Easy Veggie Lasagna




Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. I tested a recipe ages ago that I have not shared with you. And, it is perhaps one of my favorite recipes evah.

Today, I am bringing veggie back.  From the depths of my three ring binder, that is.

(To those that got the lame Justin Timberlake reference above, thank you very much. We are united in our riffs on pop culture. Oh, what’s that you say, JT is no longer pop culture? Sigh. I am behind the times again.)

For this week’s Test Kitchen Tuesday, I really needed something fast and easy. I had moonlighting writing projects scheduled deep into the evening, and somehow needed to get in a weights workout after my day job and still prepare a nice dinner. This lasagna did the trick, as it let me prep it, throw it in the oven, and go off to curse see Jillian Michaels for a bit and come back to a cooked hot meal.

Oh, and it is a 2Chili-pleaser to boot.

Though, I have recently been informed he doesn’t really like spinach much. This revelation came after I have made this lasagna numerous times to practically thunderous applause. For those in a similar anti-spinach situation, check out fellow Project: Food Budget blogger MeloMeals’ white bean ricotta, which I think would be a lovely substitute for the spinach.

Now, on with the show!

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Easy Veggie Lasagna

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Original Recipe Inspiration: Lose Weight for Life – Spinach Eggplant Lasagna

Makes: 4 Generous Servings

2Chili’s Taster Rating:StarStarStarStarStar

Spinach or no spinach, he gobbles this lasagna up, and notes that he particularly enjoys the cheesy top layer.

The Cook’s Taster Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

I am all about spinach, so no complaints here.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped into half moons
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • I jar (plus some, depending on your taste ) organic low-sodium pasta sauce
  • 9-12 Lasagna noodles, depending on their width
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a medium frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sautee the zucchini until it is just tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Fully cover the bottom of an 8×8 baking pan with pasta sauce. Layer 4 or 5 of the uncooked lasagna noodles (I overlap them to account for shrinkage).  Add the zucchini and cover with sauce. Add another layer of noodles followed by the spinach and another layer of sauce. Add one more layer of noodles, sauce, and cheeses.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until noodles can easily be pierced with a fork.

Note: The key with the sauce is to put enough to fully cover each layer. Enough sauce is what makes the noodles cook through and not get crunchy, which is especially important on the top. Also, pre-made pasta sauce is one of the worst offenders of added sodium – and if you’re not careful, you could be way, way, way overdoing it on sodium. Choose a low-sodium variety (less than 50 mg per half cup. Most commercial sauces have about 400-500mg per 1/2 cup – yikes!).

Nutritional Profile

This is based on 4 cups of Walnut Acres Low Sodium Tomato Basil sauce, which is a pretty low calorie sauce. Your actuals may vary based on what sauce you pick.

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The Verdict

This one is a keeper at our house, for sure. It is tasty, easy, and nutritious. And there is no boiling. I call that a win all the way around!

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