Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Healthy" Lasagna

Mr Minx and I recently spent a long weekend in Ocean City, Maryland. If you've ever been there, you know it's not exactly a gourmet haven, what with the preponderance of pizza joints and bars, many of which were closed in the off-season. We didn't want to cook our dinners on the two-burner cooktop in our room (I don't know how anyone can stand to cook with electric on a regular basis) or eat only salads when we went out, so we didn't end up consuming a whole lot of vegetables. Unless, of course, you consider french fries a vegetable. Or salsa.

Back in Baltimore, I went a little crazy in Wegman's produce department. And the fresh whole wheat pasta sheets called to me - veggie lasagna seemed like a good way to have a nice dinner and get our greens, too. Rather than going whole-hog with cheese and cream and all that good stuff, I made a very low-fat bechamel and used part-skim cheese. Honestly, we didn't miss the fat at all.


"Healthy" Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, rinsed well and chopped
1/2 lb mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 lbs frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
salt, pepper, and nutmeg

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add leek and mushrooms and a pinch of salt and sauté until leeks are tender and mushrooms have given up all of their liquid, about 15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, and season with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg to taste.

Bechamel
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1.5 cups 1% milk
salt, pepper, and nutmeg
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add flour, stirring well, until flour is completely incorporated. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes, to cook flour. Slowly whisk in milk. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once sauce has thickened, stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and grated cheese. Set aside.

To assemble lasagna:
1 12.5 oz package fresh whole wheat lasagna sheets, cooked according to package directions and drained
1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 400F.

Spread 2 tablespoons of bechamel on the bottom of a 9" square baking dish. Top with a lasagna sheet, trimming excess from long end and adding it to fill the gap on the short side. Spread on more bechamel, then add several tablespoons of spinach filling and a sprinkling of both mozzarella cheese and walnuts. Continue layering in this manner until all of the spinach filling is used up. Top with a final layer of pasta, bechamel, and mozzarella.

Bake until top is bubbly and brown, 20-30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: I think this dish could go Greek very nicely if some fresh mint is added to the spinach filling and feta cheese is used in place of most or all of the mozzarella.

Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.