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Perfect for supper!

Don’t let the length of this recipe scare you. Simple and delicious, it will be a definite hit in your house.

Serves 6.

This is a great meal to make with the kids because they’ll love assembling the layers. A perfect staple to have in your freezer, our lasagna recipe can be doubled to make two – it’ll save you some time when you need a meal on the table fast!

INGREDIENTS:

Vegetable Marinade:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley and rosemary), chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Lasagna:
4 zucchinis, stems removed
1 bulb fennel, stalks removed
4 medium plum tomatoes, core removed, cut in half lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, cut in half, stem and seeds removed
1 large Portobello mushroom, stem removed
1 cup All-Purpose Bean Dip (see recipe below)
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 tbsp fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley and rosemary), chopped
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
INSTRUCTIONS:

Make Ahead:
ONE: In a small bowl, whisk together all vegetable marinade ingredients. Set aside.

TWO: Preheat oven to 350°F.

THREE: Prepare vegetables for roasting: Slice zucchinis lengthwise into long “noodles,” about 1/4-inch thick. Slice fennel into 1/4-inch thick slices. (Tip: Cut a small slice off the core end and discard, stand the fennel on the cut end, place the narrow side toward you and slice.) Place zucchinis, fennel, tomatoes, red pepper and mushroom into a large mixing bowl, add vegetable marinade and toss to evenly coat.

FOUR: Arrange zucchini mixture on 2 large parchment-lined baking sheets and roast in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, checking at about 30 minutes for doneness. When done, zucchini and fennel should be light golden brown in color and remaining vegetables should be soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

FIVE: While zucchini mixture is roasting, prepare All-Purpose Bean Dip (see below) and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together cottage cheese and herbs. Set aside.

SIX: Place roasted tomatoes into a small bowl and mash with a fork until roughly puréed (about 3/4 cup). Place mashed tomatoes into a strainer to remove excess liquid, discard liquid and set tomatoes aside.

SEVEN: Slice any large pieces of fennel into strips and place into a mixing bowl. Slice red pepper and mushroom into strips, add to fennel and mix to combine. Set aside.

Assembly:
ONE: Lightly coat a 9 x 9-inch square nonstick loaf pan with oil.

TWO: Spread tomato purée on bottom of pan and top with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.

THREE: Layer zucchini “noodles” on top, overlapping slightly so that tomato purée is not visible and layers are even. Lightly press zucchini down.

FOUR: Top zucchini with an even layer of cottage cheese mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 of remaining mozzarella.

FIVE: Top with fennel mixture, pressing vegetables down evenly.

SIX: Evenly spread All-Purpose Bean Dip (see below) on top of vegetables.

SEVEN: Sprinkle with 1/2 of remaining mozzarella.

EIGHT: Layer remaining zucchini noodles.

NINE: Top with remaining tomato purée and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.

TEN: Tightly wrap with plastic wrap so that wrap completely covers pan (including the bottom) and place into freezer. Lasagna may be frozen for 2 to 3 months.

TIP: Once wrapped, take the loaf pan and gently tap the bottom of the pan on the counter several times. This will help remove all the air pockets from the layers and keep your lasagna intact after cooking.

To Serve:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove all plastic wrap from lasagna and place pan with lasagna onto a baking sheet. Cover lasagna with foil and cook for 30 minutes. Carefully remove foil and continue to heat for an additional 20 minutes, or until lasagna is hot throughout and golden brown on top. Allow lasagna to set for 10 minutes prior to cutting. Cut into 6 pieces and serve immediately.

NUTRITIONAL BONUS: Never heard of manganese? It’s an essential trace mineral that plays an integral role in the removal of environmental toxins and free radicals in the body. Each serving of our light lasagna contains 25% of your recommended daily intake of the mineral.

All-Purpose Bean Dip

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.

INGREDIENTS:
1 19-oz can low-sodium mixed beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups drained)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup water or organic low-sodium vegetable stock
1 tbsp fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley and rosemary), chopped
1/2 tsp chile powder
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
INSTRUCTIONS:
Place all ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth. Store in a resealable container and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Dip will keep refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or frozen for 2 to 3 months.

TIP: Switch out the lemon to lime, add 1/4 tsp cumin and use cilantro as your herb instead of parsley and rosemary, and you’ve got a clean Mexican-inspired dip!

Nutritional Bonus: Pump some iron! Beans are naturally high in iron, helping to keep you energized, bright-eyed and your immune system going strong.

Recipe by Joanne Lusted

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