This vegetarian lasagna made with a whole bunch of vegetables including eggplant, spinach and mushrooms – it’s comforting and delicious!
Hey everyone! How’s your week going? So, this upcoming weekend is the big ‘love’ day. Do you celebrate with someone special, whether it be your bff, boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse? Or, could you not be bothered? This year it’s on a Sunday, but hubby and I are going to celebrate Saturday. We have opted to stay in & cook something nice together at home; we’re making individual beef wellingtons….YUM! And, I’m sure there will be wine and dessert involved. No doubt about that!
Unlike what we are making this weekend, this week I’m bringing you another vegetarian recipe – a Vegetarian Lasagna. Two vegetarian recipes in a row you ask? Yeap! It just happened to turn out that way. But this tower of carby veggie goodness is flavourtown, I’m telling you. This recipe is loaded with a lot of vegetables, I mean A LOT. There’s eggplant, spinach, mushrooms, carrot, bell pepper, onion, and more. It’s super flavourful with a nice spicy sauce and you don’t even miss the meat. There’s a few steps and a bunch of ingredients but, honestly, they are all really simple and the ingredients are a lot of the things you probably have on hand anyway.
This recipe makes a BIG pan of lasagna, so it’s great if you have a crowd or want to make on a Sunday and have some meals ready to go for the week. I think one of my favourite parts about making anything like this is watching the cheese bubble in the oven. It’s hypnotic, isn’t it?
The day that I made this veggie lasagna, I made focaccia bread with herbs, olives , sundried tomato and feta. So, I guess we had a total carb fest that day!! The focaccia was really delicious, especially straight from the oven. I’m not super awesome at making bread, but this loaf turned out really good. Perhaps I’ll blog it soon 😉 There’s something about making bread that’s really rewarding…to see it come together and rise and to feel the texture in your hands. It’s one of my favourite things to make. My mother, on the other hand, is wicked at making bread and can do so with her eyes closed. She always has the perfect loaves. Even the way she describes making it is mesmerizing. One of my favourite things to do with homemade bread straight from the oven is to have with butter, real butter, and maybe some molasses. You know what else I love on bread/toast? Cheez Whiz! I know that some people despise this stuff, but I love it, especially on toast with hot chocolate. Yes please 🙂 I remember when brother & I were kids, we would each try to be the first one to get the scoop of bubbles on the top when a fresh jar was opened. Haha…the little things. What’s your favourite things to put on bread/toast?
The next time you are craving some carbs (like I totally was this past weekend), you should definitely give this vegetarian lasagna a try. Hope you all have a ‘lovely’ weekend. ‘Til next time, take care!
- 2 eggplants -cut lengthwise,sliced about 1/2 inch each
- 6 tbsp olive oil -divided
- 3/4 tsp salt -divided
- 3/4 tsp black pepper -divided
- 11 oz fresh spinach -one big tub
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg -divided
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter -divided
- 6 cups fresh mushrooms -thinly sliced
- 3 carrot -diced (on smaller side)
- 1 onion -diced (on smaller side)
- 3 celery -diced (on smaller side)
- 3 cloves garlic -minced
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 bell pepper -diced (on smaller side)
- 2 cans tomato paste -approx. 156ml cans
- 2 cans tomatoes -approx. 796 ml cans
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 15 pieces dried lasagna noodles
- 5 cups mozzarella cheese -shredded
- Preheat oven to 400F. Brush eggplant with 2 tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes on parchment lined baking tray. Remove and lay to one side for later.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot on the stove top on medium low, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and add 11oz package of baby spinach. Season with 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook until just wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove and put in colander to drain any excess liquid.
- In same empty pot add 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter and 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Once butter has liquefied, add mushrooms and 1/8 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes until mushrooms are sautéed and some of the moisture is gone. Remove for later use.
- In same pot, warm 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add carrot, onion, celery. Cook until vegetables slightly tender, 5-10 minutes. Add garlic, chili flakes and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes.
- To the vegetable mixture, add tomato paste; stir to combine for 1-2 minutes. Next, add cans of tomatoes, 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper, oregano, and bay leaves. Simmer on medium low, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Add balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter. Stir to combine.
- In a bowl, combine cottage cheese with 1 egg and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. Lay to one side.
- Cook pasta to about 75% of the recommended time (it will cook some more in the oven).
- To combine: in a large pan, add 1 cup of the sauce to the bottom and spread out. Top with noodles (about 5 pieces). Next, spread 1 cup of cottage cheese mixture on top of noodles. Next, add spinach. Then, add 1/2 of the eggplant and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Add 1/2 of the remaining sauce. Add 5 more noodles and remaining cottage cheese. Next, add mushrooms. Then, add remaining eggplant and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Add remaining 5 noodles, remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, covered, on 350F. Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese gets a little golden brown and bubbly. Carefully remove from oven, let sit 15 minutes before serving . Enjoy!