Immense Healthy Lasagna

After waking up to snow and wind in Edmonton on April Fools, it’s hard to believe that the day before was a beautiful spring day that brought the city out of hibernation.

On Saturday, Billy & I made the most of the sunshine and went for a walk in the River Valley. After, we managed to catch the last hour of the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. It was Billy’s first time to the Farmer’s Market and we scooped up all sorts of goodies: fresh eggplant, local honey, local organic chokecherry wine, Moroccan chicken sausage, sirloin meat pie, a huuuge purple onion, and a little bunch of pussy willows for a kitchen table decoration. To finish off our shopping trip, we grabbed a smokey from the Fat Frank’s stand, complete with Dijon mustard, to eat in the park. It’s days like these that I fall in love with Edmonton; a nice reminder that life is pretty good in our northern city.

To make use of our special Farmer’s Market ingredients, we decided to make a hearty lasagna with our own little twist. Whole wheat lasagna noodles, cottage cheese, eggplant, roasted peppers, purple onion, and Moroccan spice chicken sausage. The recipe came out very flavourful and satisfying. I keep stealing bites of Billy’s giant-sized lasagna lunch while I write because it is so tasty!

The Recipe:

1 eggplant, sliced 1/4″ thick
3 peppers (Red, Yellow, Orange), sliced and seeded
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large purple onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
4 cloves of pressed garlic
4 medium chicken sausages, taken out of casing
1 bag of spinach
1 jar of Portobello mushroom pasta sauce
a dash of rosemary, oregano, basil, and black pepper
10 strips of whole wheat lasagna noodles
500 grams of cottage cheese
250 grams of parmesan cheese
250 grams of mozzarella cheese
2 medium fresh tomatoes

Instructions

1. Use tinfoil over 2 different baking sheets. On one, lay slices of eggplant and then drizzle with olive oil and spice with salt and pepper. On the other, lay slices of sliced peppers skin side up, drizzle with olive oil. Throw in the oven at 400 F for about 40-45 minutes.

2. Pour some olive oil in a skillet, then add diced onion, pressed garlic, and sliced carrots. Saute until veggies start to brown. Add chicken sausage, brown until cooked.

3. While browning veggies and chicken, use another deep skillet to cook lasagne noodles, as per package directions. When cooked but firm, drain and rinse with cold water.

4. Throw spinach leaves into veggie skillet and cover until leaves shrink down. Then add jar of pasta sauce. Cook until aromatic, add spices such as rosemary, oregano, pepper, basil until satisfied.

5. Lightly cover a large, deep baking dish with olive oil. Lay noodles to cover the bottom. Then, add a layer of eggplant slices and roasted peppers. Next, a layer of chicken pasta sauce. Finish with a layer cottage cheese. Repeat again in the order of noodles, roasted veggies, sauce, and cottage cheese.

6. Cover the layers with the remaining noodles, sprinkle with olive oil and do final layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh sliced tomatoes to add moisture and flavour.

7. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 375 F or until cheese is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve! Makes 8-10 servings.

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