I am making a lasagna for a class I teach (titled “off white”, naturally….) and feel the recipe is just too good not to share.
BUT, before I do…a word about the cost of veggies.
You’ve probably noticed an increase in the cost of veggies this year so far. For instance, I paid nearly $7 for 3 large zucchini for the lasagna. I feel that the committment to eating “off white” and creating that base of fruits and veggies is going to be more at risk as the cost of “healthy” food rises while junk food stays cheap. Just today I saw Kellog’s cereals, like Trix, on sale for $1.88/box. That is quite cheap. Even in my hayday of eating those items it was difficult to get them for under $2. It may be that the overlords of processed foods will take advantage of the economic times and tempt us to make choices for economical reasons.
I get it that paying $7/lb for bell peppers (which I heard of today) is not sustainable. And this blog is all about sustainable, so what can we do to keep our options open? Here are some ideas. The recipe is next, I promise 🙂
- Plant a garden. Invest in a few good organic plants (which are inexpensive when they are small). Two or three good plants may yield ample amounts to get you through the season
- Share your garden bounty with friends and trade for what you do/don’t have
- Buy what is on sale (especially local stuff) and freeze excess. Frozen veggies and fruits are almost as good as fresh
- Don’t let those veggies go to waste. raise your hand if you sometimes throw away produce that goes bad? At $5-7/lb that won’t happen, right?
- Shop local farmer’s markets, roadside stands, etc
- Buy organic frozen veggies when you can and it makes sense for what you are cooking
- Buy bulk at Costco – share with a friend if its too much
Okay, here’s what you’ve been waiting for:
Sneaky Spelt Lasagna (wheat free, vegetarian)
7 Vitaspelt Spelt lasagna noodle
1 bag frozen organic chopped spinach
1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
8 oz real mozzarella
8 oz mozzarella almond or rice cheese
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large jar organic marinara sauce, flavored as you like it
1/2 cup cream of tomato organic soup (optional for added flavor)
3 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 large zucchini, thinly sliced using a Mandolin or with a knife
Boil noodles to al dente. Place 3 noodles + 1/2 in the bottom of a lasagna dish. Mix the marinara with the chopped onion, mushrooms and soup. Set aside. Defrost spinach and then add with basil, thyme and ricotta. Blend until fully mixed. Shred the cheeses.
Add approx 1/3 of marinara mix to 1st layer of spelt noodles. Next add similar amount of ricotta mix. Now add a similar amount of shredded cheese. Add a layer of Zucchini, fully covering the dish (this acts like a pasta layer). Repeat with the marinara, ricotta and cheese. Add the last of the noodles. Add marinara and ricotta layer and THEN ADD 1 MORE ZUCCHINI LAYER.
Finally, coat the top with leftover cheese.
Cook at 375 for 30-40 minutes, with at least 10 of those with the dish uncovered. It makes A LOT of lasagna 🙂
1. use cottage cheese in place of ricotta, or silken tofu, flavored with Italian spices
2. Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts into cheese mix for added texture and fat
3. Use only almond or rice cheese for a low/non-dairy option
4. Add about 3/4 lb ground turkey to marinara mix for a carnivorous delight
wow! this recipe looks really yummy. I’ll give it a try. I concur about growing a garden but I also want to encourage us to share the idea with neighbors and friends. I enjoy sharing my goods but I too would enjoy swapping. Last year I came home to plenty of zucchini on my front porch from my neighbor – and started the same with the abundance of tomatoes I grow each year. It just tickles me inside to have this love among our immediate community. Be green!
I agree with Carrie about spreading the word around gardening – its so important that we all do this together if we want to make it work for everybody. Think of it: one of your neighbors grows zucchini, the other carrots, etc. If we all share there is plenty for all and nobody is eating zucchini for dinner every night!