Functional Kitchen

Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 10–12 / Loaded with nutrients, this lasagna contains lycopene in the tomato sauce, calcium in the tofu and cheeses, and powerful phytochemicals and vitamins in the vegetables. For more protein, add cooked ground turkey or beef to the sauce. You can also make the lasagna wheat- and dairy-free by using rice noodles, all tofu instead of half ricotta, and soy-based “mozzarella.”

16 ounces lasagna noodles
1 cup part-skim ricotta or small-curd creamed cottage cheese
1 cup tofu, mashed
1 egg
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 tablespoon olive oil
5-1/2 cups chunky marinara sauce (about 52 ounces)
3 teaspoons anise seed
1 ncup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to directions; drain and lay flat to cool. Preheat oven to 375º.

2. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, tofu, egg, zucchini, and parsley. Set aside.

3. In a medium nonstick skillet, sauté garlic, peppers, onion, and broccoli in olive oil for 5 minutes.

4. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in a 13x9x2-inch pan. Arrange four noodles lengthwise over sauce, overlapping edges. Spread one-third ricotta mixture over pasta, followed by 1-1/3 cups marinara sauce. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon anise seed over sauce, then layer one-fourth of the vegetables. Repeat layers twice, ending with pasta. Spoon remaining vegetables over pasta. Spread remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with cheeses.

5. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 412 calories % fat calories: 27 Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 43mg Carbohydrate: 54g Protein: 20g Fiber: 2g Sodium: 647mg Functional Kitchen is provided by James Rouse, ND, the creator of Optimum Wellness and The Fit Kitchen, seen weekly on NBC’s KUSA television news.