Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Green Goddess Lasagna

Hi there!  Happy Wednesday.... we're halfway through the week!  Last week, I made one of the best things I've ever created - basically ever.  This post is all about lasagna, but seeing as I don't eat ground beef, I never had lasagna until I bought Chef Amy's version.

Then, about a year ago, I decided to attempt to make lasagna. This recipe from Bethanny Frankel to be exact.  It was horrible and I'm thinking horrible needs to be in bigger font and in caps.  It was flavorless and I ended up dousing it in red pepper flakes just to get myself to eat it.  Sigh.

However, on vacation in Hawaii, I saw the same recipe I had originally used advertised in Health magazine and it got me thinking.  I liked the idea of using pesto in a lasagna recipe, but I wanted more veggies, another protein source and I wanted it to taste phenomenal instead of tasting like it needed to go in the trash.  What could I do?

I started thinking about what I wanted in my lasagna.  I knew I wanted to use pesto, brown rice noodles and low-fat ricotta.  I know from cooking experience that I can't taste a different between part-skim and low-fat, so why wouldn't I choose the choice with the lower calories to make up for the ones I'm adding with pesto?  I wanted a flavorful filling - so I decided to add spinach, garlic and skim mozzarella to it.  When I got home, I realized that I might not have enough ricotta.... but I had tofu in my press so into the food processor it went.

I was nervous, this was the first time I had ever gone completely rogue in the kitchen with cooking, I've done it with baking plenty of times, but never with cooking.  I was really nervous about putting tofu in the filling... but it was incredible!  I was so surprised, the pesto flavor resonated throughout and the filling was delicious. Dare I say this is the best thing that I've ever created in the kitchen?  Yes, I do.

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Green Goddess Lasagna


16 brown rice lasagna noodles
15 oz low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 block firm tofu, pressed
3-4 C baby spinach
2 C part-skim mozzarella
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 C basil pesto (I used the refrigerated one from TJ's and used about 75% of the container

1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Heat water to boiling - add noodles and cook for 12-14 minutes following package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine ricotta, tofu and spinach until combined.
3. Add 1 C mozzarella, egg, garlic, black pepper, salt and red pepper flakes to spinach mixture.  Stir to combine.
4. Begin by spraying baking dish with non-stick spray.  Layer 3 tbsp pesto mixture, top with 3-4 noodles, 1 cup of spinach mixture - repeat until spinach mixture and noodles have been used.  Finish top layer with remaining pesto and top with last C of mozzarella.
5. Bake in a 375 degree oven until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

What's your favorite veggie lasagna recipe?