26 December 2011

Vegetarian Lasagna…a Christmas Miracle!

As newlyweds, we felt the need to establish some holiday traditions:

#1 – Jungle Bells – visiting the zoo at night

#2 – Cookie exchange – try out a new recipe or three

#3 – Install a dog door that Chauncey will fear and resist bribery rather than usetauntaun2

#4 – The Empire Strikes Back – it’s always winter on Hoth

#5 – Christmas Card Lane – holiday lights

#6 – Take a hike…or run…or maybe just curl up under a blanket with a book

#7 – Make veggie lasagna for Christmas dinner!

We’ll point you toward another entry for cookie exchange details but, for now, we’ll share the recipe for the dish that makes anyone feel warm and fuzzy at the end of an intensely scheduled season – or at any time of year. Bonus: it freezes well! Note: prep the veggies in advance, and this will come together in a snap! A little delayed gratification is in order, as the 10min of resting time at the end allows the lasagna to set up so it can hold its shape when you cut/serve.

Sweet Pepper & Spinach LasagnaDecember2011 285

(Adapted from Better Homes + Gardens)

9 dried lasagna noodles (do not use the no-boil, unless you like your lasagna to resemble the flavor of a school art-project)

1c chopped onion (1 large)

1c sliced, fresh mushrooms

4 cloves garlic, minced

2T butter (I suppose you could also use margarine…but I’m a hater)

1, 7oz jar roasted, red, sweet peppers; drained + chopped (or, if you’re the ambitious sort, roast 2 of your own!)

1, 10oz pkg frozen, chopped spinach; thawed + well-drained (thaw in the fridge 24hs or under the tap in a pinch)

1, 15oz container ricotta cheese

1c shredded mozzarella cheese

½c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

2 beaten eggs

1t dried basil, crushed

½t dried oregano, crushed

1, 30½ oz jar meatless spaghetti sauce (c’mon, splurge a little on the good stuff!)

¼c grated Parmesan or Romano (for the topping)December2011 235

1. Cook lasagna noodles as directed, until al dente. Drain + rinse.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook onion, mushrooms + garlic in hot butter (yum!) until tender but not brown. Stir in sweet peppers and set aside.

December2011 2383. Pat spinach dry with plenty of paper towels. In large bowl, stir together the spinach, cheeses, eggs, basil, oregano, and ¼t pepper. Stir sweet pepper mixture into spinach mixture.

December2011 259


4. Spread ½ cup of the spaghetti sauce evenly in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles over the sauce and layer with half of the sweet pepper-spinach mixture and 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spoon remaining spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the ¼ cup Parmesan/Romano saved for the topping.

December2011 2785. Bake, covered, in a 375° oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 main-dish servings.

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