The Lean Green Bean

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lateral Split Lasagna & Roasted Potatoes

Tonight was lasagna night. Essentially I made a half and half lasagna- half meat, half bean. A lot of people I talk to about my decision to eat less meat say "Oh, I'd love to do that, but my husband/wife love their meat and I don't have time to cook two meals." NOT a good excuse. There are a lot of meals that can be made half and half like this lasagna or nachos. Another option is to make meat and add-in. Don't make it the center of the dish, but still cook it. That way, the people that want it can add it in and the people that don't want it can leave it out! Simple, right?

If you're going to add meat, choose chicken or turkey over red meat. We use ground turkey in our house. It can be used for anything you would use ground beef for- and it's better for you!

So here we go! We're going to make all of this into a delicious dish:

Cook your meat first if you're using it. Heat some olive oil and garlic in the pan, add the meat and cook through. I added a little McCormick's seasoning but you could add Italian seasonings instead. Once it's cooked, drain the pan, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wash your pan thoroughly and heat it up again to use for the veggies.

Next, cook your noodles. I make my lasagna with 3 layers of noodles, so I usually make about 10 noodles.  Lay your noodles flat once they are cooked so they don't stick together!

Time for the veggies. Lasagna doesn't always have a lot of veggies, but I see it as an opportunity to cram a lot of vegetables into one dish! Chop up whatever you have and/or like. I used yellow and green peppers, onion, carrots, mushrooms, squash and zucchini.

Saute with garlic and olive oil until softened and then add a jar of tomato sauce to the pan.

Next, defrost a package of frozen spinach. Place the spinach in a clean dish towel and wring out the extra moisture.

Add the spinach (I usually only use 1/2 the package but it's up to you) to a small bowl with a 15 oz container of ricotta (low-fat). Toss in some basil and oregano and 1/2 a cup or so of hot water. This helps melt the cheese a bit and it all mixes together nicely.

So you've got your meat, your veggie sauce, your ricotta mixture and your noodles and you're ready to go!

In a 9x13 pan, put a layer of the veggie sauce on the bottom to keep the noodles from sticking to the pan. If you're making it half and half like I did, I topped one half with meat and the other half with some frozen cannellini beans and a little bit of quinoa.

Next add a layer of  noodles and spread the cheese/spinach mixture over the noodles:

Continue layering until you run out of room in the pan, or ingredients. Remember that lasagna doesn't have to be pretty...It can be sloppy and no one will really know :) You can add shredded mozzarella on top of each spinach/cheese layer if you want, but I save most of my cheese for the top and just add a little after the first layer of noodles.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes or so in a 375 degree oven until heated through. Remove from oven:

While your lasagna cools to a reasonable temperature, bump up the oven temperature to 425 to make some roasted potatoes!

I use red potatoes, scrubbed clean (not peeled) and diced:

Toss them on a pan, add some olive oil, rosemary, pepper and a little kosher salt and mix to evenly coat:

Into the oven for 30 minutes or so...stir them occasionally to brown all sides. When they are brown and crispy, take them out:

Slice your lasagna:

Add some green beans and potatoes and ta-da!!!

Cut your lasagna into pieces and freeze it if you have too many leftovers. Enjoy!


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