Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce
(This is an old recipe that has been removed from my site, but I am leaving the printer-friendly recipe here so anyone who was a fan of the recipe can still find it. Check out Ten Amazing Low-Carb Lasagna Recipes if you want lasagna recipes that are low in carbs.)
(Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn)
1 T olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped small
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 oz. brown mushrooms, chopped small (I used Baby Bella crimini mushrooms, but you could use white mushrooms)
1 tsp. ground fennel
1 tsp. dried basil
2 1/2 cups vegetarian marinara sauce (I didn’t have any homemade sauce, so I used Classico Tomato Basil sauce which was the lowest-sugar sauce I could find)
1/3 cup water (rinse out the jar or pasta sauce container)
4 cups finely chopped fresh kale, blanched 3 minutes in boiling salted water (see note below about using other greens)
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
6 uncooked lasagna noodles (use Dreamfields or whole wheat lasagna for South Beach Diet)
2 cups low-fat Mozzarella or other low-fat white cheese (I used a low-fat four cheese blend)
Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy frying pan over medium heat; add onions and saute until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, chopped mushrooms, ground fennel, and dried basil and saute about 5 minutes more, or until the mushrooms lose their water and the liquid has evaporated. Add the vegetarian marinara sauce and water (rinsing out the sauce container with the water) and turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil to blanch the kale. Chop the kale and wash if needed. (If you have large kale leaves from the store you’ll need to cut away the center ribs, then stack up the kale leaves and thinly slice one direction and then turn cutting board and slice in the other direction.) Add the chopped kale to the boiling salted water and cook 3 minutes, then pour into a colander placed in the sink. Let the kale drain well and cool at least 5 minutes.
While kale is cooling, mix together the cottage cheese, beaten eggs, and finely grated Parmesan. Add cooled kale and stir together.
Spray a 9 inch X 12 inch lasagna dish with nonstick spray. Lay 3 uncooked lasagna noodles across the dish. Cover with 1/2 the mushroom tomato sauce, spreading it across the noodles so they’re all covered with sauce. Then add 1/2 the cottage cheese and kale mixture, spreading it out with a rubber scraper, and sprinkle over 1 cup of the grated low-fat Mozzarella. Make a second layer of lasagna noodles, tomato-mushroom sauce, cottage cheese and kale mixture, and cheese.
Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake 50-60 minutes without removing the foil. Then take the dish out of the oven and remove foil. (I used a toothpick to check and see if the noodles were fairly soft at this point. If they aren’t I would cook a few more minutes with the foil on.) Cook 25-30 minutes more with foil removed, or until the lasagna noodles are soft, and the lasagna is bubbling and lightly browned on top. Let lasagna cool 5-10 minutes before cutting; then cut into pieces and serve hot.
This lasagna freezes well. To reheat, thaw in microwave on low for 1-2 minutes, then heat on high for 2-3 minutes or until the lasagna is hot. (You can also thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and heat in a covered casserole dish in the oven toaster oven.
To make with other greens:
If you don’t want to use kale you could substitute swiss chard, collard greens, or spinach in this recipe. All of those are “softer” in texture than kale (especially spinach) so I would blanch the greens for a shorter time, maybe as little as 1 minute for spinach.