Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Happy April!  April, without question, is the month that epitomizes spring.  Between Easter celebrations, blooming daffodils, the emergence of sun dresses, April signifies the true start of the spring season.   This cheesy lasagna filled with fresh in season veggies and flavorful pesto seems like the perfect dinner to welcome the season of warmth, longer days, and new beginnings!

This lasagna is loaded with fresh veggies, healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, calcium, and protein.  It makes a great, hearty dinner for a spring night as it uses fresh in season veggies.  The pesto is given a nutritional boost with the addition of the spinach which also helps brighten the color.  This lasagna is literally the epitome of spring with its vibrant colors, rich flavor, and many depths of flavor.

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Ingredients

  • 1 box of whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups of chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups of chopped asparagus
  • ¼ cup of carrots, finely diced
  • 1 cup of chopped artichoke hearts
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • 2 tsp of garlic
  • 2 cups of part skim ricotta
  • 2 cups of reduced fat, shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/8 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • Pesto:
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • 2 cups of basil
  • 2 tbsp of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy

Directions

  •  Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions
  • While the noodles cook, sauté the zucchini, asparagus, carrots and artichoke hearts in 2 tsp of olive oil over medium heat until tender
  •  In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder
  • Add the one cup olive oil, spinach, basil, garlic, and salt (in that order) to a blender or food processor and process until completely incorporated
  •   In a deep, greased 9x 13 inch baking dish, lay the cooked lasagna noodles, covering the entire bottom
  • Top the noodles with 1/3 of the cheese mixture, followed by 1/3 of the vegetables
  • Cover the vegetables with 1/3 of the pesto
  • Repeat this layering process until all ingredients have been used
  • Sprinkle the remaining one cup of shredded mozzarella and cover with aluminum foil
  • Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 1 hour
  • Remove the foil and place the lasagna under a broiler for 3 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly


Nutrition:

  • Calories:  441 grams
  • Carbohydrates:  34 grams
  • Protein:  18 gram
  • Fat:  27 grams
  • Fiber:  6 grams
  • Calcium:  45 grams

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