I’d consider myself somewhat of an adventurous eater. I absolutely love preparing new meals and I’m willing to try anything once. This is a far cry from the Sara of childhood. Back then, I can remember being sent to my room multiple times for refusing to eat mashed potatoes. (I actually still have an issue with this one.)
I also had a thing against meat when it was served in loaf or ball form (and you know how much I loved meat). I made sure to keep those meatballs out of my spaghetti and there was no way you were getting me to eat meatloaf. I also had a vendetta against lasagna, although I can’t remember exactly what there was not to like. Yet to this day, I rarely eat lasagna.
Strangely enough, my meal plan from last week featured a vegetarian spin on both lasagna and meatloaf. But this time, I didn’t have to take any “bathroom trips” to spit food in the toilet (sorry, Mom).
The best thing about vegetarian lasagna is that it’s jam-packed with vegetable love. If you’re looking to add more veggies to your diet, lasagna is an easy way to add variety and experiment with your options. My recipe called for onions, celery, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes and spinach. Basil, olives and eggplant are just a few ingredients that I think could easily be added to or replaced with the other veggies. If you’d like to make yours vegan, just add tofu instead of ricotta cheese and don’t use buffalo mozzarella (or replace with nutritional yeast).
Is there a food you’ve hated since childhood? Looking back, I think most of my issues were just based on stubbornness. If there’s a food you rarely eat today because you “hated” it growing up, why don’t you give it one more try? I bet you’ll surprise yourself and your taste buds.
Here’s to having a grown-up palette and saying farewell to picky eating forever.
recipe source: inspired by about.com low fat cooking
serving size: 8
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 broccoli head, chopped
- 1 yellow squash, chopped
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp oregano or mixed Italian herbs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 handfuls baby spinach salad leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 15-ounce tub fat-free or low fat ricotta
- 8-ounces no-cook whole-wheat lasagna noodles
- Buffalo mozzarella cheese for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and coat an 11 X 7-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Sauté garlic for 1 minute, followed by onion, mushrooms, celery, carrots, zucchini, broccoli and squash. Gently sauté for 10 minutes until vegetables are softened. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and some black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in spinach.
Spread a cup of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with noodles, followed by half the ricotta cheese; add another layer of sauce, followed by noodles and remaining ricotta cheese. Continue with remaining noodles and sauce, ending with sauce. Top with buffalo mozzarella, bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!