Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zucchini Lasagna

Please excuse my after photos.  Fall means not enough natural light
by the time dinner is ready and I'm not using my own camera right now.

Robbie’s parents live near Mt. Shasta.  Consequently, they didn’t get summer weather until much later than we did.  This means their harvest came in later than ours.  A few weeks ago they came to visit and brought a load of zucchini with them!

I wanted to try something new with them, so I decided to make zucchini lasagna.  I didn’t just want to add zucchini to my usual lasagna though.  I wanted to use sliced zucchini in place of the noodles to make a healthier lasagna.  The end result was a success!

I did use one layer of lasagna noodles—I just LOVE pasta too much!  But I was surprised by how much that one layer contributed to the dish.  Had I not made the lasagna myself, I would have guessed there was a lot more pasta.  Simply replace this layer of pasta with zucchini to make gluten-free lasagna.

As far as the zucchini, I tried two ways.  First, I just sliced it into flat pieces with my chef knife.  This worked really well.  The next time I made it, I hauled out the food processor to see if I liked that approach better.  While it was super fast, it sliced the zucchini a little thinner than I would have liked.

Fast, but too thin.

Going along with my goal of a healthier lasagna, I also added shredded carrots.  I found that I like the texture of the carrots shredded on the cheese grater better than those I put through the food processor.

Feel free to add whatever vegetables you desire.  The second time I made this, I added finely chopped broccoli.  Cauliflower, mushrooms, and eggplant would all work great!

As far as the cheese goes, the mozzarella/parmesan/cottage cheese mix I use in regular lasagna would be delicious!  However, I accidentally went healthy on this one.  When making my shopping list for that week, I incorrectly assumed I had plenty of mozzarella and parmesan in my fridge.  When I went to make the lasagna, I realized I had no mozzarella and only a little parmesan—I should have checked.  I ended up just using cottage cheese between the layers and parmesan cheese on top.  It was still super tasty, not to mention easier on the waistline and the wallet.

Zucchini Lasagna
1 jar spaghetti sauce
5-6 lasagna noodles (enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
1 lb. cottage cheese
2-3 carrots, shredded
1 small bunch broccoli, finely chopped
2 large or 3 small zucchini, sliced
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spread a layer of spaghetti sauce over bottom of pan.  Cover with single layer of lasagna noodles.

Top with 1/3 of cottage cheese; sprinkle with 1/3 each of carrots and broccoli.  Spoon sauce over.

Cover with a layer of zucchini.  Create another layer of cottage cheese, carrot, broccoli, and sauce, covering with 2nd layer of zucchini.

Repeat again.  You should end up with 1 layer of noodles, 3 layers of filling, and 3 layers of zucchini.  Pour remaining sauce over top.

Yummy layers!

Cover tightly with foil; bake 1 hour.  Remove foil and sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until Parmesan starts to turn golden.  Remove from oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.  

Gluten-Free Zucchini Lasagna
Prepare as above, replacing layer of lasagna noodles with zucchini.

Extra Cheesy Zucchini Lasagna
Prepare zucchini lasagna above.  Decrease amount of carrots and broccoli.  Replace cottage cheese with the following mixture:

1 lb. cottage or ricotta cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
½ c. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
Dash each garlic powder, basil, oregano, thyme, and marjoram


Sarah! said...

If you're looking for another alternative to noodles, I've used potato slices as well: Potato Lasagna! YUM! Greg shook his head at me the first time I made it, now he's a fan!

Sumiko said...

Sounds great! And Russets are so much cheaper than zucchini! (Unless you grow the zucchini or get it from someone.)

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