Meatless Monday: I fell in love with my lasagnaPosted: November 8, 2011
I’m still thinking about my dinner last night, and wishing I had made enough to bring as leftovers for lunch today…
You know how some foods are just better the second day? Think chili, soup, or anything made in the slow cooker… Lasagna is one of my favorite “second day” foods, but in order for me to eat it the next day, it requires a little bit of planning in advance.
Between having two jobs and a million other responsibilities, I don’t always have a lot of free time. Ideally, I would have hours each week to plan out each meal and shop “smarter” at the grocery store to get everything I need for the week, but life just isn’t that way for me. I tend to plan out dinner sometime during the day, and it’s usually based on what we have at home. When I was thinking about what to make for dinner last night, I remembered that I had bought some lasagna noodles from Wegmans last week. I also had some leftover crushed tomatoes that needed to be used asap. I really wanted to make tofu ricotta, but had just used up my last bit of tofu for lunch. I did have a little bit of Farmer’s Cheese and about 1/4 cup of cottage cheese left in the fridge, so I improvised. And what I did have a lot of was veggies- all kinds- never a shortage there.
To get that “second day” flavor, I cut up a bunch of different veggies, seasoned them up with a little garlic, salt, pepper and oregano, and roasted them in the oven. When the veggies were done, I mixed them all together in a big bowl.
I bought a package of whole wheat lasagna sheets from Wegmans because they were inexpensive and caught my eye. I prefer to buy organic pasta (or better yet, make my own!) but I knew that these would be handy in a pinch.
These sheets are HUGE. In WW terms, one and a half sheets (which is what a recommended serving is) is 5 pts. I used two sheets total (split between me and the hubs), so I ended up having a little less than one sheet for myself, which was more than plenty. I actually cut them in half, so that I had four layers. I used a small pyrex dish, which fit the half sheets perfectly. After everything was assembled, the lasagna was put into the oven, and came out looking beautiful a short time later.
I planned on making a spinach salad to eat on the side, but didn’t really end up needing it. My big bowlful of lasagna was more than enough to fill me up! I counted it as 8 WW pts., but it really may have been only 7. When in doubt, I round up.
This isn’t a very “cheffy” or complex dish, but I really don’t care. It tasted damn good.
Assorted vegetables, diced (I used eggplant, bell peppers, onion, portabello mushrooms, carrot and zucchini)
1/2 T olive oil
garlic, salt, pepper + oregano (to taste)
1/2 c cottage cheese (I used 1/4 c cottage cheese and 1/4 c. farmers cheese)
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
2 egg whites
1 tsp Italian seasoning4 regular lasagna noodles or 2 wide sheets (cook according to package directions)
Three handfuls of spinach
1.5 c crushed tomatoes (season with Basil, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt + pepper) OR your favorite marinara sauce
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Rice Shreds for my half and smoked mozzarella for Greg’s half)
Pre-heat oven to 400. Coat diced vegetables with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano and mix together well. Spread the veggies out on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove the vegetables from the oven and place in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the cottage and Parmesan cheese, egg whites, and Italian seasoning together. Using a glass baking dish, begin to assemble the lasagna. Start with spreading a layer of crushed tomatoes on the bottom of the baking dish, followed by a layer of noodles (or noodle- if you’re using wide noodles like I did). Spread a layer of the cottage cheese mixture over the top of the noodles, followed by a layer of mixed vegetables, and handful of spinach, and more crushed tomatoes. Repeat this two more times. On the top layer, add the last two noodles, followed by a layer of marinara. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
The roasted vegetables really give this lasagna that second day flavor. I wonder what it would taste like on the “real” second day…
Are there any foods that you enjoy more the second day?