Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vegetable Alfredo Lasagna

While doing my favorite evening activity (perusing Pinterest while drinking a glass of red wine), I stumbled upon a recipe that had me literally drooling in anticipation:  a Vegetable Alfredo Lasagna.  Unlike most recipes I "pin", I actually made this recipe just a few days after discovering it.  I'm not going to lie: this recipe takes a long time to make (as most lasagnas do), but it's bursting with so much veggie goodness that you feel like Popeye after you eat a square.  Even the "Alfredo" is packed with veggie nutrients--it's made with cauliflower!  I changed some of the veggies called for in the recipe to suit my own tastes (and what was growing in our garden), and I lowered the amount of cheese and noodles to make it even healthier (I got it under 500 calories for a freaking HUGE serving!).  Feel free to modify the lasagna for your own preferences.

Vegetable Alfredo Lasagna
Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum

Vegetable Filling:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Eggplant, diced (heavily salt, let sit in a colander for 45 minutes, rinse, pat dry)
2 Zucchini, sliced into half moons
2 Squash, sliced into half moons
8 oz Mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp Sea Salt
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes, drained
2 Cups Spinach Leaves

"Alfredo" Sauce:
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Butter
5 Cups Cauliflower Florets
6 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/2 Cup Milk
2 oz (1 Cup) Freshly Grated Hard Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Remaining Layers:
Instant Lasagna Sheets (200g)**(or use regular and cook just shy of al dente)
2 Cups Low Fat Cottage Cheese
1 Cup Finely Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


For the Sauce:
1. In a large stockpot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add in cauliflower florets, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the cauliflower is tender.  Do not drain.

2.  Meanwhile, in small skillet, saute the garlic in butter, until it is soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower from the broth and add to a food processor or blender. Next add in the sauteed garlic, milk, Parmesan,  and 1 cup of the reserved vegetable broth that the cauliflower was cooked in.
4. Puree until completely smooth. Salt & Pepper.

For the Vegetable Filling:
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in olive oil, and then the eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, and squash.  Sprinkle with salt.  Saute until vegetables soften and have released their liquid, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Stir in the garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
3.  Add in the diced tomatoes and spinach leaves, and cook until spinach begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

To Assemble and Bake:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a deep 9 x 13 dish (I used two casserole dishes) and spread 1 Cup of Alfredo Sauce on bottom.

2. On top place a layer of Lasagna noodles (prepped according to package directions), 1 Cup of Alfredo Sauce, 1/2 of Vegetables, 1 Cup of Cottage Cheese.

3. Add on another sheet of lasagna noodles, 1 Cup of Alfredo Sauce, remaining Vegetables, 1 Cup of Cottage Cheese.  Repeat with 1 more layer of lasagna noodles, 1 Cup of Alfredo Sauce, and 1 Cup of Mozzarella Cheese.

4. Lightly spray a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna.  Bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes.  Uncover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese has browned.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serving Size: 1/6th of Dish
Calories: 487
Fat: 16
Carbs: 60
Protein: 29

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