Sunday, October 24, 2010

Meat and Vegetable Lasagna

A few things about me and lasagna:

  1. I like to hide vegetables. Take your pick, but I like to use mushrooms, eggplant and spinach in this dish.
  2. I don't like to spend a lot of time and energy making lasagna, so I cheat with a pre-made, jarred spaghetti sauce. Don't be a hater.
  3. I sometimes use a cup of cooked quinoa in place of the lasagna noodles as a gluten-free, super nutritious alternative. Very yummy.
  4. I like to prepare two of these and freeze one for a night when I don't feel like cooking - it bakes twice as long when it's frozen but it's very budget-friendly
  5. If you like your lasagna a bit saucier like my husband, try adding a can of tomato sauce and Italian seasoning to your meat sauce.
Meat and Vegetable Lasagna

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 jar favorite spaghetti sauce
8 oz mushrooms, small diced
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
8 oz frozen spinach
2 cups ricotta
1/4 Parmesan cheese
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1 cup mozzarella
1 egg, lightly beaten
9 no-cook lasagna noodles

  1. Grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine four cups of water, frozen spinach and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 4-6 minutes. Drain water.
  3. While spinach is cooking, heat olive oil in a heavy dutch oven . Add mushrooms, eggplant and garlic - season with kosher salt and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain fat if necessary. Once beef is browned, add spaghetti sauce and heat through.
  4. Combine cooked spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, Italian seasoning and egg in a bowl.
  5. Spread about 1/4 of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer 3 noodles on top. Layer with 1/3 cheese mixture, 1/3 meat sauce and 3 noodles and repeat, ending with sauce on top. Top with mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

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