Jamie says: Sundays feel like family days and Italian days. When I was younger, we used to go to Grandma and Papa’s house every once in a while for Sunday dinner. I guess I was reminiscing so I invited a handful of my close triathlon friends- Clarissa, Rachel, James, and Sam & Craig- over for lasagna. (I told ’em I’d give you a shout out if they let me take lots of pictures.)
This was my first time ever making lasagna. I didn’t follow a recipe either…just called Mom for a pep talk.
It was a lot more work than I expected. It took about 1 1/2 hours to make, but I did it! I made my 1st lasagna!
And you can do it, too!
Since it can appear to be a somewhat daunting task, here is a step-by-step picture guide on how to layer it once you’ve cooked everything that needs to be cooked. (This will make two trays of lasagna- one with meat (chicken) and one vegetarian (tofu).
Step-by-Step Lasagna Layering Guide:
1) Spread sauce on the bottom of two pans (to prevent sticking), then add boiled lasagna, and cooked kale to each pan.
2) Spread ricotta on top.
3) Next add your second layer of lasagna.
4) Then add sauce and ground chicken to one pan…
And add sauce and crumbled tofu to the other.
5) Next it’s time for another layer of lasagna, then raw mushrooms, and zucchini.
6) Finish off that sauce.
7) And finish up that lasagna, by adding your final layer of lasagna and shredded mozzarella cheese.
8) Put it in the oven and wait patiently. Then you’ll have the lasagna you’ve been waiting for!
Really, two trays of them!
Want a side profile of those layers?
Yeah, onions and ogres (like Shrek) aren’t the only things with layers.
Ready for a slice?
Why not try one of each?
We topped it with garlic salt. (Later I added parmesan cheese on top, too. This was the best!)
Feeling so Italian-American right now.
My Big Fat Italian Lasagna- with Kale, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Onions, and Ground Chicken and/or Tofu
- 28 oz (1 lb 12 oz) tomato puree (Cento)
- 28 oz (1 lb 12 oz) petite diced tomatoes (Cento)
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 Tbsp basil
- 2 Tbps parsley
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp garlic salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 14 oz block extra firm (Nasoya tofu plus)
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- 16 oz kale greens (Glory Foods)
- 2 medium zucchini
- 12 oz prewashed sliced white mushrooms (Publix)
- 13.24 oz box whole grain lasagna (Ronzoni Healthy Harvest)
- 16 oz. extra lean ground chicken breast (Perdue)
- 32 oz. part skim ricotta cheese (Polly-o)
- 2 cups shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese (Kraft)
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (Publix)
- In a large pot with a lid, add tomato puree and petite diced tomatoes. Cut an onion in eighths and add to sauce along with basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, 3/4 tsp garlic salt, and freshly ground pepper. Stir and heat on medium-low heat for 1 hour.
- Drain tofu. Wrap in a few paper towels and place on an empty and clean spot on the kitchen counter; then balance something heavy on top. Allow to drain for at least 30 minutes.
- In a large pot on medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil. Thickly mince garlic and add to oil. Use a paper towel to dry kale and add to pot once garlic has slightly browned. Stir well to mix. Cook for 10 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently.
- Use a grater to shred zucchini into thin pieces.
- Fill 2/3 of a very large pot with water. Add lasagna pieces one by one. Gently stir to make sure they are all covered by water. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and lay on wax paper so the pasta doesn’t stick.
- Brown ground chicken breast in a saute pan on medium heat for about 7 minutes or until cooked, stirring frequently.
- Crumble tofu with clean hands.
- Cover the bottom of two 13 x 9 inch baking dishes with a few scoops of sauce. Begin layering- i.e. lasagna, kale, ricotta, lasagna, sauce, chicken (in one dish) and tofu (in the second dish), mushrooms, zucchini, sauce, lasagna, and mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with reserved garlic salt and then Parmesan cheese. Enjoy in good company!
Serves: 12 (6 servings with chicken and 6 with tofu)
- Nutrition note: This lasagna received a healthy makeover from your average lasagna. It’s full of healthy surprises, like whole grain lasagna, part skim ricotta, part skim mozzarella, lean meat, and vegetables.