Butternut Squash Lasagna
I’m not a fan of fall weather, even more so when it comes to the season after fall, but I am a fan of many of the vegetables that pop up during these chilly months. From the winter squashes, to the greens, to the delicious root vegetables – the fall is well stocked with delicious vegetables. Today’s treat features a number of those goodies, including some of the last of the produce from the Farmer’s Market at my office. Butternut Squash is a familiar vegetable in our house and it really seems to go with everything. In this case I added some swiss chard, baby kale, and some mashed pie pumpkin (thought the variety was called baby boy but that just resulted in lots of baby costumes) that was leftover from making the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
Lasagna will never be a healthy dinner option, and it’s not always the most budget-friendly option, but it will always be something delicious and hearty and fantastic. I figured that if I only make it a few times a year it’s not that bad…right??? I’m sending this recipe over to November’s Secret and in Season, which is being hosted by Katie of FeedingBoys and was founded by the awesome Ren. There are so many delicious fall recipes being linked up over there, I can’t wait to give them a whirl!!!
White & Green Lasagna
One of my goals for this year has been incorporating a larger variety of vegetables in to my diet, to go beyond the standard spinach, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms that I tend to live on. While this will be much easier to do once farmer markets are in full swing this spring, I didn’t want to put off this goal for fear I would keep pushing it off. So I started exploring the hothouse vegetable section of my grocery store to see what was being produced locally. I didn’t expect to see much beyond root vegetables and tomatoes and with that was pleasantly surprised when I saw the plethora of greens waiting for me to give them a go. From bitter mustard greens to earthly collards to sweet baby spinach and all the colors of chard in between it was a mecca of leafy vegetables. I decided to grab a few varieties and see what all I could come up with. I’ll admit, most of the kale wound up being used in salad or juice form, but I when I realized I had grabbed more than I needed I started thinking of recipes that could use a large amount of greens. When it comes to fridge clean out I need to go to pizzas or pastas and this time was no different – except I decided to make my own lasagna sheets. Since the point of this meal was to use as many veggies as possible even the pasta wound up going green with the inclusion of spinach and kale though in the future I’ll make sure to process them more in order to get a more even distribution.
This might not be the healthiest lasagna out there due to the cheese, however it does pack a healthy punch of vitamins and nutrients. I also like that this is another one of those dishes where there is no right or wrong ingredient – just add whatever vegetables are threatening to turn and enjoy!
Potato Spinach Lasagna
Congratulation! You have survived the holidays. Now it’s time to clear out the fridge of all the goodies that are leftover. While most leftovers are delicious as they are some need to be reinvented slightly in order to excite the taste buds. Many years ago my cousin and I were facing a fridge of mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and a ton of turkey. We also had lasagna noodles…and some cheese…and milk….and nothing else. Our cupboards were essentially bare outside of the leftovers we had acquired and we were just plain tired of the same old stuff. So we decided to do a holiday lasagna using our leftovers, and it was delicious. This is a recipe that can be reworked and tweaked based on what you have left and can also be used outside of the holidays when the fridge (or freezer!) needs emptying.
1/2 lb lasagna noodles (pre-cooked if needed) – I prefer to use Barilla oven ready lasagna sheets
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cups sauted/creamed spinach
1 cup sour cream (opt. if using creamed spinach)
1 1/2 cups favorite alfredo sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Pour some of the alfredo sauce on the bottom of a 9×9 pan. Place a layer of noodles on top. Then top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing out until about 1/2 in thick, using about 2/3 cup. Layer a third of the spinach on top and add some sour cream if using. Pour a 1/4 cup of the alfredo sauce over top. Continue the layering, ending with the noodles. Top with the remaining sauce and the cheese.
3. Bake covered for 30minutes. Remove cover and then back for an additional 20minutes, or until edges are slightly brown and cheese is bubbling.
I have done this recipe with spinach, mushrooms, corn, and carrots and so far have yet to be disappointed. Mashed potatoes really are magical, everything seems to combine just perfectly with them, which results in some great taste combos. If you have more than one vegetable side left, such as roasted carrots, feel free to add it as well! The trick is making sure the there is enough moisture in the dish to prevent the noodles and potatoes from drying out. Adding more sauce, sour cream, or Greek yogurt are all great ways to keep things nice and moist in the middle. Also, if you are using pre-cooked pasta sheets make sure they are cooked al dente in order to avoid a globby mess. Past experience with this phenomenon is why I have switched to the oven ready variety 🙂
I’m sending this holiday leftover favorite to GoodEats for the Surprisingly Nutritious Spaghetti Link-Up sponsored by Barilla pasta.