Q: What do you do when you invite a vegetarian over for dinner?
A: Feed her bacon and do the Dr. Evil laugh.
B: Let her starve.
C: Make her a delicious, vegetarian meal that all parties can enjoy.
If you guessed answer C, then you, my friend, are correct. A vegetable lasagna is as filling as a traditional meat lasagna, and just as delicious. Even better: it has more nutrients and less fat, which allows for a little guilt-free indulgence.
What You’ll Need (4-6 servings):
- 1 package of chopped frozen spinach. About 8-10 oz. Defrosted.
- 1 package of crimini mushrooms
- 1 large tomato
- 1/2 lemon
- 2-3 small shallots. You can substitute 1/2 of an onion, but shallots are much sweeter and more flavorful.
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 3 sprigs of fresh basil
- 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
- 2 cups of ricotta
- 1 cup of shredded parmesan
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
- no boil lasagna sheets. We recommend fresh sheets from Fairway or Citerella. We used the leftover pieces from the lasagna cupcakes
- red pasta sauce. We used 1 jar of Victoria marinara sauce.
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- oil (olive, canola, or vegetable)
- non-stick spray
- medium pyrex bowl
- small frying pan
- 3 mixing bowls
- 2-3 spoons
- wooden spoon or spatula
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tomatoes into 6 pieces. Set aside.
Drain the spinach and empty into a mixing bowl.
Heat up a little olive oil (1-2 tbsp is good) on low or med-low heat in a small frying pan. Slice up the mushrooms, and cook them about 2 minutes or until soft. Drain them and add to the spinach.
Finely dice shallots and garlic. The smaller the better. Toss them into the frying pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add those to the spinach.
Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon. HINT: squeeze over your other hand to catch any lemon seeds. Don’t want those in your vegetable lasagna!
Salt and pepper to taste, and incorporate everything so that the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Take the leaves off the basil and oregano sprigs. Rinse, and chop finely.
Dump the ricotta and crumbled feta cheese into a separate mixing bowl, add the basil and oregano, and crack an egg into the mixture. Mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, combine the shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Spray the pyrex bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon a little sauce into the bottom of the pan. This will help cook the botom layer of lasagna sheets and prevent them from sticking to the bowl.
Layer the lasagna as follows:
- lasagna sheets
- spinach mixture
- ricotta mixture
- parmesan and mozzarella
- sliced tomatoes
Do this twice, then end with the last layer of lasagna sheets, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and more parmesan and mozzarella. HINT: If you stuffed too much filler into the layers like we did, put the pyrex dish on a flat baking sheet before placing into the oven. This will catch any overflowing cheese/sauce and avoid a big ‘ol mess.[slideshow]
Put the vegetable lasagna into the oven at 400 degrees for 45, or until golden on top. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will help the sauce to set and it will be easier to serve.