• very_veggie_lasagna

Very Veggie Lasagna

Lasagna is a total crowd-pleaser and assembling the layers is a great task for kids. This version packs in the veggies using two sauces, one red and one green, to create a rainbow of colors and tastes! This recipe comes to us from Deirdre of Plan It Healthier, who uses this recipe when teaching a local Kids Cook Monday classes.

Serves 8

Food for Thought: Lasagna is an Italian dish made with flat noodles and tomato sauce. Lots of Italian foods use tomatoes, but did you know that tomatoes originally came from Latin America? Spanish settlers brought tomatoes back to Europe in the 1500s. Some people actually thought tomatoes were poisonous at first, but they eventually became a very popular ingredient in Italian cuisine.

Cooking Tip of the Week: Oven-ready lasagne noodles are a great kitchen timesaver. You simply place the dry noodles into your dish and they become soft while the lasagna cooks, no boiling required.

Family Dinner Conversation Starter: If you could have a conversation with anyone in the history of the world, who would you talk to?

Directions:

Together: Wash and chop vegetables.

Adult: Preheat oven to 375˚. Place 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each of two skillets or sauce pans

Adult: Sauté onions until soft and translucent. Add chopped leeks to one skillet (this will be the greens-ricotta pan)

Together: Add half of garlic to each pan. Add sweet potato and 1/4 cup of water to other pan (this will be the red sauce pan) and cook until soft.

Kid: Drain the greens and squeeze out excess liquid over the sink.

Together: Add greens to greens-ricotta pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and turn off heat.

Kid: Empty jar of tomato sauce into sweet potato mixture.  Add 1/4 cup of water, close lid, shake to combine with remaining sauce, and empty jar into pan again. Add Italian spices, and salt and pepper to taste.

Kid: Beat 2 eggs in medium-sized bowl, mix in ricotta cheese.

Adult: Pour into spinach pan. Add salt, and several grinds of black pepper and nutmeg.

Together: In a 9×13 (or similar-sized) baking pan, layer:

  1. 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  2. single layer of lasagne pasta (3 pieces)
  3. 1/2 of greens-ricotta mixture
  4. 3/4 cup red sauce
  5. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  6. 3 pieces lasagne
  7. remaining greens-ricotta mixture
  8. 3/4 cup red sauce
  9. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  10. 3 pieces of lasagne
  11. remaining red sauce
  12. remaining shredded mozzarella cheese

Adult: Cover with aluminum foil and place into preheated oven. Check after roughly 1 hour to remove foil to allow top cheese to brown.  Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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