Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vegetarian Lasagna

This might be one of my husband's favorite meals. I'm not even for sure what prompted me to make this in the first place, but he usually begs me to make it. It is actually a pretty filling dish despite the lack of meat. You really don't miss it. There are vegetables in both the sauce and the cheese layers of the lasagna, and together they add up to a hardy piece of lasagna. It also usually lasts for a couple of meals for only the two of us, and that is okay. If only all leftovers could be like this =-)
The sauce makes this lasagna. However, on the flip side, the sauce is also what makes this dish fairly time consuming. Chopping, chopping, cooking, simmering. It does take awhile, but it's definately worth it.

Vegetarian Lasagna
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 (1 8 oz & 1 15 oz) can tomato sauce
1-1/2 c. chopped celery
1-1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped green bell pepper
1 c. chopped red bell pepper
3 bay leaves
1-1/2 tsp. crushed oregano
1-1/2 tsp. crushed basil
1/8 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen broccoli florets, thawed
3 c. reduced-fat cottage cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 pkg. no-cook whole wheat lasagna noodles

In a saucepan, combine diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, celery, bell peppers, onion, bay leaves, oregano, garlic, basil, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 mintues. Discard bay leaves.
In a separate bowl, combine broccoli, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Set aside.
Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Top with noodles, half the filling, and half the remaining sauce. Repeat. Spread Mozzarella cheese over the top layer of sauce. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

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