First of all, I’m completely overwhelmed by the number of positive responses to my last post, How I Stay In Shape as a Professional Baking Blogger. So many of you related in some way, whether that be in finding balance, working out, or eating in general. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your thoughts with me. It makes me so ridiculously excited to continue to share more lifestyle posts with you all, and to connect in this new and exciting way.
Now, hot off the heels of that post, I’m sharing with you a Green Goddess Lasagna recipe. It’s called Green Goddess because it’s made with tons of green veggies, and because you are all goddesses. Let’s do this!
What makes this green lasagna amazing?
This is no regular vegetarian lasagna recipe. This baby has five different vegetables, each bursting with flavor, along with a delicious béchamel sauce, goat cheese, and fresh mozzarella. YEAH. And despite all that, this green lasagna really isn’t that bad for you. I say ‘that bad’ because there is a good amount of cheese in it. But other than the cheese, it truly is all veggies and a little bit of whole wheat lasagna noodles.
This is the perfect meal for springtime, capturing the transition between comfort food and fresh produce. Because you sauté the vegetables separately, it does take a little bit more time, but I am telling you right now that it’s worth it. The green chili enchilada sauce is delicious, too. But if you can’t find it at your grocery store, you can always use a red marinara. I just loved the look of all green.
How to make lasagna
If you’ve not yet made a homemade vegetarian lasagna for yourself, I’m guessing it’s because the process of making a giant lasagna sounds a bit intimidating. All those layers with the different sauces and fillings must take forever to prep, right? Wrong. Well, mostly wrong. Yes, homemade lasagna takes some time to whip up, but none of the steps for making this green lasagna are even remotely difficult.
The basic steps for making a lasagna are to prep the filling(s), make the béchamel sauce, and then assemble the lasagna.
For this green lasagna recipe, you prep all the veggies in batches using the same skillet (I have you sauté veggies together that require the same amount of cooking time). Once you’ve cooked each batch of veggies, set them aside in separate bowls for later. Once the veggies are all cooked, you make the béchamel sauce, which is a simple combination of flour, butter, milk, and spices. You essentially whisk all that together and let it cook down a bit until it thickens.
At this point, you should be ready to assemble the green lasagna! Begin by spreading some of the green enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan to prevent the noodles from sticking. Then put down a layer of lasagna noodles, followed by half of the veggies and a third of the béchamel and enchilada sauces, goat cheese, and basil. Repeat this process, ending with a layer of noodles topped with the two sauces.
How to reheat lasagna
Unless you’re feeding a crowd, you’ll likely have leftover vegetarian green lasagna. To reheat leftover lasagna, either cover it with aluminum foil and bake it in the oven at 350ºF until it’s heated through, or microwave it in a shallow dish with a little water in it (the water will prevent the lasagna from becoming rubbery). I also enjoy eating leftover green lasagna cold, but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea!
Happy Tuesday to you all. Thank you again for being you.
15 sheets whole wheat lasagna noodles (the no-cook kind)
3/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
for the bechamel
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups skim or low-fat milk
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion and green peppers in 2 teaspoons olive oil until tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place on a large plate, reserving for later.
In the same pan, sauté mushrooms and asparagus until mushrooms are browned and asparagus is cooked but still slightly hard to the touch (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place on a large plate, reserving for later.
In the same pan, cook the garlic and spinach until the spinach is slightly wilted (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and place on a large plate, reserving for later.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
To make the bechamel, melt butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and allow to cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk for 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
Place 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking pan. Line with 5 sheets of lasagna noodles. Place half of the green peppers/onion mixture, then half of the mushroom/asparagus mixture, then half of the sautéed spinach over the noodles. Drizzle with a third of the bechamel and the basil, then half of the goat cheese and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce. Repeat with a second layer of noodles in the same fashion.
Top everything with a final layer of noodles, then the remaining bechamel, enchilada sauce, and basil. Top everything with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, covered. Remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Serve!