The very best light vegetable lasagna
Added by elimaye | Fri 16 Jan 2009 @ 15:31
It’s a labor of love to make lasagna, but the hard work certainly pays off with bountiful results. This is my low-fat, reduced sugar (my dad is diabetic so low sugar meals are a blessing in our house) adaptation of the recipe found in Earthbound Farms’ cookbook. I have substituted lower fat ingredients like reduced fat cheeses, eggbeaters, and added in some of my favorite healthful alternatives like whole wheat lasagna noodles and low sugar spaghetti sauce to make a truly nutritious and delicious dinner. If you\'re feeling indulgent, feel free to go gung-ho and use full fat ingredients but with all the vegetable goodness packed into this recipe you\'ll hardly notice the difference. This recipe makes a large pan of lasagna (enough to feed 12 people as an entree.) I like to serve it with a nice light tossed salad and some hot crusty bread to sop up the leftover sauces. yum.
3 eggplants cut lengthwise into broad, ¼ inch thick slices
3 medium zucchini cut lengthwise into broad, ¼ inch thick slices
3 medium summer squash cut lengthwise into broad, ¼ inch thick slices
3 red or yellow peppers – see below for my explanation of roasting the peppers
1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles (I like Ronzoni’s Healthy Harvest brand)
3 cups grated low fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups low fat ricotta cheese
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
½ cup egg beaters
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 24oz• jars organic, low sugar tomato sauce (look at the label for sugar content and compare) Muir Glen, Mom’s, and Newman’s Own are good ones
1.Roast red peppers either over an open flame or under a broiler until the skin is nice and charred and the flesh is slightly soft, place in a big bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow it to steam. Steaming the peppers helps the skin slide right off. After 5 min or so unwrap the peppers and peel off the skin, rinse slightly under cool water and lay on a paper towl to dry
2.Sprinkle both sides of eggplant slices with generous 1 tablespoon kosher salt; transfer salted eggplant to large colander set over a big bowl. Let the eggplants stand until they release about 2 tablespoons liquid( should take about 30 minutes.) Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on double layer paper towels; cover with another double layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to flatten and remove as much liquid as possible.
3.While the eggplant drains, adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions; broiler. Set 2 wire racks on 2 rimmed baking sheets; brush both racks with oil.
4.Arrange salted and pressed eggplant slices on oiled racks; brush slices on both sides with a little bit of oil and sprinkle with pepper.
5.Broil the eggplant on one side until tinted but not burnt, flip eggplant and broil the other side. Eggplant should be tender in the center. When tender place eggplant on paper towels to cool
7.Place zucchini on a plate (plate should have some water on the bottom, about ¼ inch) and cover with plastic wrap, puncture twice with a fork and steam in the microwave for 3 – 4 min or until it begins to get tender, carefully transfer to another plate to cool
8.Repeat this process for the summer squash
9.Preheat oven to 350º
10.Place ¾ cup of parmesan cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, 2 cups mozzarella, and herbs in a bowl and mix well.
11.Brush the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2 inch baking pan with sauce and arrange the Eggplant in a layer over the sauce, place 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top, place a layer of lasagna noodles over the cheese (cut to fit pan if necessary) spread a thin layer of sauce over noodles and repeat process for summer squash and zucchini
15.After spreading the sauce over the lasagna layer above the summer squash (and cheese) layer on the roasted red peppers, top with remaining mozzarella cheese, then lasagna noodles then a fine layer of sauce, sprinkle remaining parmesean on top and wrap with tin foil (I use 2 sheets of tin foil to form a tent on the lasagna, all edges should be firmly wrapped but tin foil should not be flat against the surface of the lasagna or parmesean will stick to the top)
16.Roast lasagna covered for 55 min, remove lasagna, carefully uncover and cook 5 more min. Let lasagna rest for 15 min before serving (or your will burn your tongue on the hot oozy cheese) serve with extra sauce on the side