In the spirit of Easter, which has now come and gone, I give you a mixed veggie lasagna with spinach noodles!
Okay so no this is not a typical Easter dinner but this was mine. After coming home from a trip and having no food in the house I was happy to have this lasagna I made a few days before and put in the freezer.
For as much as I love cheese I do not put it in every layer, but there is no rule saying you cannot. My first time making this vegetarian lasagna was when I was an Au Pair. I wanted the kids to really taste the vegetables and not get carried away with just the pasta and cheese. I figured out how to get creative with them over the months to get them to try new food and different vegetables. Because most of the time, when they did try, loved them! Most of the time…
Another thing I do, or don’t do.. I skip the step of cooking the lasagna noodles. I found this out by accident actually because when making my first lasagna I didn’t read any directions. So I layered it with the uncooked pasta. And guess what it was just as delicious! It gets you out of the step of trying to get the sticky noodles down on each layer and saves you about 10 minutes.
When I was an Au pair I used to practice my cooking for the kids I watched and the parents. It worked out great for all of us because I got to cook and have people tell me how they liked my food. What I should not change because they loved it and what I could do to improve the recipe. They of course got to eat the food without having to prepare it or clean up. What a deal right? I think it was after showing them my skills with lasagna that they fully trusted me in the kitchen. I obviously doubled this recipe when making it for my Au pair family to feed the seven of us. I sided the lasagna with some big organic lettuce leaves and some homemade vinaigrette drizzled over the top.
Something that helped me when I was an Au pair and I continue to do it now is prep work. When I get home from doing my food shopping I like to prep some things so its ready to cooked in the next few days. I wash and cut most of my fruits and veggies. I wash but don’t cut the things that will not last. I cook up some chicken or turkey, some quinoa, brown rice and lentils. This way on those days where I don’t have time to cook a healthy meal I have some stuff ready to just be warmed up.
When you have four little boys and three adults to cook for this becomes a very handy and current part of your week. I think I learned this from my mom. Before she left for work every night she would prep things for dinner so all I had to do is warm it up and feed my younger brother and sisters. I was only 12 but as I got older she left me more and more responsibility preparing the meals. Of course I loved having that responsibility. My dream was to be a chef like my father. I adored and looked up to him, and still do to this day. My parents owned and ran their own restaurant together. They were my kind of superheros. The way they care about food, presentation and making things beautiful has inspired me through out my whole life.
You could also alter this recipe to make it vegan with some store-bought or homemade vegan cheese. I have actually been wanting to make some for a while, just for the fun of it. I love me some cheese but I remember having some vegan cheese when invited to a friend’s house for dinner and it was honestly amazing! So yes, this is officially on my long list of things I want to make.
This lasagna is great for anytime. It is just always a delicious meal and doesn’t take so much effort. It is literally chop, saute, layer and then let bake. This is one of those simple recipes that will still impress your guests if you are having a dinner. You can use different vegetables depending on the season or depending on what you have in your fridge that day. For example you can do:
- Sweet Potato and Mushroom in the fall
- Winter Squash and Spinach
- Spring Pea and Artichoke
I hope you enjoy making this recipe. Any way you make it. Maybe even making it in your own little way and creating a story of your own.
- 1 box of spinach lasagna noodles
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 onion
- 3 large carrots
- 1 pound mushrooms
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 3 tablespoons basil
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese 100 g
- mozzarella 180 g
Preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C.
Wash and chop all vegetables in circular slices.
Saute the onions in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Add the chopped carrots. Mix in the sliced mushrooms when the onions start turning brown. Cook until the carrots become soft and add the tomato sauce in just at the end.
Add chopped garlic, basil and oregano. Mix well on low heat. Salt and pepper when finished.
Layer your lasagna noodle first, next the zucchini and bell pepper then top it off with your sauce and repeat.
Leave ½ an inch to sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake about 50 minutes and enjoy!
The ingredients that I used for this recipe and are also my personal favorite brands to use include:
Mituso Bio – coconut oil
*You can make this recipe vegan by using vegan cheese or not adding cheese at all.
* You can use any kind of lasagna noodles.