Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lasagna for Real Life

So you think that lasagna is just too difficult and time consuming to make at home? Think again! I've adapted this recipe from one that was on the back of the box of whole grain lasagna noodles that I bought. My family loves it, and they don't even notice all the veggie goodness packed inside. For a vegetarian option, simply omit the meat. To make it gluten-free, use brown rice lasagna noodles OR thin sliced strips of eggplant (omit water if using eggplant.)

Lasagna for Real Life
1 lb ground beef
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups (26oz jar) spaghetti sauce
1 ½ cups water
1 ¾ cups (15oz) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, basil or oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
9-12 whole grain lasagna noodles (uncooked)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat in a large skillet over medium heat until still slightly pink, drain. Add pepper and garlic and cook about 3 minutes until meat is completely browned. Add spaghetti sauce and water. Simmer about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs, spinach, herbs and salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup of sauce mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 3 or 4 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles lengthwise to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover with 1 cup sauce, then spread ½ of the cheese mixture on top. Repeat layers of lasagna, sauce and cheese. Top with remaining lasagna and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbling. Let stand at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesdays, enjoy!

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