SUMMER VEGETABLE LASAGNA
Note: Creamy, cheesy and packed with fresh summer vegetables, this white-sauce version of lasagna will please even the youngest members of the family. If you're looking for the kind of zip only tomato sauce can provide, feel free to add 1/2 cup of your favorite marinara to each layer. Using no-boil lasagna noodles eliminates the time-consuming step of precooking the pasta. Don't worry if the sauce seems too runny, the no-boil noodles need that extra moisture and will absorb it during the cooking process. From Meredith Deeds.
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 c. onion, chopped
• 1 c. corn kernels
• 1 medium zucchini, diced
• 1 medium yellow squash, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
• 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
• 1/3 c. flour
• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
• 2 c. low-fat milk
• 2 c. low sodium chicken broth
• 1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
• 1 c. low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated
• Cooking spray
• 12 no-cook lasagna noodles (8 oz.), divided
• 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the corn, zucchini, squash, red pepper, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook for another 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the spinach and cook for another minute, breaking up the lumps of spinach with the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the flour, black pepper, nutmeg and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the chicken broth and continue whisking until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and mozzarella.
Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of a 9- by 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce (you may have to break one of the noodles in half lengthwise in order to fit them in the pan). Spoon 3/4 cup sauce evenly over noodles. Dot the top of the noodles evenly with one-third cheese mixture, then one-third of the vegetable mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with noodles. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese.
To freeze: Cover the dish with a layer of plastic wrap and two layers of heavy-duty foil. Freeze for up to two months. Before baking, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Proceed as directed below.
To bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes. Discard the foil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 440 Fat 16 g Sodium 730 mg
Carbohydrates 50 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 530 mg
Protein 26 g Cholesterol 69 mg Dietary fiber 5 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 3 bread/starch, 2 medium-fat meat, 1 fat.