Vegetable Lasagna

I had my first vegetarian lasagna ever while working in the kitchen of an assisted living home in Winnipeg.  It was one of the easiest suppers we served and quickly became my favorite meal to make.  We didn’t really follow a recipe and I still don’t follow a recipe for lasagna, something with amazes and confounds my mother.  I’ve become very comfortable cooking things without a recipe, especially easy things like lasagna, chicken parmesan, and stirfry.  Harder recipes are also sometimes made without an actual recipe, but normally tweaking is required like my granola bars.  Baking things, however, always requires a recipe.  Baking is closer to science then everyday cooking and requires much more precise measurements and such. 

Because I often share recipes with my mother, I do need to write things down and estimate measurements for her benefit.  She never, ever cooks without a recipe, so if I want her to try something new, I need to provide her with a recipe.  Having said that, here is my recipe for vegetable lasagna.

Vegetable Lasagna

1 box oven ready lasagna noodles (whole wheat if you can find them!)

1 can salt free tomato sauce

2 tsp italian seasoning

1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1tbsp olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 red or green pepper, diced

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup frozen sweet corn

Motzarella cheese

Fresh Spinach

1.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or wok.  Add the onions, carrots and celery, sauteeing until soft.  Add the garlic and rest of the veggies (except spinach).  Sautee untill all the veggies are soft and have released their juices.  Drain and set aside. 

2. Mix the tomato sauce with the spices and sugar.  Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan with pam or olive oil.  Put a layer of tomato sauce down, then noodles, veggies, spinach,  tomato sauce, and motzarella (can user ricotta or cottage cheese).  Continue layering untill you reach the top of the pan with a layer of noodles.  Put some tomato sauce on top of the noodles to make sure the cook, top with a thick layer of motzarella cheese.  Bake @350 for about 30-45 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through.

Lasagnas can be covered in tin foil and saran wrap and frozen for up to 6 months.  Let them thaw in the fridge overnight before baking as above.  The veggies are very flexible, I used what I had on hand but you could throw in eggplant, cauliflower, sweet potato, squash, red potatoes sliced thin, asparagus, or use kale instead of spinach.  The possibilities really are endless with lasagna.

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