Thursday, March 14, 2013

Raise the Roof Lasagna

It's really not the most photogenic dish. You'll understand once you make it.

This is absolutely delicious because it’s filled with delicious things. It is jam-packed with yumminess. It’s roof-raisingly delectable. In other words, in addition to being totally tasty, it’s also huge. Please, please, please make sure you engage your core before lifting it. I’m not kidding.

Inspired by Rip Esseltyn’s recipe in “Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health.”

1 onion, diced
1 head (yes, head) of garlic, all cloves minced
1 portabella cap, sliced fairly thinly
1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
2 10 oz. packages of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (we cook them in the microwave for about 8 min)
6 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 ½ - 2 jars Marinara sauce (We use Newman’s Organic)
9 gluten-free lasagna noodles (obviously, whole grain noodles would be totally acceptable for those who eat gluten)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried rosemary)
1 cup raw cashews, ground

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan and continue to cook until the mushrooms ooze.

4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mushrooms, onions and garlic to a large bowl.

5. Add the broccoli and carrots to the skillet. Sauté for 5 minutes and then dump them into the bowl with the mushrooms and onions.

6. Add the peppers to the skillet and cook until just tender. Toss them into the big bowl with the other cooked veggies.

7. Add the chickpeas to the skillet and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes.

8. Roll the chickpeas into the bowl with everything else, add the rosemary and oregano and stir until you’ve got one big bowl of well-mixed vegetable deliciousness.

8a. At this point, you will likely look into the bowl and think, “I’ve been chopping and cooking forever and this bowl of veggies looks delicious…why not stop now?” We’ve been there and we’ve pushed on. The final product is worth it!

9. Cover the bottom of your lasagna pan with a generous amount of marinara sauce. Top with a layer of noodles and a little more sauce.

10. Spread the vegetable mixture out on top of the sauced noodles.

11. Top with another layer of noodles and sauce. Top the noodles with the spinach. Top the spinach with the sweet potatoes. Top the sweet potatoes with another layer of noodles. Top the noodles with another generous helping of marinara sauce and cover the whole thing with a layer of sliced Roma tomatoes.

12. Cover the lasagna with foil and heave the beast into the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes.

13. Remove the foil, top with ground cashews and return to the oven for about 15 minutes (don’t let the cashews burn!).

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