Broccoli. It's the vegetable that everyone loves to hate.
When my cousins were little, I used to sneak broccoli into lasagna by chopping it into small pieces and thoroughly mixing it into the tomato sauce. Even though they eventually found the pieces, they still liked the lasagna too much and continued eating it anyway, broccoli and all.
Cue evil laugh. *Bwahaha.*
That's one way to get kids to eat their vegetables.
So when Ning of Heart and Hearth, host of last month's Weekend Wokking pumpkin round-up, announced broccoli as the next challenge, I knew exactly which recipe to post.
While you could certainly sneak broccoli into a meat lasagna, I decided to make a vegetarian version instead with other healthy vegetables such as kale and zucchini. I also prefer to substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese as it's less heavy and healthier.
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini
For a 10-by-14-inch pan, you'll need:
1 package of lasagna noodles
1 16-oz container small curd cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese
1 8-oz package mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 bunch kale, chopped into small pieces
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
2 24-oz jars pasta sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
Optional: Other vegetables that would work well include thinly sliced mushrooms, shredded carrots, and sauteed spinach.
I like my lasagna with quite a bit of sauce, so if you do too, then you can skip boiling the noodles as they'll soak up the sauce and soften when baking in the oven. Don't believe me that you don't have to boil the noodles? My lasagna with meat sauce recipe to shows you how regular dry lasagna noodles will soften and cook from absorbing all that moisture.
Thinly slice the zucchini. Set aside.
Chop the broccoli and kale. Dice the onion.
In a pan, drizzle a bit of olive oil and saute the onion until softened. Add the broccoli and kale and stir until slightly softened. Add the sauce and herbs and mix. And if you're thrifty as I am, add about 1/4 cup water into the jars and swish it around to get the last of the sauce.
In another bowl, mix together the 16-oz container of small curd cottage cheese, 1 8-oz package mozzarella, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Now you're ready to start assembling. Clockwise from top left, noodles, cheese, zucchini, sauce, pan. Start off by layering a bit of sauce at the bottom so the noodles won't stick to the pan.
Then add a bit of the cheese mixture. A layer of the noodles. The zucchini slices. And repeat until the ingredients are all used up. Remember to save enough sauce and cheese for the topping.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for at least half an hour to 45 minutes.
This photo shows the gooey cheese topping.
Who made my recipe for vegetarian lasagna with broccoli, kale, and zucchini?
Yasmeen of Health Nut said, "The juicy vegetables fill in perfectly, truly a wholesome alternative to those on no meat diet."
I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient. This month's secret ingredient is BROCCOLI. Please check the broccoli round-up for 13 recipes. The host for December is Wiffy of Noob Cook. If you'd like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month.
Since we're celebrating broccoli this month, my other broccoli recipes:
Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry
Broccoli Bacon Pasta
Fettucine Alfredo with Broccoli and Chicken
Fried Rice Yang Chow-Style
Steamed Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) with Oyster Sauce
Pad See-Ew (Thai Rice Noodles with Soy Sauce, Broccoli, Chicken, and Eggs)
1 year ago today, Happy Holidays or when I put up my tree or granny square afghan.
2 years ago today, the best New England clam chowder recipe ever.