Having an allergy to fruit, especially tomatoes, really puts a damper on what I choose to cook. I only cook spaghetti for my daughter or my guy. I cannot share pizza with them. I even tried green smoothies with veggies and fruit, and that really gave me a fit! I was itching the entire time after drinking one. So when I saw this pin on pinterest for Garden Lasagna I knew I had to try it. Not only are the photos yummy, but the ingredients alone pulled me in. I quickly jotted down the extras I would need from the store and shopping I went. This is probably my favorite recipe so far that I have tried from Pinterest. I did not invent the wheel, so here is a link to where I discovered this delicious dish.
I followed the recipe as closely as I could. Normally, I will measure by estimating but I really wanted to get the taste just right. Since it is just the three of us (really, two, because my daughter is picky), I used a smaller pan and only created two layers using the no boil lasagna noodles. My favorite part about this recipe is all of the color in the dish. Pretty food is always a good thing. :-)
The recipe called for 32 oz of ricotta cheese but I am not a huge fan of ricotta. Instead, I used 16 oz of ricotta and 1 cup each of Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian and Stella 3 Cheese Italian Blend. After layering the lasagna noodles with the sauce, ricotta and vegetables, I sprinkled more of the Italian cheese mixes on top since I did not have mozzarella alone.
Now if your family is any thing like mine, they might be asking where is the meat. If it were just me, I would have been fine having this dish alone without meat but I knew Aida would only sample a few bites. I used my cast-iron grill pan for chicken breasts and opened a box of her favorite Rice-a-Roni.
For the chicken, I added 2 tablespoons of Smart Balance Butter Spread to the pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. I mixed together in a bowl: 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, oregano (1/2 tsp) , garlic and onion powder (1 tbsp of each), and a pinch of rosemary. I tossed the chicken in the mix and added to the pan once the butter was melted and oil was hot.
The lasagna: I let stay in the oven a little longer to get the cheese on top nice and browned. It’s a personal preference. To me, the cheese just tastes even better.
The lasagna was absolutely delicious. I probably should have let it cooled a little more before cutting, but it had taken me more than hour to cook and I was ready to taste….and …take some photos (lol!). I usually do not take on a recipe that takes this amount of time but I had nothing planned and I actually enjoy taking my time to cook whenever I can. The lasagna actually reminded me of two flavors: (1) a spinach omelette (I would have this at work with mozarella cheese) and (2) Greek Pizza without the feta cheese. One thing I did add was a little bit of Ragu’s Sun Dried Tomato Sauce (mixed and warm with a few other herbs). I poured a little of this onto the plate before placing the lasagna. When I tasted it right out of the oven, I knew a sweet tomato sauce would be a great complement and it was. I definitely recommend trying this recipe. I know I will have to make this again.