Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vegetarian Lasagna

I love lasagna. It's a bit labor intensive, what with the three parts: 1. cook the noodles (I have yet to try it without cooking), 2. cheese layer, 3. red sauce layer. And 4. shred cheese. Usually, my spouse is the lasagna maker.

But on my Friday off, I decided to make it because it really does last forever. We had this Friday night, Sunday for lunch, Monday for lunch and dinner, and we'll probably finish it off tonight for dinner.

I thought it was pretty tasty. I think I needed to add more herbs/spices to the red sauce. I used a jarred sauce this time, which would be fine with meat but with veggies, I think I need more oregano and basil.

To make this cheaper, you'd want to substitute the most expensive ingredient (mushrooms), for perhaps a slightly cheaper vegetable - maybe some broccoli and carrots, or eggplant. Or more zucchini, or peppers. Also making the sauce yourself from canned tomatoes would be cheaper. I learned also to occasionally put carrots and broccoli in the cheese layer (from my mother in law), so that's why the spinach in that layer.

Vegetarian Lasagna
6 lasagna noodles: 0.60
2 c. cottage cheese: 1.75
1 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed ands squeezed dry: 1.09
2 oz grated parmesan: 0.69
3 small zucchini, diced: 1.15
1 large onion, diced: 0.33
20 oz mushrooms, chopped: 4.58
1 T. canola oil: 0.03
5 oz shredded mozzarella: 1.40
1 24-oz jar puttanesca sauce: 2.99
1 egg, beaten: 0.13
1 Tbsp dried parsley: 0.05
2 cloves pressed garlic: 0.10

Total: $14.92 for 15 pieces, or $0.97 per piece

Make the sauce: saute the onions, mushrooms, and zucchini in oil until they give up most of their liquid. I usually try to brown a bit at the beginning, reduce heat and cover. Then remove the lid after 10 mins and it will be a big soupy mess. Let the water boil off. Then add the garlic and jarred sauce.

Make the cheese layer: Put the cottage cheese in the food processor and puree until smooth. Cottage cheese is cheaper and lower in fat than ricotta, and it's how I grew up eating lasagna. In a medium bowl, mix the egg, cottage cheese, half the parmesan, and the dried basil. Add in the thoroughly squeezed dry spinach and mix well.

Boil the noodles according to the package directions.

In a 13x9 pan, layer a small bit of the sauce to avoid sticking. Then put 3 lasagna noodles. Top with half the cheese, then half the remaining sauce. Add half the mozzarella.

Repeat layers of noodles, cheese, and sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella and the rest of the parmesan.

At this point I put it in the fridge. Then I baked for 30 mins at 375F, covered with foil. Remove foil and bake 20 more min. If you bake it right away, you won't have to bake it for as long.


Nutritious Foodie said...

I have been thinking I should make veggie lasagna for a while.. but somehow I haven't...

Yay for Chem Es :)

Anonymous said...

i agree it is labor intesive but you made me realize that if i make it it can last a long time. good idea and good resipe :)

Mastering Public Health said...

Your comment on Jenna's "Old Clothes Challenge" post was awesome. Had to drop by and say so. It's refreshing to read insightful comments that have more depth than just agreeing with the person. Nice blog, too!

Anonymous said...

I've never made lasagna before, but have been meaning to for some time. It always looks so labor intensive, but I suppose it makes a lot of servings.

I've also seen recipes for an unconventional lasagna, where you break and cook the noodles, cook the veggies, and then layer items onto a plate. If I ever get around to making it, I'll post it on my blog.