Vegetarian Lasagna

When it is ever a bad idea to roast vegetables? Hardly ever. And roasting eggplant is a relatively low-fat preparation. As with most vegetables, an easy and tasty way to roast it is to chop it up, toss it with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and red chile powder from Diaz Farms, and put it in a 450 degree oven. Once the eggplant is roasted, it’s time to assemble the lasagna. I layered the noodles with the eggplant and chard along with the cheese and sauce. For this recipe I used Trader Joe’s basil marinara, but any jar of pasta sauce will do (or you can make your own!). Another great dish to take to work.

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Vegetarian Lasagna

1 box no-bake whole wheat lasagna noodles

1 jar marinara sauce

1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

1 small ball baby mozzarella

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 large or 2 small eggplant

1 bunch chard

1 bunch parsley

Salt, pepper, olive oil and red chile powder

Preheat oven to 450. Chop the eggplant into small cubes, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper and red chile powder. Place on baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Take it out when the eggplant is just beginning to brown. While the eggplant is roasting, steam the chard. You should also have time to chop the parsley and add it to the ricotta cheese along with salt and pepper. Slice the mozzarella as thin as you can. Use a sharp or serrated knife. Grate the parmesan if you didn’t buy it already grated. Once the eggplant is out of the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 and assemble the lasagna.

Use a 13 x 9 inch Pyrex baking dish. Layer 5 noodles on the bottom, and then spread about 3/4 cup of the marinara sauce over the noodles to cover. Spread 1/2 the roasted eggplant and steamed chard on top of the sauce, and sprinkle with 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 of the sliced mozzarella, then another layer of 5 lasagna noodles on top of that. Spread the ricotta mixture over the sheets and then layer on the rest of the eggplant. Layer on the rest of the mozzarella if there is any left. Layer the last 5 sheets on top and cover with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with the last of the parmesan cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and let the lasagna continue baking until it looks nice and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. If you are making it for the next day for lunch, let it sit a little longer and then cut it into 8 sections and put them each into a glass snap ware container for transportation and reheating in the microwave at the office.

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