Meatless Monday with Great Vegetable Lasagna
Hello and welcome (back) to the Miratel blog and thank you for stopping by for our Meatless Monday vegetarian recipe share. The Meatless Monday pledge aims to reduce meat consumption 15% by eliminating it one day per week to preserve personal and planetary health. Miratel supports this great initiative and includes it as part of its CSR business strategies to spread awareness of the impact of food choices on our environment.
Our recipe today is for a hearty flavour packed vegetable lasagna that comes by way of the PBS series America’s Test Kitchen. There are a few steps to it but well worth the effort as it is unlike any vegetable lasagna you’ve tasted.
INGREDIENTS (serves 8-10)
No-Cook Tomato Sauce
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Vegetable Lasagna image courtesy of americastestkitchen.com
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
No-Cook Cream Sauce
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (2 cups)
- 1 cup whole milk cottage cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ pounds eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 1 pound yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoonextra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 12 ounces baby spinach(about 12 cups)
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- ½ cup minced pitted kalamata olives
- 12 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl; set aside.
- FOR THE CREAM SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl; set aside.
- FOR THE FILLING: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Line surface of large plate with double layer of coffee filters and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Spread eggplant in even layer over filters. Wipe out and reserve now-empty bowl. Microwave eggplant, uncovered, until dry to touch and slightly shriveled, about 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through to ensure that eggplant cooks evenly. Let cool slightly. Return eggplant to bowl and toss with zucchini and squash.
- Combine 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, and thyme in small bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half eggplant mixture, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of skillet; add half of garlic mixture to clearing and cook, mashing with spatula, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir to combine garlic mixture with vegetables and transfer to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant mixture, 2 tablespoons oil, and remaining garlic mixture.
- Return skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining teaspoon oil, and heat until shimmering. Add spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer spinach to paper towel–lined plate and drain 2 minutes. Stir into eggplant mixture.
- TO ASSEMBLE: Spray 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of baking dish; shingle 4 noodles on top of sauce. Spread half of vegetable mixture over noodles, followed by half of olives, half of cream sauce, and 1 cup of mozzarella. Repeat layering with 4 noodles, 1 cup tomato sauce, remaining vegetables, remaining olives, remaining cream sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella. Place remaining 4 noodles on top layer of cheese. Spread remaining 1 cup tomato sauce over noodles and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Lightly spray large sheet of aluminum foil with vegetable oil spray and cover lasagna. Bake until -bubbling, about 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack 25 minutes. Cut into pieces, sprinkle with basil, and serve.
Cottage cheese may seem like an odd choice over ricotta, but the chefs at America’s Test Kitchen found that ricotta made the dish dry not creamy. Using a fresh, uncooked, tomato sauce gives this lasagna a fresher flavour because it only cooks once, when it is alongside the pasta.
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to visit the Meatless Monday website and join us in taking the Meatless Monday pledge today. Spread the word at home and at work to promote CSR business initiatives and make your green call centre, office, factory, shop, restaurant or salon even greener.
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.