Now-a-days green is in! Green veggies are nutrient dense and people are finding new ways to blend them into their diet. This “Green Lasagna” is a delicious way to get your vitamins and minerals because it is loaded with vitamins A, C, and B6. This dish is fun for Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day.
The lasagnas pictured used alternate layers of zucchini noodles and whole wheat noodles. The recipe below is for all whole wheat noodles.
1 pound Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles
1 (2 ¾ pound) Butternut Squash
OR 4 cups frozen
10 cups Spinach
4 cups Kale
10 ½ tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
extra for drizzling
1 small Onion
1 can (14oz) Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon Raw Sugar or Light Agave Nectar
1 tablespoon Garlic, chopped
¾ cup Fresh Basil
¼ tsp Nutmeg, ground
9 ounces extra firm organic tofu
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
salt and black pepper to taste
TO MAKE THE LASAGNA
1 pound whole wheat lasagna noodles
4 cups finely chopped fresh spinach
4 cups fresh, hard stems removed and leaves finely
Spinach Squash Sugo (sauce)
4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
1 can (14-15oz) tomato sauce
1 cup OR ½ can (emptied tomato sauce) water
1 tablespoon raw sugar OR agave nectar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup fresh basil
6 cups fresh spinach
½ butternut squash OR 2 cups frozen cubes
½ butternut squash OR 2 cups frozen
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
9 ounces extra firm tofu, ORGANIC non-gmo
3 tablespoon pine nuts
4 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh basil
¾ cup of Spinach Squash Sugo (sauce)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
salt and black pepper
¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tablespoons parsley
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
TO SAVE TIME- It is convenient to have the squash roasted and tofu drained. Any steps before assembly can be done ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to assemble lasagna. The recipe including assembly can be completed and refrigerated for up to one week before baking.
Sauce- In a pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil then add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions for 3-5 minutes and are transparent. Next, add tomato sauce, water, sugar, pinch of salt and basil. Let sauce simmer, covered, for 25-45 minutes.Preparing Tofu-While squash is baking, drain your tofu. If you do not have a tofu press you can place a towel in a dish and line the top with paper towels. Put your tofu on the paper towel and cover with additional paper towels then place something heavy, like a heavy bowl or pan, on top. This will help express the liquid. Do this for an hour OR leave in refrigerator overnight.Roasting Squash- SKIP THIS STEP IF USING FROZEN SQUASH. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds, similar to how you would clean out a pumpkin. Put on a baking pan and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top then place into oven uncovered for 45min-1 hour or until a fork can be easily inserted. When butternut squash is finished roasting, remove from oven to start cooling. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
In a food processor or blender, scoop out the flesh of ½ the roasted butternut squash (2 cups frozen). Add the spinach, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Blend until well combined. If it is too thick add a tablespoon of water or olive oil. Finally, add to the pot with the tomato sauce.
Pesto “Ricotta”- Toast pine nuts in a skillet over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until they start to turn a golden brown. Then, in a food processor or blender combine tofu, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and basil until mixture is smooth and resembles ricotta. Mix in ¾ cup of spinach squash sugo.
Squash Puree- Scoop out the flesh of the remaining ½ butternut squash (2 cups of frozen squash). In a food processor or blender combine squash, nutmeg, and pinch of salt. Blend until it becomes a puree. May wish to add a slight drizzle of olive oil.*If squash is still hot for this step and you are using a blender, place kitchen towel over blender and hold down the lid*
Topping- Stir together breadcrumbs, parsley, and olive oil. The breadcrumbs should be moist. If they seem too dry, add some more olive oil.
Noodles- Bring 8-10 cups of water to a boil. To season the noodles you need to add 1-2 tablespoons of salt to the water. Cook the lasagna noodles in batches, so you can work as you go. Start with 3-4 noodles. Cook them 2 minutes less than the box recommends. When they are finished, remove from water and place on a plate. Start assembling lasagna and cook more noodles as you need them.
ASSEMBLY OF LASAGNA
Grease a 9×13 glass baking dish or lasagna pan with cooking spray or oil. Cover the bottom of the dish with sauce then add a layer of noodles. Spread some “ricotta” mixture on the noodles then top with a thin layer of sauce. Next add a mixed layer of spinach and kale. When the next group of noodles is ready to go (slightly cooled on the plate) spread some butternut squash puree on top of them. Then lay them puree side down onto the spinach and kale. Then you repeat the whole process starting with the “ricotta”.
Think of it like a triple-decker sandwich, the middle slice of bread needs “spread” on both sides to help hold everything together. In this case the noodle is the bread and the squash goes on the bottom and the “ricotta” on top.
There will be 5 layers of noodles and 4 layers of filling. After layering is complete, spread a final layer of sauce on the top. If you have remaining sauce, you can add more to the sides or save for serving.
Finally, sprinkle the breadcrumb topping over and lightly pat it down.
Cover with foil. Vent foil by using a fork to poke a few holes or a knife to make a few slits. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil and return to oven and bake additional 15 minutes. This will allow the topping to get golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit 15-30 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.