Monday, February 25, 2013

Vegetable Lasagna

This morning, my alarm went off at 3:15 a.m.  It wasn't broken.  I intentionally set it to that ungodly hour.  Those wheels were set in motion yesterday early in the afternoon when Denver International Airport decided to preemptively cancel all flights for the rest of the day.  Our friend, Jason, had to reschedule and get the first flight out this we woke up before 4 o'clock to get to the airport in time.

It's not really a big deal, but it does mean that now, after working all day, I'm not really feeling in the mood to cook, stand, or even keep my eyes open.
We all have days when we don't feel like cooking.  So it always helps to have something prepared ahead of time in the fridge or freezer.  Lasagna is a really easy thing to heat up the day you want to eat it.  The other nice thing about it is that it doesn't taste like leftovers.  And it's definitely going to be better than whatever fast food you'd be tempted to eat otherwise.

2 c. chopped fresh broccoli
1 1/2 c. julienned carrots
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. chopped red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. flour
3 c. milk
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 - 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
1 1/2 c. small curd cottage cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese
12 lasagna noodles; cook and drain (do not use no-boil noodles)

1.  In a large skillet, saute vegetables (except spinach) and garlic in olive oil until crisp-tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.

2.  In a heavy saucepan, whisk flour and milk until smooth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat, stir in 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Cook until melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in spinach (microwaved and drained according to package instructions).

3.  In a bowl, combine cottage, swiss, and mozzarella cheeses.

4.  Spread 1/2 c. of spinach mixture in a greased 9x13" dish.  Layer with 4 noodles, then half of the cheese mixture, 1/2 of the vegetables and 3/4 c. spinach mixture.  Repeat layers.  Top with remaining noodles, 1 c. (rest of) spinach mixture, and remaining parmesan cheese (1/4 c.).

5.  cover and bake at 375˚ for 35 minutes.  Uncover, bake for 15 minutes more or until bubbly.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

*Frozen cooking directions: Do not thaw.  Cook at 350˚ for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, uncover the last 15 minutes to brown the top.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

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