I tried, but I can’t give up my noodles in lasagna. I just can’t do it. The idea for this recipe came from a zucchini lasagna I saw on Pinterest. When it came time to slice up the squash to replace the noodles, I chickened out. Tangent – why is it chickens get such a bad rap? Are they really cowardly? Anyone know? I saw some at the zoo the other day (yes, my kids love looking at the most boring of animals), they didn’t seem particularly afraid of us…I wonder when chickens became the scaredy cats of scapegoats? Anyway, I decided to use all veggies in place of meat instead.
It’s true, I’d become a vegetarian before I’d give up pasta. Or bread. I can live without meat (sort of) but I need crusty warm deliciousness in my life. I figured with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach in place of ground beef, I was sacrificing enough without going full board with zucchini instead of noodles. So, I used my standby quick and easy lasagna but replaced the meat with a whole lotta veggies. Starting with a bunch of broccoli, cauliflower and onions. All cooked up together in a saucepan.
Add in two heaping handfuls (about 2 cups) of fresh spinach and wilt it down.
Then pour in a jar of your favorite marinara sauce and combine.
Now we layer the lasagna. Here’s how it goes. Sauce first.
Then noodles. This recipe is perfect for the no boil noodles, but you can use standard cooked al dente lasagna noodles too.
Top with a cottage cheese/egg blend. I love how messy lasagna looks. Just slap it all in there.
Then a mozzarella/Parmesan blend. I love cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.
And repeat twice. Sauce, noodles, cottage cheese, mozzarella/Parm. Lovely layers, how delightful.
Bake to a deep golden brown around the edges. Yuuuuuum!
As a public service announcement, I’d like to say that using lasagna as a cake for a birthday celebration is not a good idea. Oh, it’s cute to have a candle burning brightly as you sing over melted cheese and saucy noodle goodness, but then you remove the candle and find that the heat of the lasagna has melted the wax and a whole corner of your lasagna is ruined. RUINED!
No, not a real emergency, but still. I hate wasting food. This stuff is absolutely delicious. I didn’t even miss the meat. We went back for so many seconds and thirds that I cut all the way up to the very edge of where that wax melted all into the dinner just to get a few more bites. Tempting fate and living on the wild side – that’s me. But really, this lasagna is belly filling deliciousness.
Perfect for a meatless Monday! The roasted cauliflower and broccoli give it great flavor. Yuuuum!
adapted from my friend Marie
9 no boil lasagna noodles
1 8oz carton small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded Parmesan
3 cups shredded mozzarella
2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 onion, chopped
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, sauté onion until translucent, then add broccoli and cauliflower and stir fry 5 minutes until cauliflower is just starting to golden around the edges.
3. Add spinach and stir until just wilted. Then add spaghetti (marinara) sauce and stir to combine.
4. While veggies are cooking, in a separate bowl combine the Parmesan and mozzarella. In a third bowl (or right in the cottage cheese container) combine the eggs and cottage cheese.
5. Spread some sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 in casserole dish and layer noodles, sauce, cottage cheese mixture, and cheeses. Layer again twice more.
6. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.