When I was of pre-school age, or maybe slightly younger, my mom entered a recipe contest. We were living in Wisconsin at the time, and she, like me, enjoyed cooking and baking. The newspaper article, still framed, stated that there were over 2200 entries. She won the entire contest with this lasagna recipe. For those wondering if you "miss the meat," I will say this- of my friends who have had the pleasure of eating this lasagna, other than my 4 year old (ha ha), no one has missed it. It is full of flavor and has plenty of hearty ingredients, leaving you full and ready for leftover night.
Mom's Prize-Winning Vegetarian Lasagna
9 lasagna noodles (1 box)
1 box frozen chopped spinach
2 cups (5oz) sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
6oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives (1 small can of chopped olives)
1-1/2 tsp oregano
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp butter/margarine
16 oz cottage cheese
16 oz very thinly sliced monterey jack cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water (unsalted) for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender; drain. Defrost spinach in microwave without adding water; drain and squeeze excess water out.
In a medium saucepan, cook carrots, onion and mushrooms in hot oil until tender, but not brown. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, olives and oregano.
Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with butter. In dish, layer 1/3 of noodles, 1/3 of cottage cheese, 1/3 of spinach, 1/4 of monterey jack, and 1/3 of sauce. Repeat layers two more times. Then top with remaining slices of cheese. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Pass the Parmesan cheese!
Kelly's notes: On the lasagna recipe, I only made a couple of minor modifications. I used a 7.3 oz jar of sliced mushrooms, drained, instead of fresh and didn't bother cooking them with the carrots/onions since they are already tender. I also substituted olive oil in place of vegetable oil and in place of butter. Lastly, I sprinkled about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese on the top before baking and didn't serve extra at the table.
I don't normally serve dessert, but if it's a weekend and we're having guests for dinner, which we did last night, I will serve dessert if I can. So last night I made a dessert, mostly inspired by Kraft, but I changed one thing- it called for strawberries on top and I chose to substitute fresh pitted cherries since they're in season, and it was REALLY good (if I say so myself).
Angel Lush with Pineapple
1 small prepared angel food cake
1 pkg (small) instant vanilla pudding
20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice (undrained)
1 cup cool whip
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted (or pick something you like, recipe called for strawberries)
Cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers. Place bottom layer on serving platter. Top with about 1/3 of pudding mixture. Repeat two more times. Top with cherries. Refrigerate for at least one hour. If there are leftovers, be sure to refrigerate.
Enjoy your next meal!