Saturday, January 28, 2012

Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

I've, temporarily at least, got a new desire to start updating this blog again. So, I'll start with tonight's dinner. I've made this recipe once before and have tweaked it a bit to make it better for me. I've also recently discovered Daiya cheese. This stuff is seriously amazing. I tried a fake cheese once, and only once, and never had the guts to do it again. I was at a local restaurant that advertised this vegan cheese. I looked it up on the internet and saw that it had great reviews. Next time I was at that restaurant I ordered a sandwich with it and was very impressed. I've since been experimenting with it, now that my regular grocery store carries. This stuff is so good that when I used the cheddar crumbles in my scrambled eggs, my step-daughter finished them off for me and she doesn't even like eggs that much. But she loves cheese and thought it tasted like cheese.

 Anyway, enough about the cheese. I've been working on moving towards a more vegetarian diet. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I generally don't eat nearly enough veggies. I rarely eat red meat and have been getting bore with chicken lately so I started researching vegetarian recipes as a way to get more veggies in my diet. If my dinners are made of almost nothing but veggies, I really can't go wrong. Since this recipe has quinoa rather than any kind of pasta, it's super healthy for you. It tastes great too and if you use something the Daiya cheese, it's technically vegan.

 This recipe originally comes from Vegetarian Times and you can find it here. The first time I made this I didn't have enough zucchini (because really, where did they find such huge zucchini in the first place?) and I used real mozzarella. I can't remember what kind of sauce I used and I'm pretty sure I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. Moot points. I meant to take a pic and didn't, because I'm lame so the picture in the link will have to suffice. Without further ado.....

Ingredients:

* 2 large (or 4-5 small) zucchini
* 2 cups vegetable broth
* 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (or use 1 cup uncooked Ancient Harvest quinoa)
* 1 jar spaghetti sauce
* 1 small finely chopped onion
* 1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1 1/2 bags (about 3 cups) Daiya mozzarella
* 4 tsp sugar (optional - to reduce the acidity of the tomato sauce)

Instructions:

 Cut zucchini into strips, long ways, lay out on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and cover with more paper towels. Let sit while you prepare the quinoa. This reduces the moisture in the zucchini. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together spaghetti sauce, broth, quinoa, onion, mushrooms, and oregano in a medium to large sized pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat and let simmer for 25 minutes or until the sauce has been absorbed by the quinoa. Spread some of the sauce mix in the bottom of a 16x9 pan. Layer zucchini slices and cheese. Add another layer of sauce, zucchini, and cheese. Top it off with the rest of the sauce mix and cheese. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 25 minutes.

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