Oktoberfest in Germany begins Saturday, September 22, 2012, and ends Sunday, October 7, 2012...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Grilled Vegetables & Whole Wheat Lasagna

    By Kerrie

Yesterday a friend gave me a beautiful zucchini and eggplant from her garden.  I really wanted to do them justice, so why not season and grill them for a healthy lasagna dish, keeping the "grill" theme throughout?  If you like that idea too, give this a try…..

1 pound zucchini cut into 4” x ¼ inch slices
1 pound eggplant cut into ¼ inch slices
Olive oil spray
Montreal Steak seasoning (about 8 teaspoons)
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 large onion
1 package or two cups sliced mushrooms
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
One 32 ounce container Ricotta Cheese (part skim milk)
Two 10 ounce packages of frozen chopped spinach – thawed and squeezed dry
Two 24 ounce cans or jars of tomato pasta sauce
1 egg lightly whisked
8 ounces Italian Blend Grated Cheese  (part skim milk)
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese  (part skim milk)
One 14 ounce package of whole wheat lasagna noodles

There are three components to this luscious lasagna that will be prepared and then set aside for final assembly:  grilled zucchini and eggplant,  grilled onions and mushrooms, and a spinach and ricotta filling.   Each of these components could be prepared earlier in the day or even the day before and chilled until ready to assemble.    I do HIGHLY recommend the use of Montreal Steak Seasoning for continuity of the grilled flavor theme.   One other thing –  if you use, as I have, whole wheat noodles, don’t precook.   Whole Wheat is more porous and it cooks more quickly and absorbs liquid faster than regular pasta.   Okay, let’s go……

First, slice the zucchini and eggplant and spray each slice with olive oil and then sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning.   Grill each slice over a hot BBQ grill until nicely char marked.  When done, set aside.

Next, slice onions and then spray a nonstick pan with a little olive oil.  To the hot pan, add the onions and mushrooms and cook until tender.   At this point, add the minced garlic and continue to cook on medium high until nicely caramelized.  When done, add 1 teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasonings, toss and set aside.

Now, to a large bowl add the Ricotta cheese, whisked egg, 4 ounces of the “Italian Blend” grated cheese, 4 teaspoons of Montreal Steak Seasonings, 4 teaspoons of Italian Seasonings, and the squeezed chopped spinach.   Using an electric mixer, on low speed mix until well blended.    Set aside.

Okay, let’s assemble…..

First, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Oil a 13 x 9 inch glass or ceramic pan.   Spread the first can/jar of pasta sauce over the bottom of the pan and cover with “dry” whole wheat lasagna noodles. 

 Then, top with the grilled/seasoned zucchini.

Then, top with the ricotta and spinach filling.

Then, top with another layer of “dry” whole wheat lasagna noodles.

 Then, top with the grilled onions and mushrooms.

Then, top with the other 4 ounces of “Italian Blend” shredded cheese.

Then, top with the grilled/seasoned eggplant.

Now, top with the second can/jar of tomato pasta sauce.

Place the lasagna pan over a cookie sheet to catch any sauce that might bubble over and place in oven.

Cover lightly with foil (don’t tuck/fold).      Bake for 45 minutes.

Then sprinkle the top with the 8 ounces of Mozzarella cheese.    Continue to bake for another 12 minutes – more or less – until melted and bubbling.

 Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy !!!!!

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