Vegetarian "Meaty" Lasagna
1 package Yves 'ground round' (usually found in a refrigerated case in the produce department) or 1 bag Quorn "ground beef" crumbles (this is a soy-free micoprotein option)
1 C chopped onion (1 large)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning mix, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp. fennel seed, crushed (optional)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 pound (1/2 box) or 9 dried lasagna noodles
1 beaten egg
2 C ricotta or whole milk cottage cheese (I used ricotta because I had it already)
1/4 C grated parmesan, Romano, or asiago cheese
3 Tbsp. snipped fresh basil (frozen basil cubes from Trader Joe's or the squeezable tubes of basil are great time-savers here)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz. shredded or sliced Swiss cheese
For meat sauce, in a medium saucepan cook onion over high heat until caramelized. (Onions should be well-browned at the edges and translucent.) Add garlic and "ground round".
Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, italian seasoning, oregano, fennel seed, and pepper. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well.
For filling, combine the egg, cottage cheese, the 1/4 c Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese, and the basil.
Layer 1/3 of the cooked noodles in a deep 13x9 baking dish. Spread with half of the filling. Top with half of the meat sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Top with the last 3 noodles, 1/3 or the mozzarella cheese, and swiss cheese. If desired, sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake 375° oven for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings.
Drool. That's it. But really, this one consistently fools my meat-eating uncle and father. And even when they do remember that I wouldn't be eating it if it were made with ground beef, they love it. It is delicious. Nice and spicy (not hot, just herby) and so deliciously cheesy. I'm not sure this one is possible with vegan cheez, but it's worth a shot for sure. I also surely cheated the amounts of the cheese. I think I ended up using double the Swiss and about 2 extra cups of mozzarella. This is another great starter recipe for those who are trying to go vegetarian or feed a family of mixed meat and veggie-eaters. So tasty. And, it freezes really well. Just slice it into serving-size squares and flash freeze on a cookie sheet before throwing it into a Ziploc bag.
This post is linked at Menu Inspiration Monday, Real Food Wednesday, Cooking Thursday, Let's Do Lunch, Life as Mom and Prairie Storie's Recipe Swap Thursdays and Friday Favorites.
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