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Monday, October 13, 2014

Veggie Lovers Lasagna

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dreamfields. All opinions are 100% my own.
Veggie Lovers Lasagna #IHeartDreamfields #meatless
Today I'm partnerting with Dreamfields Pasta to celebrate National Pasta Month. I can think of no better way to celebrate than with a pan stacked with wavy lasagna noodles that are layered with tons of veggies, and accented by a light cream sauce that has been flavored with sundried tomatoes. I'm pretty sure that even the carnivores in your life will be sated after eating a slice of this meatless lasagna.

So, I know lasagna sort of seems like a weekend dish. A dish that you need some time to prepare. But really, once you have all of your components ready (noodles cooked, sauce stirred, veggies chopped)—it's just a matter of layering things into the pan. Hands-on time is only about 20 minutes. Once that part is complete, the oven does all of the work while you finish up some homework, throw in a load of laundry, or set the table and wrangle everybody to the table. I'd say it's very possible to make lasagna a weekday meal.

Since this week of National Pasta Month with Dreamfields is all about vegetarian meals, I left out the meat sauce and loaded up on the veggies. I wanted to use a white sauce, but drenching it in Alfredo didn't seem quite right, so I chose a light Alfredo (if you're making it at home, use skim milk) and then fortified it by swirling in a little sundried tomato pesto; basically a creamy flavor-bomb.

One other thing that I did differently was to make the lasagna in three loaf pans instead of one lasagna (or similar) pan. Why would I do that? Basically, it's the same concept as brownies...EDGES! I think everybody deserves to get an edge or two on their slice of lasagna. That lightly crisped side, where the cheese and sauce has caramelized adds the perfect contrast to the tender center.
Veggie Lovers Lasagna #IHeartDreamfields #meatless
That said, if you're not an "edges" person, this could easily be layered into one large pan and baked the same way.

A few fun facts about Dreamfields Pasta (aka, why you want to choose it for your pasta dish):
  • It's made with premium durum wheat semolina from North Dakota.
  • It has 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of plant protein per serving (2 ounces dry / 1 cup cooked).
  • It tastes great with your favorite pasta dishes and can be included in your healthy meal plan.
  • It's prebiotic fiber helps promote healthy digestion.
  • It has the taste and texture of traditional pasta from a blend of fiber and plant proteins (which also help you feel full).
Can't wait to try Dreamfields? Just look for the black box in the pasta aisle at your local store or purchase it online.

Veggie Lovers Lasagna
Wavy lasagna noodles are layered with tons of veggies and a light cream sauce flavored with sundried tomatoes, ensuring that even carnivores will be satisfied after eating a slice of this meatless Veggie Lovers Lasagna.
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Veggie Lovers Lasagna
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Keywords: bake entree vegetarian nut-free soy-free sugar-free pasta

Ingredients (serves 9)
  • 18 Dreamfields Lasagna noodles (most of a 13.25 ounce pkg)
  • 16 ounces (~1-3/4 cups) small curd 2% cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 23 ounces light Alfredo sauce (storebought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup Sundried Tomato Pesto sauce (storebought or homemade)
  • 1 heaping cup small diced crimini mushrooms (~4 ounces)
  • 1 heaping cup small diced red bell pepper (~1 medium-large)
  • 1 heaping cup small diced yellow squash (~1 medium)
  • 1 heaping cup tiny broccoli florets (~4 ounces)
  • 4 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 12 ounces (3 cups) shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese and Smoked Provolone mix (or just Mozzarella)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions; rinse and drain well. Stack a few noodles at a time and carefully cut the last 3 inches off of them (so that they will fit neatly into the pans); reserve the ends to eat later.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray the bottom and sides of three 8x4-inch loaf pans with non-stick spray. You can line them with foil first, and then spray them if you want to use the foil to help lift the lasagna out later. Set all three pans onto a baking sheet.

Place the cottage cheese, egg, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl; stir to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the Alfredo and pesto sauce. In a separate bowl, toss the diced veggies together.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of Alfredo-pesto sauce into the bottom of each prepared pan.

Place 2 lasagna noodles in bottom of each pan, overlapping to fit. Spread each with 1/4 cup cottage cheese mixture, scant 1/4 cup Alfredo-pesto sauce, heaping 3/4 cup vegetables and 3/4 cup spinach leaves. Top each with heaping 1/3 cup shredded cheese. Repeat layering once.

Place 2 remaining noodles in each pan. Spread each with 1/4 cup Alfredo-pesto sauce. Top each with equal amounts of grated Parmesan and the remaining shredded cheese.
Veggie Lovers Lasagna - assembly
Spray one side of a large sheet of foil with non-stick spray, then place spray-side-down over all of the pans and tuck the edges over to hold in place. Place baking sheet in oven. Bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil; bake for another 15 minutes.

Remove the lasagna from the oven and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes before cutting each pan of lasagna into 3 even pieces.

Customize this lasagna by changing up the veggies that you use (just use a heaping quart-sized measuring cup total).

Substitute Basil Pesto (or any other kind) for the Sundried Tomato Pesto.

Make this in disposable loaf pans for easy gifting—they're the perfect size for a single person or a family of 2 (or 2 with a newborn). You can wrap and freeze the uncooked pans, and give instructions for cooking with them You could also cook and cool them, then wrap and refrigerate. All they will have to do is reheat!
Veggie Lovers Lasagna #IHeartDreamfields #meatless