Monday, July 22, 2013

Vegetarian Mushroom Lasagna and **BONUS** Ceaser Salad Dressing Recipe

What could be better than lasagna with two different kinds of meat? Well, if you are a vegetarian, how about a lasagna with two different kinds of mushrooms and absolutely no meat?! I actually preferred this one, although my husband (a tried and true carnivore) did prefer the double meat variety. I found that using the Portobello mushrooms added the right amount of flavour and consistency so you could avoid using any of the nasty processed soy-based meat substitution products.

This is definitely not vegan (I'm back on the dairy wagon!) but of course you could always substitute vegan cheese for the cow's milk variety if you so chose and forgo the egg. The big thing in this is all the veggies!

This only makes a small dish (as per the pictures). Just double everything if you want more pasta perfection.

1/2  package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large Portobello mushrooms
6 large white mushrooms
1 pepper (any colour, whatever your preference)
1 onion (your choice of variety)
1/4 cup broccoli
1 small zucchini
2 cups marinara sauce (homemade or canned)
1 package frozen spinach (you can use fresh but I used frozen, make sure you drain it well!)
1 egg
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Herbs and Spices (to taste) - I use oregano, basil, sage, thyme, rosemary,salt, pepper, etc. Fresh or dried.

Cook all the veggies in a large pan in the olive oil until just softened. Add marinara sauce and spices. Allow to simmer at a low temperature for about half an hour (until veggies are cooked and the flavours are coming out). If you prefer crisper veggies, don't pre-cook them before adding the sauce.

Once your sauce is cooked, combine the spinach, ricotta, and egg. I added a bit of cheddar and mozza to this layer as well, to make the lasagna extra cheesy!

Now is the fun part! Time to layer
Start with the marinara sauce. Add noodles. Then ricotta, sauce, noodles. Ricotta, sauce, noodles. And, finally, cheese! Lots and lots and lots of cheese.

Throw this concoction of awesome into the oven at 350oC for about forty minutes. Check relatively frequently. You want the cheese to be melted and a bit crunchy but (obviously) not burnt. (Burned?)

And bonus Ceaser dressing recipe!

1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
5-6 cloves (lots and lots!) of fresh garlic
salt and pepper
Up to 1/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients, leave milk to last so you can add just enough to make the dressing your desired consistency.
Add to fresh romaine lettuce, croutons, and top the mixture with even more parm cheese. For a veggie boost I also add cucumbers, mushrooms, and green onions to my Ceaser salad.

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