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Zucchini Lasagna

August 18, 2011

As the self-proclaimed cheese lover that I am, it should come as no surprise that I absolutely enjoy a good lasagna.  What’s not to love?  They usually feature at least two to three types of cheese layered between delicious pasta and bubbling tomato sauce.  But turns out they are also a wonderful way to sneak in lots of healthy vegetables and, hence, the zucchini lasagna is born.

While the prep to table time isn’t the shortest because of the cooking time, lasagna is still a relatively easy weeknight meal to put together.  You can always prep it ahead of time when you may have more free time and freeze it.  Who doesn’t love a meal that simply requires pulling something out of the freezer and popping it in the oven, especially when you know it is healthy and home-made?

For this recipe you do a quick julienne on the zucchini and chop the onions and garlic.

Saute the vegetables until tender. (I chose to grate in some carrots for extra veggie deliciousness.)

Layer your cooked noodles with ricotta, sauce, and zucchini mixture.

Pop in the oven for 45 minutes and voilà!  Another healthy home-made dinner!

I chose to make mine as individual lasagnas, as you can see, so I could make one without egg and substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta for my son.  It’s a great veggie infused meal for those more reluctant vegetable eaters.

Zucchini Lasagna
Yields: 4 servings

6 Uncooked lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon Olive oil
2 medium Zucchini (cut into julienne strips)
4 tablespoon Green onion (sliced)
4 Garlic clove (finely chopped)
2 Egg whites (beaten)
1 cup Ricotta
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
2 tablespoons Fresh parsley
2 cups Marinara sauce
1 1/2 cup Part-skim mozzarella cheese (shredded, about 4 ounces)

1. Heat oven to 350F. Cook noodles as directed on package; drain.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook zucchini, onions and garlic in butter about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until zucchini is crisp-tender; drain. Mix egg, ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and the parsley.
3. Spread 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce in 9 x 13 pan. Top with 4 lasagna noodles. Spread one-half of the zucchini mixture and then one half of the ricotta mixture across noodles. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Continue layering with remaining noodles, ricotta mixture, spaghetti sauce and zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Kate’s Thoughts

This is a wonderful way to take advantage of zucchini when they it is in season, not to mention a perfect meal for Meatless Monday.  I would also encourage you to include other vegetables: carrots, squash, mushrooms, spinach, whatever you may like.

While I love lasagna leftovers (one of the few things I will actually eat leftover!), I often make individual lasagnas when I am cooking for just myself and my husband.  They are perfect personal-size portions.  Give them a try and I can guarantee you will be a fan.

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