This recipe of vegetable lasagna is always a hit with my family and friends. It requires a bit of planning and grocery shopping, but it makes a hearty, healthy dinner that even your teenager will tolerate. If you’re short on time, prepare it in advance and heat it up later.
Preparation Time: About an hour
Serves: 7-9 pieces
|1||Package/Ounces||Frozen Spinach, thawed & drained|
|1||Medium||Red Onion, chopped|
|1||Red & Green Bell Pepper, chopped|
|Salt & Pepper to taste|
|Crushed Red Pepper (optional)|
|Basil leaves, fresh & chopped|
|1/2||Slab||Firm Tofu, crumbled|
|24 or 2||Ounces/Jars||Pasta Sauce|
| (I buy vegetables sauce &
tomato garlic sauce)
- Boil the pasta with a touch of salt. Drain, add cold water and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add bell pepper, onion, spinach, crumbled tofu, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Mix it well and set aside.
- Cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish with a layer of sauce.
- Add a layer of noodles.
- Spread the mixture from the bowl over the noodles. Try to pack the mixture firmly and evenly.
- In the same way, add a second layer on top of the other. Then add another layer of noodles. Cover it with sauce and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Broil for 5 minutes.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Tips: Other vegetables can be added like broccoli, mushrooms, carrots and corn. Sauté the vegetables for five minutes before adding them to the mixture. Sometimes I open a can of black beans, rinse and add to the mixture, also. To speed up preparation time, pre-cooked pasta can be used.
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This Week’s Healthy Tip
The Health Benefits of Lasagna
No lasagna is complete without generous portions of tomato sauce. Tomato sauce and other tomato products are rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Antioxidants are special compounds in food that shield your body’s cells from harm. A diet rich in tomato products reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer, reports Edward Giovannucci of Harvard University. A paper published in the January 2002 issue of the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” found that consuming at least two servings of tomato sauce per week slashed prostate cancer risk by more than 25 percent.
The cheese that often tops vegetable lasagna is loaded with dietary calcium. Regularly consuming calcium-rich dairy products significantly reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis. However, cheese can be high in total calories and saturated fat. Choose fat-free or reduced fat cheese that contains the same amount of calcium with less fat and calories.
The eggplant, spinach or tomatoes that you put in your vegetable lasagna are a boon to your health. Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables significantly reduces your risk of contracting chronic diseases like cancer, stroke and diabetes, the Harvard School of Public Health reports.
Choosing whole wheat pasta to use as your vegetable lasagna base will make the dish much healthier than if you decided to use refined grains. Unlike refined grains, whole grains are loaded with dietary fiber. The dietary fiber in whole grains shields your heart from heart disease, MayoClinic.com reports. Check the ingredients list on the package to make sure that your whole grain pasta choice is really whole wheat. The first ingredient listed should be “whole wheat” or “100 percent whole wheat.”