Hello wonderful people!
Here in Ontario it appears that winter was not quite ready to move on, as we got one more cold spell and even some snow over the weekend. The forecast is calling for a few more days of cold, and then the temperatures are expected to start to rise again, thankfully! Spring and summer – you’re welcome to make an appearance any time now!
Although I tend to hide inside on these these chilly, snowy days and don’t get to enjoy much of the outdoors, one perk is that I do find myself spending a little extra time in the kitchen trying to come up with fun new recipes. I love running my culinary “experiments” on days like these, and it’s even more exciting when the result of the experiment is actually a tasty one haha!
Take for example the recipe I’m sharing with you today: my Butternut Squash, Kale, and Caramelized Onion Lasagna – a delicious and healthy vegetarian dinner option. I wasn’t sure how this would go and whether the ingredients would come together to compliment one another, but fortunately they did. This lasagna is packed with fresh and nutritious veggies, and black beans for some extra fiber which aids digestion and helps you to feel full for longer. I used Blue Menu brand whole wheat lasagna noodles (more fiber – yay!), along with low sodium pasta sauce, and finished it off with a bit of herbs, spices, walnuts, and cheese.
This recipe is relatively easy to prepare, delicious and filling (with all that fiber!), and will keep well for about 4 to 5 days if stored in an air tight container in the fridge. It does take a little more time to prepare – about 1.5 hours – but I assure you, it’s totally worth it! As always do try to use fresh, local, and organic ingredients when possible to get the greatest nutritional benefits from your food.
Butternut Squash, Kale, & Caramelized Onion Lasagna
- 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles (I use blue menu)
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 4 to 5 cups), peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 large red onion, sliced vertically
- 4 cups fresh kale, washed and chopped (use spinach if preferred)
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 (19 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed (I like the PC Blue Menu kind)
- 1 (650 mL) jar low sodium pasta sauce
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1.5 cups Asiago or mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 3 Tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 – 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Drizzle a rectangular (13 x 9 x 2 inch) baking dish with about 1/2 tbsp olive oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 375*F.
- Soak lasagna noodles in cold water for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl gently stir to combine black beans and ricotta cheese, set aside.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add in onions. Saute for approximately 10 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add in butternut squash and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cover and continue cooking for about 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally, or until the squash begins to soften and is slightly brown.
- Add in kale and garlic, sage, oregano, and parsley, stirring gently to combine. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook about 5 minutes more or until kale is slightly wilted. Remove from heat.
- Layer 1: Pour 3/4 cup (about 1/3 of jar) of pasta sauce into baking dish, smoothing out to cover bottom of dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce, then top with 1/2 of the veggie mixture, then 1/2 of the ricotta cheese black bean mixture.
- Layer 2: Cover with 4 more noodles, 3/4 cup pasta sauce, then remaining 1/2 veggie mixture, and 1/2 cheese black bean mixture.
- Layer 3: Cover with 4 more noodles, then remainder of pasta sauce. Sprinkle Asiago or mozzarella cheese over top, then walnuts, some fresh ground black pepper and a sprinkle of parsley.
- Bake covered for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover. Bake for about 5 to 10 minutes more, or until top is slightly brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Smile, think of one thing for which you’re grateful, and ENJOY! 🙂
I hope you’ll enjoy this hearty and healthy veggie lasagna as much as my family and I did; It’s the perfect meal for a chilly day, and is sure to warm and fill up your bellies and hearts, too!
Wishing you health and happiness,