfulness of it. The plus side is that it helps me get a ridiculous amount of veggies into my system. Even veggies that I, to this point in time, have not been able to find a way to stomach. Eggplant, specifically. Ick! The texture alone makes me shudder.

So. Here we go!

20130729_182032Must chop the vegetables! In the strainer are eggplant and yellow squash. There would have been zucchini except that they didn’t have any at the store from the local farmer, and the ones that they had in their regular produce section looked like shit, so I skipped on past them. I used kosher salt and sprinkled them very well and set them in the strainer to let the excess liquid drip out. Then there are the obvious onions, peppers, and mushrooms.

I forgot that I didn’t have any fresh garlic at home so I had to cheat and use the pre-diced garlic that I keep in the refrigerator for cases such as this. I put the onions, pepper, and garlic in a large frying pan with hot canola oil and began sauteing them since they were going to take a little more time to cook than the other items.

While that was going, I put some water on the stove to start cooking the noodles. I didn’t have any whole wheat noodles, which is what I normally use so it’s white pasta! *gasp*

Then came the filling. My favorite part!

20130729_182520Ricotta and grated Parmesan cheese and a couple of eggs. Toss in a little basil, some salt and pepper and you’re ready to go. Just mix it all together into a wonderful, gooey mess.

When the vegetables are cooked through and softened I tossed them in the strainer and drained the excess water out because I didn’t want soupy lasagna. Then I added the sauce. I’m lazy. I don’t make pasta sauce. That’s what Prego is for. I could totally be their spokesperson because I love them so much!

20130729_184700

When I tasted it (because one must do a taste test) the texture didn’t whig me out, and I think the parcel that I tasted was an eggplant. Ew! The nice thing about all the veggies that I used is that none of them have a super strong flavor so it won’t overpower the sauce.

Time to put it all together.

20130729_185150On the bottom of the dish I put some sauce so that the pasta doesn’t stick during cooking. Then a layer of noodles. Then a layer of veggies. Then a layer of mozzarella cheese, because the filling isn’t cheesy enough. Can you ever really have enough cheese?

20130729_185726Then another layer of noodles. Another layer of filling. Another layer of veggies. And top it off with the mozzarella. There was supposed to be a layer of noodles on top, but my dish isn’t tall enough.

Baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. And this is what you get:

20130729_193409

Yes, a side of broccoli because there aren’t enough veggies. OMG, ya’ll. It was so freaking good.

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2 thoughts on “Meatless Monday

  1. If you want to put spinach in it (which I highly recommend!), mix it in with the cheese, not the sauce. In the sauce it gets skunky the way cooked spinach does. In the cheese it’s heaven.

    • Oh, hey. That’s a great idea! I was worried that spinach would get all watery as it cooked. But putting it in the cheese would probably keep that from happening. I will do that next time!

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