Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nutty vegetarian lasagna

Introduce more meatless meals into your weekly menu, starting with this nutty vegetarian lasagna, loaded with Brussels sprouts and kale.

Nutty vegetarian lasagna with sprouts and kale

Have you seen the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans that were all over the news lately? The new guidelines tell us, basically, to consume less meat and sugar and eat more veggies. What a shocker, right?

But, if you're a meatasaurus like I am, or if you have a picky eater in the house, it can be hard to introduce veggie-packed, meatless meals into the menu mix.

Good news: One easy and delicious place to start is this nutty vegetarian lasagna, loaded with good-for-you veggies like Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and kale with a nutty twist from pureed cashews. Yes, cashews -- in your lasagna!

If you're a lasagna purist, you might be skeptical. I promise you that this nutty vegetarian lasagna in no way misses the mark for comfort-food heartiness or flavor. Even I-Never-Met-A-Vegetable-I-Liked Mr. Ninj gave it two thumbs up -- and had two helpings.

Nutty vegetarian lasagna with sprouts and kale

Just a heads up, though, that this veggie lasagna doesn't fall into my easy weeknight meals category. Because this lasagna takes a bit of time to assemble, I like to make it on the weekend -- then we end up with lots of leftovers for lunch during the work week. Win win.

Do you plan to make any changes to how you eat based on the new dietary guidelines? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Nutty vegetarian lasagna with sprouts and kale

Nutty Vegetarian Lasagna with Sprouts and Kale

(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

2 cups raw cashews
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
4 cloves garlic (2 whole, 2 minced)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, shredded
2-3 cups chopped kale
5-6 cups marinara sauce (preferably homemade)
12 cooked lasagna noodles
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with tap water. Soak for 30 minutes, drain and place in a food processor. Add the pumpkin, 2 cloves garlic, salt and water, then process until smooth and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the minced garlic, sprouts and mushrooms for about 5 minutes, then add the kale and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Assemble the lasagna by spreading 1 cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart (9 x 12) baking dish. Layer on 3 noodles, topped with 1/3 of the pumpkin mixture, then 1/3 of the veggies, followed by another cup of marinara sauce. Repeat the layering twice and finish by topping with the remaining 3 noodles, followed by the remaining sauce and cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then uncover the lasagna and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
-- print recipe --

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