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Use your favorite tomato sauce in this layered dish of vegetables, quinoa, cheese and herbs. This lasagna is packed full of flavor that is reminiscent of comfort food without being too heavy. You’ll still have plenty of room for dessert.
2 cups (500 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil or olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onions
1 cup (250 mL) sliced brown or white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) tomato sauce or prepared pasta sauce
2 cups (500 mL) sodium-reduced pressed
(dry curd) cottage cheese
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh basil (or ½ tsp/2 mL dried)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano
2 cups (500 mL) sliced zucchini
(2 small or 1 medium zucchini)
2 cups (500 mL) packed fresh spinach
1 ½ cups (375 mL) shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 13- × 9-inch (3 L) casserole dish or spray with cooking oil.
Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Evenly spread the cooked quinoa in the casserole dish. Set aside. Cooked quinoa already on hand? Use 3 cups (750 mL) cooked quinoa as the base for this lasagna.
Wipe clean the saucepan, then heat the oil in it on medium heat. Add the onions; cook until transparent and starting to brown. Add the mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are softened and very little moisture remains in the pan. Add the garlic and tomato sauce. Stir until hot. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the cottage cheese with the egg; mix well. Stir in the Parmesan, basil and oregano.
Spread one-third of the tomato sauce over the quinoa. Make a layer of all the zucchini, then all the cottage cheese mixture, then one-third of the tomato sauce, then all the spinach, ending with the remainder of the tomato sauce. Spread the mozzarella cheese evenly on top.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until the lasagna is hot and the cheese is melted, bubbling and slightly browned around the edges. Serve.
Excerpted from Quinoa Revolution, by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming, Photo Credit: Ryan Szulc, 2012 Penguin Group (Canada) www.penguin.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.