Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel

Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel

Butternut Bechamel sauce:

3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (2 lbs)

1 cup vegetable broth, divided

1 cup whole milk

4 tsp freshly minced garlic (4 cloves)

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 ounces)

½ cups fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (2 ounces)

Filling:

1 tbls olive oil

1 sweet onion, chopped

5 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced, (1 pound)

1 tbls vegetable broth

5 cups Swiss chard, leaves thinly sliced, stems chopped and kept separate (1 bunch)

¼ cup pine nuts, roasted and chopped*

Lasagna:

Cooking spray

6 lasagna noodles, cooked

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (4 ounces)

⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine squash, 1 cup broth, milk and garlic in medium saucepan, heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place squash mixture in blender. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Add Gruyere cheese and 2 ounces of mozzarella.  Blend until cheese is well incorporated. Pour into bowl.

Heat large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add onion, mushroom and chopped Swiss chard stems. Turn heat up to medium high and cook until browned and liquid evaporates (7-10 minutes).

Add chard and 1 tbls vegetable broth. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes or until chard wilts. Place vegetable mixture into cheesecloth lined colander and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Place mixture into bowl and toss in pine nuts.

Mix ricotta and egg until well incorporated.

Coat 11 x 7-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread ½ cup bechamel sauce on bottom of pan. Lay two lasagna noodles on top of sauce.

Spread ¾ cup sauce on top of lasagna noodles. Top with ½ of vegetable mixture (about ¾ cup),

½ cup ricotta and ⅓ cup mozzarella cubes. Top with 2 lasagna noodles.

Repeat above step for second layer.

Put remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of lasagna. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray and lay over top of pan.

Cook, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, until lasagna is bubbly and internal temperature is 160°. Put lasagna under broiler to further brown top, if desired.

Allow lasagna to rest a minimum of 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

6 servings, 480 calories per serving

*Roast pine nuts in saute pan in a single layer until lightly browned.

 

Hack: Place individual portions of cut, cooled lasagna into individual containers (or one container, separating portions with parchment paper) and store in freezer for a quick grab-and-go lunch!

Hack #2: Fresh peeled and cubed butternut squash can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store. Frozen butternut squash can also be used.

Hack #3: Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 months or in the freezer for 6 months.

Hack #4: Make a double recipe of Bechamel sauce. Freeze extra portion in 1 cup portions to serve over pasta or vegetables!  If sauce separates after thawing, place in blender with 1 tbls of hot water.

Hack #5:  Bechamel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Cover surface with plastic wrap to avoid forming a skin.

 

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