Monday, September 6, 2010

Vegetable Lasagna (With Meat) ~ by Sarah

It's lasagna--without the carbs! I got most of this recipe from my ground beef cookbook, but I changed it quite a bit to more closely resemble the regular lasagna I make. You can add or subtract vegetables as you wish. My kids don't usually eat spinach, zucchini, or mushrooms, and they ate them in this. They had no clue they were in there! It was really, really good!

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 jar marinara sauce
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 package sliced mushrooms
4 zucchini or 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squashes, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 T flour
1 to 2 cups fresh spinach
2 T chopped fresh basil
16 oz. small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
shredded mozzarella cheese  (I used reduced-fat and it was fine)
shredded Parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat.  Season as desired.  If you have Italian Seasoning, dump some in!  Drain.  Add marinara sauce, stewed tomatoes, and mushrooms.  Mix well (I used the spatula to chop the mushrooms into smaller pieces) and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
 While the meat is simmering, grease a baking dish and layer the bottom with zucchini and yellow squash.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour.
In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese with beaten eggs.  Add 1 tablespoon fresh basil.  Pour half of the mixture over the zucchini and squash and spread evenly.  Add a layer of half of the meat sauce, then another layer of zucchini and squash with 1 tablespoon flour.  Spread the second half of the cottage cheese mixture over that.  Sprinkle with as much spinach as desired.
Spread with the last of the meat mixture.  Add as much Parmesan and mozzarella cheese as desired.  Sprinkle with remaining basil.  Bake at 375 degrees about 40 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
As you can see, it's pretty watery due to all the vegetables.  The flour is to help that, but the more veggies you use, the watery it will be.  It didn't bother us, though!  This is nice because it doesn't require a side dish.  I baked some garlic bread, but that was it!  A meal in one!

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