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Garden Fresh Lasagna

September 18, 2012, 11:04 pm
Garden Fresh Lasagna

Preparation Time: approximately 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Serving Size: 1- 3x3 square (makes 12)

Ingredients

4 zucchini (medium), sliced lengthwise

2 eggplant (large), peeled and sliced lengthwise

1 bunch kale, blanched and de-stemmed*

2 tsp nutmeg*

6 oz mozzarella cheese (skim/part-skim), shredded

Veggie Mixture

2 TB olive oil

1 onion (medium), diced

1 TB garlic, minced

1 cup carrot, diced

8 oz mushrooms (button), diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

28 oz can whole tomatoes, no salt added (with juice)

1 TB oregano, dried (or 2 TB freshly chopped)

1 TB rosemary, dried (or 2 TB freshly chopped)

2 TB tomato paste, no salt added

¼ cup red wine

¼ cup parsley, chopped

¼ cup basil, chopped

½ tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar granules, raw**

Cheese Mixture

24 oz ricotta cheese, skim/part-skim

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

12 oz mozzarella cheese (skim/part-skim), shredded

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp black pepper

1 TB oregano, dried (you may also use dried Italian Seasoning)

DirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray or dabbing a paper towel with olive oil.

Combine ingredients for cheese mixture and set aside under refrigeration. Meanwhile, begin preparing the vegetable mixture by heating a skillet with olive oil. Add onion and garlic; sauté until translucent. Add carrots and heat until slightly harder than al dente. Add bell peppers and mushrooms and continue cooking 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with red wine. Add whole tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands as they are added. Stir in tomato paste, parsley, herbs, red pepper flakes, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Set aside.

Place ½ cup sauce/vegetable mixture on bottom of baking pan. Layer with eggplant and zucchini on one even layer, topping with one layer of kale (that is tossed with nutmeg). Top half of the cheese mixture followed by another layer of eggplant, zucchini, and kale, as previously directed. Follow with another layer of the remaining sauce/vegetable mixture then the remainder of the cheese mixture. Top with a last layer of eggplant, zucchini, and kale followed by the last third of sauce/vegetable mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes, covered (with foil), until internal temperature of 145 degrees is reached. Uncover, top with 6 oz mozzarella, and continue baking for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and somewhat browned.

Remove from heat and allow to set 10 minutes.

Storage and Turn-out

Serve 3x3 square; garnish with parmesan cheese or basil leaves. Accompany with whole grain pasta tossed in olive oil (optional). Can be stored under refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*Nutmeg should always accompany dark leafy greens, such as kale, in order to enhance flavor and add health benefits. **A little sugar should be added to tomato products (especially canned) to offset the acidity.

(You may also add a layer of whole grain lasagna noodles, prepared, before each cheese mixture layer, if desired.)

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